The long-running Northern Gila County Fair opens Thursday, Sept. 10 and continues through Saturday, Sept. 12, with a couple of special events planned Sunday, Sept. 13.

The business of checking in, setting up and judging takes place Wednesday, Sept. 9 and most of the day, Thursday, Sept. 10. Then the fair opens at the Payson Event Center from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, with free admission and parking for community preview night.

The evening’s schedule

• Opening ceremony — Hailing Our Heroes — main arena of Payson Event Center, 5:30 p.m.

• Talent show, entertainment tent, 6 p.m. — Up to 12 acts will take part, with first and second place winners receiving cash awards.

• Alpaca exhibit, petting zoo, tractor display, Hickman’s Farms, explore fly-fishing and livestock tent open to public.

• Carnival — by Midway West Amusements, presale passes are available online at ngcfair.com/all-access-fair–pass/

The remaining days of the fair, the event center is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12, and from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 13. The livestock and special features take place at the Payson Event Center.

The other exhibits are at the Tonto Apache Gym, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12.

Admission is $1 per day for everyone 3 and older, with those 2 and under free. Parking is $5 per day.

Friday, Sept. 11

• Event center gates open, 8 a.m. — Family Day free admission, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Western Horse Show, Western riding and obstacle challenge, main arena, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Exhibits at Tonto Apache Gym open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Large stock at livestock tent opens to public, 10 a.m.

• Livestock show in livestock tent, 10 a.m., includes open livestock, goats, sheep, steers, swine.

• Carnival — by Midway West Amusements.

• Live music in entertainment tent with FOG, Incidental Bluegrass, Six Gal ’n Hat, Arizona Old Time Fiddlers Association.

• Epic Magic Shows in entertainment tent, four shows with John Fitzsimmons.

• Dan Meyer Sword Swallower in entertainment tent, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

• Gymkhana Horse Show, open to all horse types and ages, main arena, 5 p.m.

• Alpaca Exhibit, petting zoo, tractor display, Hickman’s Farms and explore fly-fishing.

Saturday, Sept. 12

• Event center gates open, 8 a.m.

• Livestock tent open to public.

• Small Stock Show in livestock tent, 8:30 a.m. to noon.

• Free mammograms at Tonto Apache Gym, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• English Horse Show, dressage and English riding, main arena, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Exhibits at Tonto Apache Gym, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Jr. Livestock Show, for 4-H and FFA members, at livestock tent, 1 p.m.

• Carnival — by Midway West Amusements.

• Alpaca Exhibit, petting zoo, tractor display, Hickman’s Farms and explore fly-fishing.

• Live Music in Entertainment Tent with FOG, Incidental Bluegrass, Six Gal ’n Hat, Arizona Old Time Fiddlers Association.

• Round Robin livestock competition, 3 p.m.

• Livestock Auction in livestock tent, registration opens at 3 p.m., auction at 4 p.m.

• Dan Meyer Sword Swallower in entertainment tent, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

• U.S. Mounted Shooting State Finals 4D Jackpot in main arena, 5 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 13

• Round Robin in Livestock Tent, 9 a.m.

• U.S. Mounted shooting State Finals 4D Jackpot in Main Arena, 9 a.m.

About the Mounted Shooting event

The Northern Gila County Fair presents the U.S. Mounted Shooting State Finals 4D Jackpot in the main arena.

There are two programs, one at 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12 and the second at 9 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 13. Sign-in Saturday is at 4 p.m.

Saturday features three stages, while there will be two stages Sunday.

A High Point Buckle will be awarded to all first place division winners for the season. The event in Payson has a $150 entry fee with a 60% payback and $500 in added money to the main match, $500 Showdown. In the Showdown, first and second place finishers from the Main Match qualify for the $500 Showdown; however, contestants must enter both days to be eligible.

There is a $20 optional clean shooter with 100% payback. Sign up and become a member at usms2020.com or contact the Tonto Basin Wild Bunch by calling Ali Cooper at 928-595-1182.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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