County fair offers food, fun and festivities

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By Jennifer Garcia

Ashley Pond was the place to be on Saturday for food, fun and entertainment. There was a little something for everyone at the pond, as Los Alamos County residents came out in droves to take part in the festivities associated with the Los Alamos County Festival, Fair and Rodeo.


Crowds in search of their favorites such as Haagen Dazs and kettle corn crowded around vendor booths in search of their food fix.


Children enjoyed some play time in the bouncy pits, while their parents stood by chatting. Music by Julie Stewart and the TBA Band blared out from the bandstand near the Judicial/Police/Jail Complex site.


In addition to art and food, information booths were also set up. The Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club observed Responsible Dog Ownership Day at Ashley Pond, in conjunction with the Los Alamos County Festival, Fair and Rodeo. In addition to Meet the Breeds with LADOC, which was held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there were also several demonstrations including rally obedience, agility, obedience and conformation.


Judy Briesmeister from Friends of the Shelter manned a booth right next to the LADOC booth. She said the Friends had set up the booth for information and publicity. “We’re also giving shelter dogs a chance to meet people and give them visibility,” she commented.


Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico as well as Dance Arts Los Alamos, and the Los Alamos County Council all had informational booths set up.


County Councilors Nona Bowman, Robert Gibson, Ralph Phelps and Sharon Stover were all on hand to answer questions regarding various county projects. Phelps said they have received a lot of positive comments, but there is no definitive trend in the comments. Comment boxes were set up under the tent so that the public could write down their thoughts on the Trinity Place project.


Both the Democratic and Republican parties had booths set up, as well. County Assessor, Republican Party Member JoAnn Johnson was at her party’s booth answering questions and helping people register to vote. “People are stopping by to talk and ask how they can get involved,” Johnson said.


Meanwhile, Democratic Party Chair Cathy Chapman handed out literature on Diane Denish at her booth. She also talked to those who stopped by and helped them register to vote, as well.


Art lovers could also find a little slice of heaven in front of Fuller Lodge. The Art Center at Fuller Lodge hosted its 32nd annual Arts and Crafts Fair, which ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Vendors from all over the state and even some from out of state displayed their wares to curious onlookers. Everything from wine stoppers, paintings, pottery, handmade jewelry and woodcarving could be purchased.


Deb Schmidt from Rocky Ford, Colo., had a booth set up, from which she sold handmade blankets and potholder/towel combinations. “It’s been a good crowd. Mother Nature’s been cooperative so far,” she said of the turnout and weather. Schmidt said she’s been selling her handiwork at the Arts Fair for the past 20 years.


Mark and Laura Doth of Alamogordo, are also fixtures at the Arts Fair. The Doths sell Heart of the Desert Pistachios and have been attending the event for 25 years. “We’re the largest and oldest pistachio growers in the state,” Mark said. The Doths said they sell their products at about 10 shows a year, but said Los Alamos is one of their favorite venues. “We have a loyal clientele,” Laura said.


In addition to all the vendors, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Womens’ Auxiliary offered the opportunity to win a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle. The 1200 Custom Sportster had only 18 miles on it. Raffle tickets were sold for $50 each, or three for $125. The winner will be chosen on Sept. 3 at the VFW in Los Alamos. “All the proceeds will go to the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” Womens’ Auxiliary Member Angelica Valenzuela said.


Festivities continued through Sunday with the rodeo, held at 1 p.m. at Brewer Arena on North Mesa.