Celebrating community, neighbors at Bosque Farms Fair

........................................................................................................................................................................................

The air was thick with excitement and dust as the sun started sinking over the Bosque Farms Rodeo Association Grounds. Nearly 100 spectators packed the bleachers and crowded around on foot.

Taking an early lead in the stick horse race was Sterling Salter, left, 4, of Bosque Farms.

From toddlers to octogenarians, they were all there to see one thing — the toad races.

Tradition was raucously and proudly held to Friday evening, as the Bosque Farms Fair got under way for the 73rd time.

Six toads huddled under a bucket. Some were beefy bull frogs and others were wee petite things, barely bigger than a 6-year-old’s palm.

But after a dot of paint was dabbed on their backs, the cheering crowd had them jumping into action.

The first two toads to touch the black plastic ring were declared winners and advanced on to the next heat. A golden toad was awarded to the top toad trainer in each age group.

As dusk came on, a June bug dive-bombed the crowd, sending little girls squealing in terror.

Whether it was climbing a greased pole, digging for coins in the money pit or playing in your dad’s ’58 Ford Fairlane, the fair was three days of fun, food and frolicking with something for everyone.

Barb and Aaron Clark have called the village of Bosque Farms home for three years after moving from Tijeras.

“It reminds us of our childhoods,” Aaron said.

Barb said the fair is a great way to bring the community together and hold an event where people know the “kids are safe.”

Evelynn Robinson, age 9, was thrilled to meet Pinky, one of the alpacas from Cowboy Camelids Alpaca Ranch in Bosque Farms. She combed her fingers through Pinky’s soft, curly coat, before heading over to look at the rest of the 4-H livestock entries with her mother, Melissa.

This was the first time the mother/daughter duo attended the fair, and Melissa said she loved the atmosphere.

“I love seeing all the displays, the 4-H kids showing off their skills and animals,” she said.

The fair is such a draw that for three or four years, Sayra Salter and her family have driven down from Rio Rancho.

“We had friends who lived here, so we came down. We finally moved down here two years ago,” Salter said. “It’s a nice, small fair for the kids. I grew up in South Dakota, in a farming community, so this reminds me of home.”

Robin and Daniel Sanchez came out on the hot, humid Saturday to enjoy their second go-round at the fair.

“You have the toad races and the greased pole. It’s different,” Robin said. “We come to see the local growers and the people.”

“It’s just nice and small,” Daniel said. “They really do a good job.”

Jennifer Montes, of Los Lunas, said as soon as she saw the fair book last month, she began planning her weekend.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Montes said. “Lots of things to do, lots of different food, there’s a dance this evening. It’s just fun.”


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.