Celebration draws all ages out

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By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos County’s annual Festival, Fair and Rodeo weekend winds down today with final rodeo activities at 1 p.m. at Brewer Arena.

Since early Friday evening, community members and visitors have been treated to music, a parade, crafts, games, food, rodeo events and a variety of vendor information and activities.

Chamisa Elementary School student Megan Armstrong, 11, was born in Los Alamos and attended Saturday’s parade.

“I’ve pretty much attended the parades my whole life,” said Armstrong while lunching with her family at a picnic table at Ashley Pond. “I especially like watching the animals go by. I also like hanging around the fair and watching the bubble thing.”

Los Alamos High School sophomore Kirsten Schofield, 15, participated in the parade through the high school marching band for the second year in a row.

“It’s really fun,” she said. “You get to meet a lot of different people.”

The County’s Public Information Office hosted an informational booth at Ashley Pond. The booth was stocked with information and renderings depicting the county’s current economic development projects.

Community members pored over project displays and questioned county officials. County Administrator Max Baker spent a long time with residents and appeared in good spirits discussing the projects. “I’m here to help answer people’s questions about the projects we have going on,” Baker said. “We’re having great weather and people are asking really good questions and are very interested in what we’re doing and that’s great.”

David Nielson, a partner in Boyer Company, shared the booth with the county. “This is the first community event since Chamberfest last October that I’ve been able to participate in so I’m excited to be here for the fair,” Nielson said.

The Boyer Company is the developer working with the county on the Trinity Site Project. “We are ready to see if we can finalize all of our documents with the county, our lease document and development agreement, and see if we can get the project moving through the approval process hopefully within the next 60 days,” Nielson said.

The Public Information Office also provided games for small children and the ever-popular “Pin-Wheel of Fortune” event with prizes for the winners.

UNM-Los Alamos hosted a booth to provide information on fall classes. “All classes start Aug. 25 and we are encouraging everyone to register as soon as possible,” UNM-LA spokesperson Bonnie Gordon said.

The Democrats and the Republicans also hosted booths. “We’re here to get all the people registered that haven’t registered so we can have a good turnout in November,” said President Marie Todd of the Republican Women of Los Alamos.

Democrat Sarah Buehrer is a local volunteer activist and State Central Committee member.

“We’re providing voter registration and buttons and bumper stickers in support of the Democratic candidates,” Buehrer said.

Sean Stimmel, the youngest delegate going to the Democratic National Convention in Denver was helping out his Party Saturday.

“I’m here to help raise money for the party and to encourage people to vote,” he said.

Across the street, artists’ booths sprawled the length of the lawn behind Fuller Lodge. Laina and Gary Katcher of “Imaginations” set up their wooden artisan pieces inside a corner booth facing Central Avenue.

“It’s a great day,” Laina said. “We have a wonderful location and we’ve had a nice turnout.”

The weather held Friday evening and Saturday until about 1 p.m. when a brief but powerful rainfall dampened festivities.

Weekend highlights included Friday evening’s pool tournament at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, exhibits at Mesa Public Library, roping and barrel racing at Brewer Arena and the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series’ Candye Kane at Ashley Pond.

A 1980s style party took place Friday evening at the La Vista Restaurant inside the Hilltop House Hotel. The pool tournament at the Betty Ehart Senior Center continued Saturday along with the Summer Arts and Crafts Fair on the lawn at Fuller Lodge and the vendor fair at Ashley Pond.

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center held a Wildlife Habitat Yard Tour and the evening was capped off by a dinner and dance at the Posse Lodge.

South by Southwest, brought in by the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series, provided music for the dance.