The Present and Future of the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, CO

History of Agriculture in Pueblo, Colorado

Pueblo began as a modest fort, but its significance in the development of Colorado cannot be understated, particularly in terms of its role in bringing the railroad to the region.

Agriculture has also played a crucial role in Colorado’s economy, and Pueblo has been instrumental in promoting and honoring the state’s agricultural heritage by hosting the Colorado State Fair.

Colorado State Fair

The Birth of the Colorado State Fair

On October 9, 1872, the Southern Colorado Agricultural and Industrial Association held the first Colorado State Fair.

The fair received no cash assistance from the community or the state but succeeded. In 1886, the fair was incorporated and purchased fifty acres of land near Mineral Palace Park for $3,000.

Relocation and Expansion

Following its incorporation, the fair bought fifty acres of land for $3,000 and invested an additional $5,000 in improvements.

The fair remained at Mineral Palace Park until 1890 when it moved to a new location west of Lake Minnequa.

The fair purchased the new site for $30,000 and sold the Mineral Palace Park location for $48,000, making a $40,000 profit in only four years. The fair stayed at the new place for eleven years before moving to its present-day site.

Administration and Funding

Throughout its history, the Colorado State Fair has changed administration and funding. A group of Pueblo residents initiated the administration of the fair called the State Fair Association, which operated as a non-profit organization.

In 1903, the State Fair received its first state appropriation; in 1917, it received a State Fair Commission. The state was granted the deed to the land, and the fair received an initial funding of one million dollars to cover its operational and maintenance costs.

Present-Day Colorado State Fair

Today, the Colorado State Fair resides on 102 acres of land with paved streets and impressive landscaping.

Over the years, the fair has hosted numerous high-profile concerts featuring celebrities while also serving as a venue for a wide range of community events throughout the year.

Every year, visitors can look forward to fresh educational opportunities and engaging activities designed to entertain and enrich locals and tourists alike.

The fair has been a focal point for the Pueblo community and will hopefully continue to be so.

Rodeo at the Colorado State Fair
Rodeo at the Colorado State Fair” by Dustin Cox is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Colorado State Fair 2023 Competitions

  1. 4-H Events
  2. Horse
    • 4-H State Championship Horse Show
    • Camping
  3. Livestock
  4. Small Animal
  5. Beer & Wine
    • Commercial Wine Competition
    • Hobby Wine Competition
    • Craft Beer Competition
    • Homebrew Competition
  6. Fine Arts
  7. General Entry
  8. Special Contests
    • Poetry Competition
    • Free for All Ages Coloring Contest
    • Pet Rock Competition
    • King Arthur Flour
    • Funniest Pet Photo

More information about competitions.

The Mexican Pavilion

The Mexican Pavilion was the first structure on the present-day site of the Colorado State Fair.

At the time of its construction, the pavilion served a dual purpose as both the police headquarters for Pueblo and a pavilion. Presently, there are fourteen structures on the fairgrounds, all with historical significance.

Future of the Colorado State Fair

The Colorado State Fair has a rich history, but its future is just as exciting. The fair will continue to be vital to the Pueblo community and attract visitors from across the state and beyond.

As the fair evolves, it will provide new opportunities for education, entertainment, and community engagement.

Avatar of Spencer Walsh

I'm Spencer Walsh, a professional traveler who loves to help people discover new places and learn about different cultures. I've traveled worldwide, from Europe to Asia and Africa to South America. My favorite thing about traveling is getting lost because it allows me to discover unexpected gems—finding a hidden museum or stumbling upon a beautiful park in the middle of the city.

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