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County Fair, parade enlivens Central Avenue--Photo Extras

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By Ada Ciuca

This past weekend, the 2013 Los Alamos County Fair and Rodeo served as an excuse for people to take a relaxing, fun-filled promenade down Central Avenue. The fair, which featured exhibits, arts and crafts, a concert, a parade and, of course, rodeo, brought together crowds of all ages, from little children, to post-grad interns, seniors and everyone in between.

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This year’s theme was “100+ Years of Homesteading,” honoring those that set foot on Los Alamos soil before the lab era. The fair officially began on Friday, with a pool tournament at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Exhibits at the Mesa Public Library were also open that day. The summer concert series featured James Hyland and Joint Chiefs, who put on a mellow show for the County Fair-goers.

The Saturday morning parade drew big crowds. While people-watching, one could observe every age group present at the event. The parade itself featured local businesses in a fun, carefree environment, which included a giant squirrel and vintage cars. Each participant tried to spice up his or her own march by adding twirls, dances, or just good ol’ large smiles across their faces. The parade was organized by the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce.

Ashley Pond, Fuller Lodge, and Mesa Public Library all opened their doors to local vendors, craftsmen, and others with wares for sale. The fair, which took place at Ashley Pond, was a chance for people to raise awareness about Los Alamos County, voter registration and pet adoption, among others. The Jemez Valley Animal Amigos set up a dog adoption station, as well as a dog-kissing booth. Their efforts found two of the four dogs that were brought to the event a new home on Saturday. “We have been there for several years now and find the venue wonderful and one of the nicest we have ever been to, so we will be back for sure,” Lynne Kito, the Operations Manager of Jemez Valley Animal Amigos, said of the fair venue.

Arts and Crafts vendors came from places such as Santa Fe and Ruidoso, bringing handcrafted jewelry, garden ornaments, and of course, witty T-shirts with messages like “Be rational! Get real!” posted next to irrational and imaginary numbers.

Lastly, the exhibits at Mesa Public Library featured award-winning entries from every age category and hobby.

Quilts were intricately patterned and hung in the upstairs library area. Other showstoppers included Lion King and Polar Express art from high school student Emily Pittman and photography by teen Derek Selvage. Some entries received a “Best of the Best” award, gaining ‘priority seating’ during exhibit visits.