By Kevin Wilson
Although the Roosevelt County Fair officially opens today, the fairgrounds were a busy place on Tuesday as people from every facet of the fair made their final preparations.
Local businesses and organizations set up shop in the merchant’s building, with spots reserved months in advance through the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.
Anna Foster of the RCCC said the chamber charges $100 for its members to have a booth and approximately $275 for non-members. Foster said that she ended up signing up seven new chamber members that joined primarily for the lower rate last year.
Meanwhile, other kinds of exhibits were being prepared in the other buildings. Kent Best, the fair board chairman, said board members have been working for the past week to get the various buildings ready for approximately 400 animals.
“As far as the fairgrounds go, the groundskeeper does a good job,” Best said, “so all we have to do is come in and get ready.”
On the other side of the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds, the crew of Las Cruces-based Starlight Amusement was preparing for its second run in Portales.
Not everything had arrived to the fairgrounds as of Tuesday afternoon, but Starlight owner Claude Edwards wasn’t concerned.
“We’ll be ready to go,” Edwards said. “We’ve got a slide coming, some games are coming. We’ve got a few more rides to set up, but (there are) no problems I know of.”
The fair even got some help from its neighbor, the Roosevelt County Detention Center. As an officer supervised them, a pair of inmates in orange jumpsuits worked on setting up a performing stage as part of work detail.
The stage will be used throughout the week and will be the site for Saturday’s Colgate Country Showdown.