Roamin' the Range for August, 2012

Hard to believe, but school starts this month, so let’s take some time to celebrate summer while we can.

Larimer County Fair at The Ranch
If it’s August, the Larimer County Fair and PRCA Rodeo must be ready to bust out of the chute. This year’s edition of the fair kicks off early with preliminary 4-H livestock judging July 20 through Aug. 2 and a parade in downtown Loveland on July 28. The Fair opens at The Ranch, I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard in Loveland, on Aug. 3 and continues through Aug. 7.

A complete daily schedule can be found at, but some of the highlights include the Toast to Agriculture Scholarship Dinner to benefit 4-H and Colorado State University students Friday night; the Gnarly Barley Brew Festival and Sweetheart Balloon Rally Saturday – CSU Day; free pancake breakfast on Sunday; professional rodeo Sunday through Tuesday; Splash Dogs competitions on Monday and Tuesday; and live music and the ever-popular carnival every day.

The new County Fair and PRCA Rodeo Lady-in-Waiting will be crowned on Tuesday during the final rodeo performance. She will join current Queen Savanah Martinez as reigning royalty through next year’s fair.

The 4-H Junior Livestock sale starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Ranch-Way Feeds Livestock Pavilion on Aug. 8.

Parking and admission free; tickets required for carnival, rodeo and brewfest.

Upper Poudre Canyon Craft Fair and Quilt Show at Fire Station No. 2
The annual Upper Poudre Canyon Craft Fair and Quilt Show will be held at Fire Station No. 2 and community center Aug. 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will feature many local crafters and their wood carvings, leather crafts, jewelry, glass work, handmade clothing, paintings and more, offered in many indoor booths.

The canyon quilters have created a new quilt named “Twilight on the Poudre Trail” for this year’s raffle. Raffle tickets will be sold at the show and can be purchased ahead at Bighorn Cabins, Archer’s Poudre River Resort or by calling 970-881-2465. Raffle tickets are $1 each, six for $5 and 13 for $10.

The Poudre Canyon Cookbook and the updated Poudre Canyon Directory will also be available for purchase, and the historic Eggers School House Museum will be open for tours during the craft fair.

There will be plenty of food available, including an all-day bake sale and food from the grill at lunchtime. The live music that was such a hit last year will once again be playing throughout the day.

The firehouse is located at mile marker 88.5 on Colorado 14. For more info, call 970-881-2465.

Field to Fork Dinner celebrates summer
Food, music, family fun, and land preservation are all on the menu at this year’s Legacy Land Trust Field to Fork Dinner and Summer Celebration Aug. 18, 4-8 p.m., near the Grant Family Farms in Wellington.

The event will feature a bounty of local produce, natural beef, pork and chicken, and the Grant Family Farms’ own organic vegetables. Chefs from around the community will prepare great local dishes, and you can enjoy desserts and cool drinks provided by local purveyors as well as fabulous bluegrass music by Capo Zero.

Grant Farms is a prime example of how Legacy Land Trust forms partnerships that keep agricultural and open lands in the hands of local owners through conservation agreements.

Tickets are $45 for non-members of the land trust, $40 for members and $10 for teens and free for kids 12 and under. There will be also be silent and live auctions, a kid’s funspace, socializing and celebrating.

Purchase tickets by Aug. 13 at 970-266-1711 or online at

Local Author Day at Jax
If you’ve finished that summer reading list or just need something new, stop by either one of the Fort Collins Jax Mercantile locations on Aug. 18 to meet local authors who will be signing and selling their books.

The writers and illustrators will be on hand at Jax Outdoor Gear at 1200 N. College Ave. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at Jax Ranch and Home at 1000 U.S. 287 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For a complete lineup of who will be where with what titles, go to or call 970-221-0544.

Farmer’s Union picnic at Meisner Farm
Aug. 25 is the day the Larimer County Farmers’ Union holds its annual picnic, and this year it will be at the Meisner Farm, north of Wellington. Gail Meisner serves as secretary/treasurer of the local chapter of the Farmers’ Union, which is dedicated to being the voice for family agriculture and rural communities.

In addition to the German-themed potluck that begins at 5 p.m., Jon Slutsky, owner of La Luna Dairy in Wellington, will conduct a tour of his operation for picnic-goers starting at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Meisner at 970-568-3105 or

Rist Canyon Festival and Art Auction in the mountain meadow
Among the many acres somehow spared by the High Park Fire is the meadow n Larimer County Road 52E where the annual Rist Canyon Mountain Festival and Richard Schmid Fine Art Auction takes place. So the event will go on as it has for the past 16 years, on the Sunday before Labor Day, Sept. 2.

This year the need for funds for the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department is particularly great in the wake of the fire. Schmid and many of the artists have agreed to donate 100 percent of the sales of their juried work to RCVFD, so everyone is encouraged to bid generously and often. Preview opens at 10 a.m., bidding begins at 1 p.m.

You don’t even have to be present to bid – information how to bid online and by phone can be found at — but if you don’t make it up the canyon, you will miss out on all the other fun and festivities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be a huge used book sale, old-fashioned bake sale, mountain craft market, silent auction,
vintage car show and fire trucks on display, pony rides, clowns and balloons 
for the kids, great food, free ice cream, music and entertainment. Free parking, free admission.

And yes, you can ride your bike to the festival.

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