An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

The Gauntlet

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Sandoval County Fair and Rodeo

Elizabeth Johnson
Chairman, Sandoval County Commission

To experience a fun, old-fashioned idea that just keeps getting better, attend this year’s Sandoval Country Fair and Rodeo. You won’t go away disappointed and you might even win a prize or two.

Attending the four-day event during the first weekend of August also provides the opportunity to see what can be achieved by a small group of volunteers who have dedicated decades of hard work and time for the youth of Sandoval County.

This year’s event is being held Thursday through Sunday, August 1-4, and promises to be the best in the fair’s twenty-six-year history. The rodeo and festivities will be held at the Sandoval County Fairgrounds just south of the cool, mountainous community of Cuba. With the recent completion of US 550 as one of the most modern highways in our nation, the fairgrounds are easily accessible from anywhere in Sandoval County.

The county fair offers attractions and happenings for the entire family to enjoy. In addition, it showcases the rich diversity and heritage that make Sandoval County unique in New Mexico and in our nation.

Events include an old-fashioned country rodeo, a junior rodeo and gymkhana, as well as chuck-wagon cooking and quilt competitions, a calf scramble, crafts fair, and dance. Still other attractions include a highly popular 4-H livestock auction where bidders can buy from anything from chickens to steers, a battle-of-the-bands concert, and the Saturday-morning parade. Sandoval County residents will exhibit baked goods, arts and crafts, and horses and livestock.

Cuba resident Chelsi Kannon will be crowned Queen of the County Fair and Rodeo during the festivities on Sunday. Seventeen-year-old Chelsi succeeds current Fair Queen Carla Clifton of Corrales. Tierra Pascoe, fourteen, of Cuba, has been selected as this year’s County Fair Princess, and Baylee Easley, eleven, of Rio Rancho, has been named Fair Sweetheart for the second consecutive year.

Also being held this year is a “Crafts for All Seasons” outdoor arts-and-crafts show. The event, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, will feature displays and goods for sale by some of the finest artists and craftsmen from around the Southwest.

Two new fair events—a chuck wagon cooking contest and a favorite-quilt contest—promise to be highly popular attractions for participants and spectators of all ages.

The chuck wagon contest will offer a range of foods for fair-goers as well as stiff competition for the county’s best campfire chefs. In addition to judged events, chuck wagon cooks will offer dinner to the public on Saturday evening and then serve up Sunday breakfast the following morning. Bring the family and a healthy appetite, as the offerings promise to be both plentiful and pleasing.

Bring your favorite quilt to the fair on Saturday morning too, and you may just leave with one of several cash prizes. You don’t have to be the maker of the quilt to enter the separate competitions for hand quilting, long-arm machine quilting, regular machine quilting, and tie quilting.

The Sandoval County Fair dates back twenty-six years to a brainstorm by kids who wanted to get folks together and see what other people were producing. That idea eventually became the Rio Puerco Basin Fair, as it was first called, and has evolved into the highly popular county fair and rodeo that residents now enjoy.

The fair requires a tremendous amount of time and labor of committed members of our communities, all of whom deserve a large round of applause from residents across Sandoval County.

Questions or comments for Commissioner Johnson can be mailed to her in care of Sandoval County Administrative Offices, P.O. Box 40, Bernalillo, 87004.


High Desert Farmers’ Market opens at El Zócalo

The High Desert Farmers’ Market opening ceremony took place on July 12. The festivities included a ribbon-cutting and a performance of old-time music by Las Huertas Jam. El Zócalo owner Terry Lamm has again generously donated the space on the grounds for the popular event this year.

From 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. every Friday through October 25, patrons of locally produced farm-fresh produce, fruits, herbs, honey, posole, baked goods, goat cheese and yogurt, garden sculpture, and crafts can enjoy the friendly hometown atmosphere at the market. The organizers of the event encourage the public to support local farmers during this difficult drought year.

In addition to music, weekly special events will include wine tasting, book signings, and craft and food demonstrations. For market information concerning buying, selling, or special events, contact the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service Office at 867-2582.


Display highlights Sandoval County of yesteryear

The photograph and artifact collection of the Historical Society is a treasury of the culture and history of Sandoval County. To wander through the collection is a trip the families, farms, schools, and businesses of the “old days.” Lovingly assembled over many years, the changing display is now available for visits by the public each Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the new, spacious facility at the DeLavy house on Edmonds Road just west of the Coronado Monument. Your summer visitors will enjoy seeing old Sandoval County in photographs, artifacts, and paintings. Docents will be on hand to answer questions.

The museum is open to the public. There is no admission charge. Tours at times other than those listed can be arranged by calling Martha Liebert, 867-2755.


Chautauqua stars Pueblo leader Popé

On August 11 at 3:00 p.m., Popé, the Pueblo leader and medicine man of San Juan Pueblo who is credited with leading the Pueblo Rebellion of 1680, will be represented in a chautauqua by Clarence Cruz, a Native American from San Juan Pueblo who is an instructor of pottery at the University of New Mexico. Cruz also teaches pottery for the senior citizens of San Juan Pueblo and at Escuela Del Sol Montessori School.

The performance recognizes the anniversary of the Pueblo Rebellion, when Popé, realizing the necessity for action if the pueblos were to survive, brought the leaders of the different pueblos together in council until they came to a consensus in order to preserve their government, religion, and way of life. Cruz will draw on oral histories of the pueblos and will present the background leading up to the uprising.

This performance is sponsored by the Sandoval County Historical Society and will be held in the society’s museum, immediately west of the Phillips 66 gas station on Highway 550, west of the Coronado Monument. Look for the Sandoval County Historical Society sign.

For further information, please call Martha Liebert at 867-2755.


Coronado Monument hosts Indian, Spanish celebrations

A good crowd turned out for the Fourth Annual Indian Market Festival at Coronado State Monument. Entertainment throughout the day included the Oak Canyon Children Dancers from Jemez Pueblo.

On August 17, Coronado Monument will host Spanish Heritage Day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with Spanish dancers, blacksmith demonstrations, music, and food. The Bernalillo Matachines will perform and the Sandoval County Historical Society will present a reenactment of individuals of the sixteenth century.

The Coronado State Monument is at 485 Kuana Road, one mile west of Exit 242 on Highway 550, next door to Jackalope. Admission is $3 for adults; children sixteen and under are admitted free.





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