BELEN — The Valencia County Fair is celebrating its 90th anniversary in style. Along with all the delicious food, livestock and, of course, the mullet shaking contest, this year there will be circus performers showing off their skills.
The Adventure Family Circus is a family of circus performers who put on family-friendly shows around the country. Among their various circus skills, the show’s acts consist of aerial stunts, acrobatics and trampolines.
“We just try to put on the best fair we can for the people and, hopefully, [the fair has] something for everybody,” says Danny Goodson, Valencia County Fair board member.
The fair runs Sunday, Aug. 20, through Sunday, Aug. 27, and takes place at the Valencia County Fairgrounds on the I-25 Bypass in Belen.
As always, the fair will have something for just about everybody — acrobatics, jump houses, games and contests. There’s even opportunities to get your two-step on at the dances on Friday and Saturday.
Check out the livestock shows during the week and bid on the animals on Saturday, Aug. 26, at the livestock auction. The 4-H members and FFA students will be showing their animals in hopes to make it to the New Mexico State Fair, which runs Sept. 7-17.
Starting at 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 24, other festivities kick off with a tropical-themed costume contest, followed by a family potluck supper, volleyball and tug-o-war games.
The fun on Friday includes a mullet-shaking contest at 5 p.m., a cornhole tournament at 7 p.m. and a Parade of Champions of livestock at 7 p.m. in the sheriff’s posse arena.
At 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 26, the Valencia County Fair Parade, hosted by the Greater Valencia County Chamber of Commerce, kicks off. The theme of the parade this year is, “Celebrating the Old West: Railroad, Horse and Buggy Days.” The parade route begins at the Belen Business Center, 715 S. Main St. and heads north to the Circle K on Aragon Road.
Also on Saturday, the fair celebrates Veteran’s Day with live performances, dancing, circus acts, games and contests all day.
The Dance in Motion Academy in Belen, the Jojo hoop dancers, a youth performance by the Dance with Me Dance Studio in Los Lunas and Boardwalk Gymnastics will all be performing.
The Adventure Family Circus performers will have three performances in the afternoon to dazzle and delight the fairgoers.
There will be plenty of entertainment for the kiddos, too. Besides the jump houses, there will be a few types of races — stick horse, frog and turtle and fruit races.
One of the most delicious contests around is the chile contest. If people want to enter their secret recipe into the contest, be sure to get there by noon to sign up.
The Valencia County Fair dances are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. DJ Hot Shot Express will provide music, and admission will be $5.
The last Sunday at the fair is Senior Day, and it will have plenty of fun for the whole family.
Make sure to check out the Valencia County Senior Olympics Steppin’ Line Dance team. They will be showing off their moves at 11 a.m.
Do not miss out on the tournaments on the last day either. The senior cornhole tournament is at 11 a.m., and horseshoes start at noon.
If you think you have the top horseshoe pitching skills in the county, make sure to sign up at 11 a.m. for the tournament.
This will be the second year the fair is scheduled for the end of August instead of the first week of the month.
Jesse Jones lives in Albuquerque with his wife and son. Jesse graduated from of the University of New Mexico twice. This spring, he graduated with a degree in multimedia journalism and, in 2006, he received a bachelor’s degree in university studies with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a current fellow of the New Mexico Local News Fund.