Curry County residents will celebrate the county's 92nd annual fair from next week and organizers are expecting increased attendance.
Kevin Jolley, Curry County Events Center and Fairgrounds general manager, said last year's attendance was about 35,000. The year before had 30,000 attendees, he said.
He said entertainment activities such as concerts and arena cross racing have drawn people from West Texas and New Mexico.
"I think we have seen growth in the last few years," Jolley said. "One of our goals is to keep growing."
For first time attendees, here's a quick fair guide:
The fair officially starts on Tuesday. Jolley said there is enough parking at the fairgrounds and the adjacent Curry County events center to accommodate fair-goers.
Buildings open at 4 p.m. and carnival rides begin at 5 p.m. However, some activities such as livestock shows start between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Security responsibilities are shared by the Curry County Sheriff's Office and the Clovis Police Department, he said. Clovis police will patrol the carnival area while the sheriff's office will handle the rest of the fair grounds.
Carnival wristbands, which give fair-goers an all access pass to carnival rides, cost $30. But discounts are available during the first three days of the fair, Jolley said.
A donation of two canned food items on Tuesday gives fairgoers $5 off the wristbands. Wednesday is dollar ride night. On Thursday fairgoers can buy four wristbands for $60 with a coupon from the Thrifty Nickel.
Jolley said this year's carnival offers more rides than previous years.
Two new shows will be performing at the midway area as part of the fair's nightly entertainment lineup, according to Jolley. And returning as part of the fair's nightly entertainment is Robert Smith's street magic act, he said.
The Ham Bone Express pig races and the Kids Celebration family show will have three performances a night. Smith will be performing at various locations at the fair grounds.
"Where there's a crowd of people, he starts (his show)," he said.
Chance of rain
Fair attendees on Aug. 17 may want to bring their galoshes and umbrellas as a 30 percent chance of rain is predicted by the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
The summer monsoon season typically starts in August, according to National Weather Service senior forecaster Tim Shy.
Previous fairs have seen attendance slowed because of rain.
Jolley said the major concern for bad weather is lightning.
"As long as there's no lightning we'll keep running," said Jolley who added that closure also depends on the severity of rainfall.
Fairground buildings also offer fans and air-conditioning for hot days, Jolley said. Benches under shades are also available.
"We try to keep them as cool as we can," he said.
The fair will have 22 food vendors with menus that range from typical fair food such as turkey legs, candied apples and funnel cakes to more exotic fares such as gyros, pork kebobs and calf fries.
Jolley said two new contests were added to this year's fair: The scarecrow decorating contest and the cupcake decorating contests.
Prizes for the contests total about $3,100.
Except for the turtle races, deadline for entry these contests are on the day of the contests.
For information on each contest contact 935-7000.
The schedules are:
- Scarecrow decorating contest — Deadline for entry: 5 p.m.
- Cookie jar decorating contest — 6:30 p.m. Home Arts building. Deadline for entry Noon.
- Talent contest — 7 p.m. at Food Court Dance Area. Deadline for entry: 5 p.m.
- Pie Baking contest — 6:30 p.m. at the Fair office. Deadline for entry: Noon
- Cupcake decorating contest — 7 p.m. at the Fair office. Deadline for entry: 5 p.m.
- Little Buckaroo Rodeo — 6:30 p.m. at the Grass Show Ring. Deadline for entry: 5 p.m.
- Salsa making contest — 6:30 p.m. at the Food Court Dance Area. Deadline for entry: Noon.
- Youth pet show — 7 p.m. at the Grass Show Ring. Deadline for entry: 6:30 p.m.
- Great American Turtle Race — 9 a.m. Kevin Robert Arena. Registration is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 15 to Aug. 17 at 600 N. Main
Fair attendance typically swells up on Thursday and Saturday, Jolley said. That's because that is when concerts are scheduled.
Thursday's musical performances include the Los TexManiacs at 8 p.m. and Rick Trevino at 9 p.m. Saturday's performances include the Dirty River Boys at 8 p.m. and Aaron Watson at 9 p.m.
What: Curry County Fair
When: Aug. 14 to Aug. 18
Where: Curry County Fairgrounds
Admission: $6 adults, $5 senior citizens (55 years old and older), $3 children (4 years old to 12 years old). Free admission for children 3 years old and younger.