Valencia County Community Expo begins this weekend; new events

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The Valencia County Community Expo will kick off events at noon on Saturday, Aug. 2, with a Poker Run.

The week-long agricultural event has a variety of activities scheduled, including dances, mud volleyball and tug-of-war, a duck-calling competition and a fiddler contest among others.

The Poker Run begins at Arrow Animal Clinic and participants collect playing cards along a drive through the county at Expo sponsors that include My Lube Center, Applebee's, Los Lunas Motor Sports, Brad Francis All American Auto Mall, the Man Cave and others.

"All proceeds benefit next year's Expo, and the pot is split 50/50 with the best poker hand," said Dustie Hollaway, Expo communications and fundraiser chairwoman.

There will be a politician dunk tank, where, for $5, you can get three chances to dunk your favorite, or not-so-favorite, elected official.

One of the big events is the ATV rodeo. It's bigger and better than last year with several new features. It's open to all-terrain vehicles, 4-wheelers, dirt bikes and UTVs, Hollaway said.

Ray's Mobile DJ will provide the tunes for a dance at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 2. It's $5 to get in and ends at 11 p.m. The dance is free next Friday and Saturday.

Vendors start setting up on Wednesday morning. They include Escondida's Grill from Socorro.

"They have the best Navajo tacos," Hollaway said, "and Pepitos will be there with their delectable fruit cups and drinks."

Other tasty treats include snow cones, Italian ice and Frank Storey's roasted corn.

The Expo has nearly twice the livestock entries as it did last year. It is an opportunity for FFA and 4-H members to polish their show skills for the upcoming New Mexico State Fair.

"We're very excited to have our numbers up this year," said Tawnya Moya, Expo secretary.

"Almost all livestock entries have nearly doubled," added Hollaway.

The VCC Expo is the only exhibition where local indoor 4-H exhibitors can qualify to compete at state. Indoor exhibits include photography, welding, leather crafts, baking, canning, crafts and others.

A new feature of the Valencia County Community Expo is the Prospect Show. It has been added for prospective 4-H members to get a taste of what it's like to show. After the goat, pig and poultry 4-H and FFA shows, prospects will show their animals.

Thursday evening, a fiddlers contest will showcase some of the county's best bow-string talent.

Humorous entertainment can be had watching the adult showmanship class on Friday. These folks have been selected to show by 4-H and FFA members, whether the adult has experience in livestock showing or not.

"You don't have to have any prior experience in the show world at all. It's more for fun," Hollaway said.

The green horn must show the animal or buy their way out of it.

"It's a lot of fun. The adults have a blast, and the kids have even more fun," Hollaway said.

Mud volleyball is another favorite and mud tug-of-war has been added.

There are three mud volleyball pits this year, and entry fees for teams of eight or less is $75. Single entrants are $10 per person. There will be cash payback prizes for the winners.

You can pre-register online, or at the time of the event. Locals can get their "Duck Dynasty" groove on at the duck-calling contest, initiated by Trenton Powell.

Powell is a duck-call carver and owns 3:16 Custom Calls, much like the "Duck Dynasty" business.

"Trenton comes from a family of outdoorsmen and taught himself duck calling," said Hollaway.

Another new event is the Round Robin Showmanship, where the top two showmen from each livestock class compete for grand and reserve, all-around showmanship buckles.

For more information, visit vccexpo.org online.


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