COLFAX — Hundreds from throughout the county and beyond gathered at the Jasper County Fairgrounds Saturday afternoon and evening for the county fair’s third annual Roundup and Rodeo.
Smiling children enjoyed mechanical bull riding, face painting and a bounce house. Attendees participated in Oreo stacking and watched the Barnyard Baby contests, which are similar to the Jasper County Fair Queen contest but for the youngest aspiring kings and queens.
The main event was the rodeo presented by Duckworth Rodeo Company of Knoxville. The bleachers surrounding the horse arena at the fairgrounds were nearly full, as cowboys and cowgirls from across the country wowed a Jasper County audience.
Broncos bucked and riders tried to hang on. Horses kicked dirt into the first few rows of the crowd. The rodeo women competed in barrel racing, and fun little games were thrown in between.
The Roundup is in its third year and second straight year with the rodeo. The first year’s main event was a dance, which county fair volunteer and former board member Rhonda Guy said went so-so.
“Last year they decided to get the rodeo into it, and it took off,” Guy said. “It went gangbusters. It’s a perfect theme for us.”
The idea for the Roundup came from the Iowa State Fair’s Corndog Kickoff, which is held about a month before the state fair. Jasper County was looking for a way to advertise the fair and get people on the fairgrounds, Guy said.
“What we want to do tonight is capture the flavor of the fair and get people excited about the fact that starting July 14, we’re going to do it all again,” Guy said.
Before the rodeo got underway, the newly-crowned Jasper County Fair Queen and Princess were introduced to the audience and circled the horse arena. In the back of a pickup truck sponsored by Lauterbach Buick GMC and driven by Jasper County Supervisor Doug Cupples, Queen Jaclyn Michener and Princess Codi Holdeman waved to a cheering audience.
The Barnyard Baby contests were held before the evening activities. Young children were dressed up in their fanciest attire and received prince and princess awards. Newton Development Specialist Craig Armstrong emceed the contest, as well as the Jasper County Fair Queen contest.
Several past years’ Jasper County Fair Queens were in attendance, including the 2016 Queen, Emily Miller, and Princess Rachel Freland.
There weren’t many empty chairs in the 4-H building at the fairgrounds for the contests. Family and friends applauded all the participants, and a few tears were shed.
Contact Justin Jagler at 641-792-3121 ext 6532 or email@example.com