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Feast your eyes on the County Fair and Rodeo

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By Kirsten Laskey

At first look, it may appear the fair and rodeo is all bull riding and roping cattle. Look a little closer and you will realize there is much more to feast the eyes on.

The festivities begin with a little pool. A pool tournament will be held at 8 a.m. Friday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

Additionally, the county fair exhibits will be displayed at 5 p.m. Friday at Mesa Public Library.

Paula Roybal-Sanchez, of the Los Alamos County Extension office, said 23 people have registered to show 76 items.

However, competitors can still submit entries from 3-7 p.m. today.  Categories include clothing, knitting, crochet, needle work, quilts, baked goods, preserved foods, hobbies, crafts, fine arts, photography and horticulture.

Members of 4-H will also compete.

Roybal-Sanchez said, “The county fair and rodeo has been a long time tradition across the country and in this community as well and the fair is only as good as the exhibits that it has and we encourage people to come and share their talents with the rest of the community.”

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Ashley Pond. The concert is part of the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series.

The fair and rodeo continues Saturday. The senior center will host a second pool tournament at 8 a.m. and the Art Center at Fuller Lodge will hold its arts and crafts fair from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on the lawn at Fuller Lodge. Vendors will also set up booths at Ashley Pond.

The fair and rodeo parade will take to Central Avenue at 10 a.m.

To celebrate Los Alamos County’s 60th Anniversary, the parade’s theme is “Reflections of the past, windows to the future.”

The grand marshals of the parade reflect this theme. Josh Dolin, a senior at Los Alamos High School, represents the windows of the future while Mary Jean Nilsson, a long-time  Los Alamos resident and a Living Treasure, represents the reflections of the past.

“I understand the theme for this year’s fair and rodeo is ‘reflections of the past, windows to the future.’ Los Alamos has been the place I called home since August 1945. I would say that certainly makes me part of the past,” Nilsson said.

“I share the honor of being Grand Marshal for the rodeo parade with Josh Dolin, one of our (great) promises for the future.”

Dolin said, “Los Alamos is one of the most important cities in our Nation's history. This weekend we will all remember the sacrifices, struggles and successes of the Manhattan Project pioneers.”

He continued, “This year's theme of the past and future not only celebrates our city's immense contributions to science, security and humanity it confidently declares our continued role in the promises of the future.”  

Being a grand marshall in this important parade is one of the biggest honors I have ever received,” Dolin said.

“While it both surprised and humbled me to think of myself as representing the future of a community like this one, I am honored to do so. I am very excited to be a part of the county’s planned events this year, and look forward to sharing this title with Mary Jean Nilsson, who has a very rich history with our community.  

“It is flattering to have received the title of Grand Marshall and I am very excited to immerse myself in Los Alamos’ significant history this weekend and begin to start the future.”

The 60th anniversary will be incorporated in other ways as well.

The Eight Northern Indian Pueblos will participate in exhibits, floats and performances. San Ildefonso tribal governors will also be a part of the parade.

At 11 a.m. Saturday at Ashley Pond, Julie Stewart and the TBA Band will perform rock and the blues. At 2 p.m. the music continues in the form of big band tunes, courtesy of the Los Alamos Big Band.

Rodeo queen Brittany Robbins and princess Katelyn Littleton will make their presentation at 2 p.m. at the Brewer Arena.

The event continues with mutton bustin’, calf roping, bull riding and open barrel racing.

A cowboy dinner will be served at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Posse Lodge. The menu includes 16 oz. T-bones and BBQ chicken.  Fiddlin’ Doc Gonzales and the Orange Blossom Express will provide music at 7 p.m. at the lodge.

The rodeo will continue at 1 p.m. Sunday at the arena.

For more information regarding the Fair & Rodeo schedule please contact the Los Alamos County Recreation Division at 662-8173 or visit www.losalamosnm.us/rec.  

Nilsson encourages everyone to attend and celebrate Los Alamos. “Join the ranks of being involved. This a great place to call home.”