FAIR ENOUGH: Annual ArapCo Fair promises 4 days of Old West and New Colorado


AURORA | Get your cow and Out West on, it’s time for the Arapahoe County Fair.

The annual Arapahoe County fair is continuing the storied tradition of the Western county fair this weekend, July 24-27 at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 E. Quincy Ave. Replete with rodeo, endless carnival rides and food that makes kids smile and nutritionists cringe, a little bit of everything can be found at this regional custom that has been going strong for over a century.

The fair has bounced around various locations in Arapahoe County since it began in 1906, and it just recently found a home at the 240-acre Fairgrounds in Eastern Aurora. Now celebrating its sixth year at that location, the festival stands as the area’s annual reminder of the region’s agrarian beginnings.

“The fair is a celebration of what the county used to be in terms of its rich agricultural community and history,” said Amanda Slates, Spokeswoman for the Arapahoe County Department of Open Space.

But don’t be fooled — just because it’s steeped in history doesn’t mean that the fair is behind the times in terms of entertainment. The event boasts more than 60 retail and informational vendors, 11 live musical acts and several food vendors serving up an assortment of fares, from traditional barbecue to German specialties. 

In addition to the perennial standards of food, rides, rodeo and livestock competitions, organizers have added some new activities to the agenda for 2014. For the first time, there will be a craft brewfest Friday evening, where for an additional $10, patrons will have access to unlimited, four-ounce samples from 10 craft breweries, all from Arapahoe County. The event, slated from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will culminate with a vote for the best craft brew of the fair.

Also new this year is the dock dogs competition, which will showcase local dogs leaping off of a 40-foot dock into a pool for both height and distance.

Although organizers have added these new activities to this year’s line-up, the fair is running one day less than it did in 2013.

“We started things off on Wednesday instead of Thursday last year and it just seemed like it was too hard for folks to make it out during the week,” Slates said.

Despite the condensed schedule, organizers wanted to add new events like the brewfest to add depth to the fair’s adult-centered activities, according to Slates.

“We really want the fair to be well-rounded and have something to offer everyone,” she said.

While these new events add more variety for older fair-goers, the exhibition really is and has always been a place for youngsters to have fun and experience quintessential Colorado culture.

Events like Mutton Bustin’, where children under 50 pounds try to hold onto a sheep as it runs around a rodeo arena for eight seconds, and livestock competitions for kids in the 4-H program have become the staples of the fair, according to Slates.

“A great part about the fair is that it’s a place that brings the 4H community and the general public together,” she said. “People who may not know much about the program can see the great things these kids are doing.”

The demolition derby, set for 7 p.m. Sunday, has also become a favorite that parents and kids can enjoy together, Slates added. Similar to the brewfest, viewers will vote for their craziest driver at the end of the derby.

Attendance topped 20,000 over the five days of last year’s fair, with a similar number of fairgoers and over 150 volunteers expected this year.


July 24: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. 

July 25 & July 26: 11 p.m. – Midnight

July 27: 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. 


Tickets are $15 each at the gate and include unlimited amusement rides. Children under 36-inches tall are free. Parking is $5 per vehicle.

Tickets to the brewfest on Friday night may be purchased for an additional $10. 21+ only.

Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 E. Quincy Ave.