A good old-fashioned county fair smells like funnel cakes and candy apples mixed with hay, manure, and sweaty bodies. It’s a heady mixture of earth, animal, and mineral. There’s nothing quite as fun and pure as neighbors coming together to show off their prize animals, calico quilts and best cherry pies.

Denver is about to enjoy its first Denver County Fair and it’s going to be held indoors at the National Western Complex this weekend.

An indoor county fair? I’ve never heard of such of thing. Where’s the hay? The crowded gravel thoroughfares? The Ferris wheel! I’m skeptical, but I am also intrigued.

On the food front, there will be fruit pie and cream pie competitions, a cheese-making demonstration, a cheeseburger eating contest, molded gelatin dessert judging, preserves judging, a pancake grill, a pie eating contest, a “Supper Hollerin’ Contest,” and even a vegan and raw dish contest.

You’ll find the typical animal judging, goat milking demo, and a trick pig act. If all that’s just too much sweet-and-humble-pie for you, then look for the best body art and tattoo judging, best beard contest, speed texting contest, communicating holistically with animals demonstration, a Twilight Zone-style Freak Show, and the Miss County Fair Drag Queen contest.

And, yes! There will be carnival rides located outdoors. So you won’t miss out on the Ferris wheel after all. Rides, concerts, a bike rodeo, square dancing, animals from the Denver Zoo – the list goes on. It looked they had everything, and more, at this Denver County Fair; but after thoroughly searching their Web site, I saw no mention of funnel cakes. I’m disappointed.

While the food might not be ‘patrician’ in nature, it will certainly please the palette. Who doesn’t like pie, a good ol’ hamburger, beer (well, I don’t like beer), sausages, gelatin molds, and pancakes?

Check out the details at www.denvercountyfair.org and support the first annual Denver County Fair. They are looking for volunteers, too. The Fair is being organized by a private organization – Denver County Fair, LLC.

July 28th – 31st, 2011

National Western Complex
4655 Humboldt Street
Denver, CO 80216
Expo Hall, Hall of Education, Stadium Hall & Stadium

Thursday: 6 pm – 10 pm
Special VIP Grand Opening Celebration 4 pm – 6 pm
Friday: 10 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 10 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm

Sorry to my regular followers for not posting a recipe today, but come check again for an upcoming Strawberry Salad from Bistro Vendome.