Time For Fun At The Northern Gila County Fair


Check that garden and orchard for a perfect specimen. Finish up that special sewing or craft project. Put your prized collection in a shadow box display. It's time to get ready for the Northern Gila County Fair.

The fun at the fair is not limited to exhibitors and the audience. Volunteers have the chance for a great time, too -- and they are needed by almost every category of entries.

"Volunteers are needed everywhere," said Wendell Stevens, general chairman of the 52nd Annual Northern Gila County Fair.

Volunteers are needed for just about every aspect of the fair. Those interested can help set up the Tonto Apache community center and Payson Event Center for the fair, which will take place Tuesday, Sept. 4; register and place the entries Wednesday, Sept. 5; others are needed to assist the judges on Thursday, Sept. 6; and if you have a passion for horses, help is needed at the fair's two equestrian shows.

This year the fair is Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6-19. The schedule:

  • 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6, Payson Event Center -- 4H and FFA Livestock Show;
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7, Payson Event Center -- exhibits;
  • 9 a.m., Friday, Sept. 7, Payson Event Center -- 4-H Horse Show;
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7, Tonto Apache Tribe Exhibit Hall -- exhibits;
  • 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 8, Dutch oven cooking class -- call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for details
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, Payson Event Center -- Open Horse Show, 9 a.m.; 5 p.m., Livestock Auction;
  • 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 8, Payson Event Center Multi Media Tent, Doggie Fun Day with basic obedience, rally, clicker training, musical freestyle, drill team, fun, special events for children;
  • 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, Payson Event Center multi-media Tent, Doggie Fun Day presentations and demonstrations.
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, Tonto Apache Tribe Exhibit Hall -- exhibits;
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9, Tonto Apache Tribe Exhibit Hall -- exhibits;
  • noon, Sunday, Sept. 9, Payson Event Center -- gates open for Demolition Derby, races begin at 1:30 p.m.

To volunteer for a specific department, contact the superintendent for the category.

The telephone numbers to volunteer:

Wendell Stevens, (928) 595-0113 or (928) 474-4647

Charlene Hunt, facilities, (928) 474-5242, extension 260

Tammy Umbenhauer, horses, (928) 978-2906

Teddy Tomerlin, livestock, (928) 978-3927

Helen Young, small animals, (928) 474-6477

Glen McCombs, agriculture and horticulture, (928) 474-6556

Eileen Lawson, floriculture, (928) 474-2784

Trudy Cory, homemaking arts, (928) 474-9578

Candee Randall, domestic science, (928) 978-5054

Marcia Olsen, canning, (928) 474-5996

Diane Mullaly, hobbies and handicrafts, (928) 474-1470

Shannon Bielke, fine arts, (928) 472-7404

Ed Toliver, photography, (928) 476-4596

Carmelita Locke, school exhibits, (928) 970-0135

The fair books, with entry information and forms, are available at the Payson Parks and Recreation Office at Green Valley Park and at both the Payson and Pine Public Libraries.

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