The 95th annual Cochise County Fair ended Sunday.
While official attendance figures won’t be known for several days, preliminary numbers indicate attendance will be up.
Fair officials report Saturday’s numbers were up significantly up and the grandstands for the Cochise College rodeo that evening “were packed”.
This year’s fair was dedicated to Bruce and Joyce Tingle. The Willcox couple was honored Thursday at the ribbon cutting ceremony that kicked off the fair. Bruce and his wife have been involved in the small stock section of the fair for over 40-years.
“They started coming to the fair in 1976,” Denise Hoyos, president of the CCFA said in her welcoming remarks.
“One of the things that has been a highlight over the years is watching these kids,” Bruce told the audience Thursday. “We’ve seen two generations come completely through the 4-H organization, which starts at age 9 and goes all the way through to age 19. Watching the kids and the development of those kids through this organization has been a highlight for us.”
Tingle said he and his wife were recently at the Santa Cruz County fair where they reconnected with a 38-year-old 4-H leader and a mother of four, who was 9-years-old when they first met her at the Cochise County Fair.
“That’s the reward we get is watching these kids develop, become responsible adults, responsible parents and go on to become leaders in their respective communities,” he said. We keep coming back because of the kids and the friends that we’ve made. It’s been a great experience. We are honored to have this fair dedicated to us.”
J.D. Wallace of Arizona G&T Cooperatives presented a $2,000 check to the Cochise County Fair Association for “add-ons” at the small and large livestock auctions that took place Saturday.
One big change this year was the change in sale days of livestock sale from Sunday to Saturday.
This year, there were 67 small stock animals sold and 108 large stock. The numbers were about the same as in previous years. Sale numbers won’t be known for a while yet so its hard to say if the sale numbers will be up or down.
CCFA Treasurer Tom Hunt said he did see some new buyers this year. He added this year was the first year of a three-year block for the sale.
With the sale moving to Saturday, fair officials were attempting to find an event for Sunday. Muttin busting was brought back for a second straight year. This year’s event attracted an estimated 25 participants.
Last year’s winner Andre Peralta defended his title and won again this year. Leland Segovia of Safford came in second. Both winners were presented with belt buckles from the CCFA.
Hoyos said Sunday that all in all, she felt this year’s fair was another successful fair and it seemed everyone enjoyed themselves.
“This was a big year for us,” she said. “There were some major changes made. We’re learning as we go, we have some things to work on for next year.”
She thanked the many volunteers who worked to help the fair run smoothly.