Farm animals, flowing mullets, and sloppers: Scenes from the 150th Colorado State Fair’s opening weekend in Pueblo

· Aug. 29, 2022, 3:08 pm
Fairgoers walk through the carnival entrance at the 2022 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.Fairgoers walk through the carnival entrance at the 2022 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Fairgoers walk through the carnival entrance at the 2022 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

Imagine eating nearly 34 sloppers in just eight minutes. Professional eater Geoff Esper of  Oxford, Mass. did just that as he wolfed down many pounds of burger, Pueblo green chile, cheese and buns to take the World Slopper Eating Championship title for a third time on Saturday at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

The fair is marking 150 years this year. The 11-day event got underway on Friday with all the favorites like the carnival, livestock shows and freaky fried foods ranging from deep-fried strawberries to batter-dipped candy bars and funnel cakes.

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Number two ranked competitive eater, Geoff Esper again takes the World Slopper Eating Championship at the 2022 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. Next to him is Miki Sudo—the #-1 ranked female eater. (Aug 27, 2022)

Another new wacky event also took place on opening day, the first-ever Colorado State Fair USA Mullet Championship official qualifying event. Fifteen men shook their mullets, told of their mullet inspirations and got the crowd excited as they vied to become the hair hegemony leader. Darius Nabors took home the title and the chance to compete in the “Mane Event” later this year.

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Competitors shake their mullets at the USA Mullet Championship qualifying event at the Colorado State Fair on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022.

A new local food booth also joined the venerable Pass Key Restaurant and Vineland United Methodist Church offerings this year. The new booth features chefs from the Fuel and Iron Food Hall in Pueblo. It has a changing menu including New Orleans style Po’ Boy sandwiches, ramen, vegan corndogs, tacos and more.

Still to come are more 4H livestock competitions, big name national performers and  Fiesta Day at the Fair with a parade, folk dancers and the Celebracion de los Charros spotlighting expert Mexican horsemen. The fair runs through Labor Day.

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Crowds stroll down Main Street at the Colorado State Fair on Saturday, August 27, 2022
Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
People going in and out of the Colorado State Fair using the new Prairie Avenue entry gate on the west side of the grounds. It's the part of the first phase of upgrades called for in a 20-year $180 million master plan.
Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
David Vetter of Bennett shows off the Grand Champion Market Lamb flanked by his family and supporters at the 2022 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022
Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
The 150 ton sand sculpture celebrating 150 years at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.
Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
The Pride of Mesa Ridge Marching Band from Mesa Ridge High School in Widefield School District 3 in southern Colorado Springs performs at the Colorado State Fair on August 17, 2022.
Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Junior livestock competitors give their cows baths at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo on Saturday, August 27, 2022.
Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
A competitor shows off their equestrian skills in the 4H horse show at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo on August 27, 2022.

Editor's Note: CPR/KRCC is a media sponsor of the Colorado State Fair.

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