Rain hampers fair turnout

Fair workers drive through one of the many deep mud puddles Tuesday at the Curry County Fair.

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

Rainy weather is dampening attendance at the Curry County Fair.

Fair manager Justin Gee reported approximately 300 people attended the annual event on Monday. In 2005, fair officials reported an average of 5,000 attendees daily.

“Attendance wasn’t too great,” Gee said, “but it was better than I expected.”

The fair manager said attendance does not include the individuals showing livestock in the fair.

Clovis has received a total of 2.59 inches of rainfall since Aug. 1, according to Dave Scheibe, hydrometeorologist technician with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. Scheibe said 1.59 inches of rain was recorded Monday in Clovis.

He said the amount of rainfall is typical for this time of year.

“We are in the monsoon season,” he said. “New Mexico’s wet season begins in July and continues through the first week of September.”

Because of the inclement weather, Monday’s CGRA Barrel Race was moved to Muleshoe, and Tuesday’s Open Horse Show was canceled.

Curry County Manager Dick Smith said canceling events because of weather won’t be an issue once the Special Events Center is completed. Ground was broken on the long-awaited covered events center in April, and construction is expected to take a year once bids are opened in the next few weeks.

Although thunderstorms have permeated the area since the gates opened at the fair, Smith said the fairgrounds are in “pretty good shape.”
The midway area is dry and the barns are cleaned daily, he said.

Smith said county officials are discussing ways to make the fair “all weather.” Plans include constructing covered pavilions for the food court and building a better drainage system.

“The rain just seems to follow us,” Smith said, “but we’ll (Curry County Fair) manage.”