The Klickitat County Fair Board, under the leadership of President Ron Ihrig, takes entertainment seriously.
Board members have worked hard to ensure there is something to appeal to everyone at the 61st fair. The Klickitat County Fair runs Aug. 19 through 22 in Goldendale, and will feature decorations around the fair that will echo the theme of Rodeo Chutes and Cowboy Boots.
Queen Rachelle Dumolt, 17, will be reigning over this year's fair and rodeo activities. Some of Rachelle's royal responsibilities will include presenting awards; greeting exhibitors and visitors; assisting with the tryouts for the 2005 Klickitat County Fair Queen hopefuls; and hosting visiting royalty during the parade and rodeo. Miss Dumolt has enjoyed promoting the Klickitat County Fair and Rodeo at parades, rodeos, and other events throughout 2004.
Life-long Klickitat County resident, Calvin Linden, will serve as Grand Marshall for 2004. Linden was active on the Klickitat County fair board having served as president, vice president, and on the racing committee. Linden is the third of four generations who have ranched in Klickitat County. He and his wife, Eleanor, are currently enjoying retirement on the family ranch -- Triple L Farms. He will lead the parade as it winds through downtown Goldendale on Saturday morning. The rest of the week Cal will command a birds-eye-view of the fair and rodeo activities from the Grand Marshall's box in the grandstands.
The horse show runs Wednesday through Friday, and includes showmanship, halter, equitation, trail, lead-line, costume, pleasure, working pairs, working ranch horse, driving, and mini horse classes. Horse show class champions will be acknowledged in The Parade of Champions before Saturday's rodeo performance. Additional equine-related contests are western games, the Larry Knagg's Memorial ranch sorting; the Jack Davenport Memorial county team penning and branding; as well as team roping. Finals for the team roping will follow the roping Saturday morning, while the branding, penning and sorting finals will be that evening.
In Klickitat County, there is not only auction livestock -- but the contestants who compete in penning and branding too. The cowboy auction (calcutta) generates some good-natured bidding wars; and creates a jackpot -- with payoffs going to the buyers of the winning branding and penning teams.
A big part of the fair is the 4-H, FFA and open livestock market and showmanship classes.
Exhibitors will strive to make their goats, lambs, swine, and steers look perfect; as they vie for coveted "Grand Champion" and "Reserve Champion" honors. Top showmen and women of beef and dairy cattle, dairy and meat goats, sheep, swine, and horses will compete to win the 2004 Round Robin Championship. 4-H and FFA exhibitors' hard work will pay off Saturday following the rodeo as their market animals go to the highest bidder. The Livestock Parade features exhibitors, and their stock, in the arena before Sunday's rodeo performance.
Canine lovers have the opportunity to show off man's best friend in a bench show, agility and obedience classes. Rabbit, poultry, and egg categories round out the smaller livestock exhibits.
Musicians, belly dancers, a hypnotist, and dancers will provide entertainment on the Reno's Stage throughout the fair. Buck Smith, The Brian Hanson Band, Cahoots, and The Rock Creek Band will be playing music for your listening and dancing enjoyment to conclude each days' entertainment.
Hungry? There are plenty of food vendors on the grounds, and remember the popular County Products Kick-Off Barbecue on Thursday. Klickitat County producers grew almost all of the menu items served at the barbecue, and many donated their products! The FFA puts on a great BBQ Saturday after the market sale too.
The Northwest Professional Rodeo Association-sanctioned rodeo will kick off at 12:30 Saturday and 1 Sunday. Rodeo announcer, Scott Allen of Klamath Falls, will be calling the rodeo action on horseback; and B Bar D Rodeos will be providing first-class bucking stock. Top Northwest cowboys and cowgirls will compete for jackpot money, and special awards such as the Bill Harris, and Bill Conboy Memorial Awards. The Bickleton Pioneer Rodeo, the Ketchum Kalf Rodeo, and the Klickitat County Fair and Rodeo also sponsor a coveted county saddle. The Klickitat County resident who wins the most money at the three-sponsoring rodeos will win the saddle. During Sunday's performance, Queen Rachelle will introduce the 2005 Klickitat County Fair and Rodeo Queen.
Still life displays for both open and 4-H exhibitors offer examples of the best efforts of many talented county residents. Exhibit categories include food preservation, baking, flowers, garden products, sewing, quilting, crafts and hobbies, fiber and fine arts, ceramics, photography, Hay and Grain King contests, as well as a fleece show.
Special attractions during the fair include free rides on the "GIANT" patriotic monster truck, American Thunder; and the tractor-pulled kiddy train that will help keep those busy youngsters occupied. For adults who need rides, Ogden's Mopar Limo Service will be offering free local transportation daily during the fair from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For a ride in the 1947-1949 vintage autos, call 773-4179. The carnival in the downtown area will entertain ride and game enthusiasts as well.
Admission to this year's fair is $6 per day for adults ($5 seniors, and $4 children 6-12). Season passes are available.