Eagle County Fair & Rodeo had a good 2022 and is looking for more growth this year
Sponsors seem eager to participate in the 2023 event
- 4: Sold-out nights of the rodeo portion of the 2022 Eagle County Fair & Rodeo
- 77%: Trash diverted from the landfill at the event
- 50%: Gain in carnival revenues from the event
- 88: Sponsors signed up for 2022 fair, a 20% increase from 2021
The Eagle County Fair & Rodeo is on a growth curve.
The Eagle County Board of Commissioners sat down Tuesday with fair representatives, including director Tanya Dahlseid. Her report detailed increased attendance, as well as the growth of sponsorships and sustainability efforts.
Thanks to recycling and other efforts, Dahlseid said the event was able to divert 77% of its trash flow from the Eagle County landfill. The fairgrounds has also upgraded arena lighting to more efficient LEDs. In other areas, solar-powered lights have replaced those powered by diesel generators. The sustainability efforts — in partnership with Walking Mountains Science Center — also included a switch to biodegradable supplies by vendors.
The four-night professional rodeo sold out every night, even with the additional seating added on the west end of the arena.
With sponsorship adjustments, public seating at the rodeo will be expanded by 200 seats for the Friday and Saturday performances, and by 400 for Wednesday and Thursday.
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The 2022 fair set new marks for sponsorships, Dahlseid said, with a total of 88 companies participating. Dahlseid said there’s even more sponsor participation expected this year.
In addition, a bigger carnival with more rides increased revenue from that portion of the fair by 50%.
One of the bigger changes for 2023 is a switch in the “real men wear pink” cancer awareness night at the rodeo. That evening was always done in partnership with Vail Health. The pink evening will be replaced by a green one, the color of support and awareness for mental health issues. That evening will also be a partnership with Vail Health. Proceeds from the evening with go to Vail Health and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, which works with 40 nonprofit groups, Dahlseid said.
Improvements for 2023 also include working to improve awareness about 4H events. The annual livestock auction is likely to feature a record, or near-record, number of animal projects.
Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry noted there are nearly 200 animals registered with the county’s various clubs this year.
The fair and livestock auction “reflects all your work,” Chandler-Henry said.
All the entry points to the grandstands will be served by electronic ticket scanners after a successful 2022 trial run at one gate.
Chandler-Henry said she was impressed with the efforts to improve the fair and rodeo.
“This is the biggest event in the county or at least one of them,” Chandler-Henry said. “It’s the only one that gets people from up and down the valley … it’s an event people want to be a part of.”
Dahlseid said that tickets for the 2023 rodeo performances will go on sale in April, and are expected to sell quickly.