Strolling through Heritage Hall during fair week offers a great collection of visual delights; the jewel-like colors of peaches, tomatoes, peppers, jams and jellies, pickles and honeys are displayed alongside skillfully crafted quilts, children’s crafts, carefully constructed cakes and breads , photography and painting. Heritage Hall is open to anyone in Delta County to brag about their wares, show off their skills, and test themselves and others in the home and horticultural arts of baking, sewing, brewing, and gardening, as well than the creative arts. The awards are ceremonial, sources of pride for the talented recipients. The cash prize for first place in the M craft department, for example, comes in at the hefty sum of $5. But recognition brings prestige and pride to the winner. The glory is in the recognition of achievement.
The 2022 Delta County Fair celebrates its 116th anniversary and remains a vibrant link to the county’s past, connecting that unique history to the continued presence and growth of Delta County’s agronomy and ranching. According to Colorado Historical Journal website, the county fair was originally located in Delta and moved to Hotchkiss in 1913. The Paonia newspaper (“The Core of the Apple Country”) notes in the August 5, 1910, issue that “Last year the fairs committee worked to death on the first day of the fair until nearly midnight and part of the second day “. This is surely a condition that Fair Trade committees through the years to date can sympathize with! The multiplicity of categories and the organizational work involved in judging require a jury acting out of love for the fair.
In addition to displaying the exhibits, Heritage Hall hosts additional activities. Judging and interviews for exhibitors in the Heritage Hall will take place on Friday, July 29 at 9 a.m. Participants in the Concours Hippique 4H/FFA take the written test in the hall on Thursday 28 July at 7 p.m. The judges of the show question the premium exhibitors on Saturday July 30 at 9am. The 4-H Fashion Review for Competitors is presented, with fashion aplomb, on Saturday, July 29 at 3 p.m. Registration for open classes in the Heritage Hall takes place on Tuesday, August 2 at 8 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m.
Heritage Hall is an integral hub for activities that contribute to a memorable fair week. The arts of the home are those that sustain, feed, entertain and dress us and the Hall’s exhibits celebrate local talent and interests. If your garlic looks exceptional this year, don’t hesitate to save this bulb. If your son or daughter has painted a genius portrait, enter them. Are your cakes or breads works of art? Don’t be shy, give your neighbors the chance to oooh and aaah. If you did, bring it!
Robbie Winne, author of this article and many others, died last July. She was an invaluable employee, a loyal friend and a singularly wonderful person. She is deeply missed by the Shopper family and the community at large in Delta County.