Fun at the Bosque Farms Community Fair

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It was 1939 and if you were a youngster who was fleet of foot, you could take home a cash prize of 50 cents. If you were lucky enough to scare up a speedy toad, you could win a whole dollar.

When the prize money ran out, a 10-minute rest was called so the crowd could go spend their winnings at the concession stands, thus replenishing the kitty with prize money for more races, according to a written history by Mrs. Chester Carpenter of founding of the Bosque Farms Community Fair.

Submitted photo: Jessalyn Sillivent, of Los Lunas, snuggles with one of Grandma Pat’s pygmy goats, Caramel Apple. This year at the Bosque Farms Community Fair, pygmy goat breeder and exhibitor Pat Kaufmann is organizing a sanctioned pygmy goat show and a free clinic.

She went on to write that when all the prizes for exhibits were distributed and expenses paid, there was $7.50 left over to kick start the next year’s fair.

It was from those small beginnings that came the longest continuous running community fair in the United States. It’s kept true to the original motto and become “bigger and better” each year. As the fair grew, a beauty contest was added, and Ann Noble was crowned the first queen. In 1942, Robert Morrison was named the first “better baby” of the fair.

Now in year 75, fair organizers are excited to offer up some wonderful, traditional fair festivities as well as a few new events during this year’s annual Bosque Farms Fair, Aug. 1, 2, and 3.

Friday evening kicks off with the aforementioned toad races, with registration from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the races getting underway at 7 p.m.

Following the races is sheep riding in the arena, courtesy of the Bosque Farms Rodeo Association.

And because everybody loves a parade, floats will beginning lining up at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, on the South Bosque Loop and Margaret Drive. There’s no need to register, just show up and sign in. The parade will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m.

This year’s grand marshal will be a bit different, said board secretary/treasurer Cathy Sifford. Instead of just one person, the board decided to ask all previous fair board members that could be located to come and ride the float.

“Everybody is a star who helped keep it going this long,” Sifford said.

Any former board member who would like to ride on the grand marshal float can call Sifford at 410-7981.

Also back for its 15th year in a row is the annual Just For Fun Car Show. Mary Ann Keller said everyone is invited — family, friends, neighbors — to come out and hang out on the grass and see some awesome autos.

“We’re looking for vintage vehicles that people love and drive every day,” Keller said.

What makes the show a little different is the judging is based on the people’s favorite not necessarily the “best” car there.

“The shiniest one doesn’t always win,” Keller said.

Anything that drives is welcome to enter — motorcycles, campers, pickups, coupes and even tractors.

“I think the tractors are the most hotly contested category. Not a lot of shows do the vintage farm equipment,” she said.

New this year is a “country boy” relay event. Teams of two will compete in five relay tasks — tractor tire flip, viga carry and toss, fence jump, feed stacking and hay hurdle — and the best time wins. There are four divisions broken out by age.

The youngsters, “bambi” are ages 15-18; “bucks” are 19 to 26; “bulls” are 27 to 39 and if you’ve managed to make it to 40 and older, you’re an “old goat.”

Keller said Cross Country Feed is sponsoring the event, supplying all the materials.

This year will also feature a sanctioned pygmy goat show for those looking to go on to the State Fair. Pat Kaufmann, who raises and shows pygmy goats, organized the show as well as a youth clinic, both on Saturday.

The clinic will begin at 10 a.m. and participants will learn more about pygmy goats, including care and feeding, breed standards and showing. No goat required to go to the clinic.

“Pygmy goats have a personality of their own and each is different,” Kaufmann said. “They love the attention given by the youth.”

At the fair, Kaufmann said they will have extra goats, and children can attend the clinic in the morning and the show in the afternoon.

“We have youth coming from several counties who will be showing,” she said.

The show begins at 1 p.m. Entry is $5 per goat or exhibitor, and the exhibitor will be judged on the care and showing of the animal. In the goat classes, goats will be judged according to the National Pygmy Goat Association breed standard. Renee Furst from Corrales will be judging the show.

Any youth with a pygmy goat can be in the show. Register in advance by contacting Pat Kaufmann at 620-1080 or grandmapat@grandmapatskids.com.

In addition to the sheep riding on Friday, the BFRA is hosting a mud volley ball tournament all day Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. and the all breed horse show in the arena on Sunday. The office opens at 7 a.m. and the show begins an hour later.

The board asked locals to contribute recipes for an anniversary cookbook. Board president Melanie Bennett said all the recipes are from people who live in the village and they range from entries to finger paints.

Sales of the books is a fundraiser for the fair. The books are $12 each or two for $20 and will be available for sale over the fair weekend. Bennett said the board would be more than happy to mail or deliver the books to people if they aren’t able to make it out for the fair. Folks can send an email to bosquefarmsfair@gmail.com to arrange for payment for a book if they can’t make it out for the fair.

Since this is the three-quarters of a century mark for the fair, a commemorative fair book is being printed and will be for sale during the fair. The book commemorates all three anniversaries — the 75th, 50th and 40th anniversaries of the Bosque Farms Fair, the Bosque Farms Rodeo Association and the village of Bosque Farms, Bennett said.

It contains historic pictures of the village as well as family stories about its history. This is a limited edition book; only 500 will be printed.

Another fundraiser for the fair is the raffle for a vintage, fully restored 1962 Miley horse trailer. The tandem-axle trailer comes complete with hay rack, water cans, spare tire and more. It was fully restored by REK Kustoms Garage and donated by Keller Enterprises.

Tickets are $25 each of five for $100. All proceeds will benefit the 75th Annual Bosque Farms Fair. To buy tickets in advance, call Melanie at 401-9990 or Cathy at 410-7981. The trailer will be on display at Little Miss Crafty Pants, 1155 Bosque Farms Blvd. before the fair and at the fair grounds the whole weekend. The drawing will be at noon on Sunday, Aug. 3

With the exception of the 10 different food vendors, the majority of the fair and its events are free,” Keller said.

“It’s free to get in, free to participate, the car show is free, and so is the parade,” she said. “Really the only thing you pay for is food. There will also be free jumpers for kids.

And Keller said there will be 75th anniversary T-shirts for sale as well. After all, if you don’t have a shirt, you weren’t really there.


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