Top 10: Reasons to visit the Colorado State Fair

August 22, 2014 Updated: August 24, 2014 at 9:19 am
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Shalanie Jaramillo, left, and her mother, Josie Jaramillo, clean the Jescie's Funnel Cakes booth at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo., Tuesday night, earlier Wednesday, Sept. 1-2, 2009. The Jaramillos take vacation every year to work at the fair. (Christian Murdock, The Gazette)

Half a million people will head to the 142nd Colorado State Fair in Pueblo this year, according to the fair's media guide.

Starting Friday, they'll wander across nearly 100 acres and through 60 permanent structures and attractions.

They'll explore exhibits by 4-H and Future Farmers of America organizations. They'll eat meatball sandwiches, roasted corn and deep-fried Twinkies. They'll fling their bodies through space on more than 45 carnival rides and stick around to hear favorite bands late into the night.

Here are a few new things to do this year, plus some that are tried and true:


NEW: Olate Dogs - The Olate family has a caboodle of poodle-mix dogs, most rescues from shelters, that are trained to do all manner of tricks. They won "America's Got Talent" in 2012. They'll perform at 3, 5 and 8 p.m. daily, except Saturdays and the last Sunday. Showtimes for those days are 6 and 8 p.m. There is also a 10 a.m. show Wednesday; Coke Stage.

NEW: "The Strongman" John Beatty - John Beatty was a finalist on "America's Got Talent" in 2010, and viewers will see why when he pulls trucks, flips cars, bends bars, tears phone books and drives nails with his bare hands. Shows are daily at 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m.; outside Palace of Agriculture.

Ejection Seat carnival ride - The Ejection Seat could be the scariest ride at the fair. It uses elastic cords to throw people up to 100 feet in the air.

Red velvet funnel cake - Hoopingarner Concessions will once again provide a new twist on an old classic. Behold the white icing drizzled on top; Main Street.

Art car - Titled "The Good Old Days," this sport utility vehicle is covered with thousands of ceramic tiles and turned into a work of art. It was created by AArela Webster from Boncarbo; Creative Arts Building.

NEW: Rabbit hopping contest - Bring out the bunny lovers. Rabbits will navigate an obstacle course and be judged on speed and hopping ability, 6 p.m. Saturday, on the grassy area by the Beulah Avenue entrance gate.

Foam Fest Microbrew Tasting - Take a tasting tour of more than 40 beers from more than 20 Colorado craft breweries, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Special Events Tent, $30.

Draft horse and mule challenge - Teams of draft horses and mules will compete in races and obstacle courses, including Farm Team Obstacle Class and Team Log Skid Class, 4 p.m. Aug. 29, Horse Show Arena.

Fiesta Day Parade - This year's parade is themed "Ensena la Cultura," or "teach the culture." The traditional mariachi mass begins at 8 a.m. Aug. 31 in Minnequa Park, 1008 Minnequa Ave., and the parade is at 10 a.m. on East Abriendo Avenue. It travels along Northern Avenue and ends on Sprague Avenue.

Goat fun dressing contest - Let's face it: Goats are trending everywhere, including the fair. Young 4-H and Future Farmers of America competitors dress up themselves and their goats and hope for the best, 7 p.m. Aug. 31; Sheep and Swine Building.

Colorado Floyd Concert - Pink Floyd tribute band, 7 p.m. Friday, Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake, $10-$14; 481-0475,

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