BOULDER – The Jefferson County Fair is expected to draw about a thousand attendees to Boulder over the weekend. The number may sound tiny compared to the likes of the Montana Fair in Billings which drew in some 219,000 visitors. But county organizers say these fairs – big or small – have an equal purpose in driving the local economy and bringing people together.
According to Jefferson County Fairboard Chair Terry Minow, the event is entering its 35th year and will have all the staples of a local fair including animals, exhibits, live music, rodeos and more. But you won’t be seeing Kelly Clarkson or the huge crowds like some Montana fairs. It’s a difference Minow and other organizers embrace.
“It does have a different feel. It’s more down home,” Minow said. “People really enjoy sitting down and visiting with their neighbors. A lot of kids come home every year who graduated from high school here.”
Rusty Giulio, Boulder’s mayor and a local business owner, agrees.
“It’s kind of a hometown event and just for Boulder and the size of it it’s probably one of the better set up. I think it’s second to none for the size of the community,” Guilio said.
The fair also provides a significant economic boost that pushes beyond the gates of the fairgrounds.
“Financially it’s a big deal for all the businesses in the Boulder and the community,” Giulio said.
Jefferson County estimates it could generate up to 100,000 dollars from the fair. For a county of around 11,000, that’s significant. It’s the county’s biggest summer event.
“The fair is probably the key component to the summer. Using the resources here. Staying at the hotels. Eating at the restaurants and just frequenting the businesses all weekend long. So it’s great not just for Boulder but for the whole county,” Cory Kirsch, a Jefferson County Commissioner, said.
Minow says the fair is a chance for people from all over the country to hang out with their friends and that the fair is “basically a reunion for people.”
The Jefferson County Fair goes through Sunday. You can find the full schedule of events by click here.