The Prowers County Commissioners gave approval for this year’s beer garden, held during the annual Sand and Sage Fair. Fair Board member, Cindy Bennett, said this will mark the third year for the beer garden which is set for concert night at the fairgrounds on August 5th. A second night will be held on August 10th during the Ranch Rodeo and an additional two nights on the 11th and 12th during the PRCA Rodeo. The Fair Board also requested a special events permit from the City of Lamar for the event and the Lamar City Council set May 8th for a public hearing.
The opening act for the concert has been selected, but Bennett said all that is needed is a confirming signature on the contract before the performer can be announced. The act is expected to be a crowd-pleaser.
“We told the commissioners that we wanted to bring something new to the fair with the introduction of the beer garden,” Bennett explained, stating that a concert-sized ‘big screen’ was introduced last year and this year the screen will be used for both the rodeo and for the concert. “We’re looking at about a nine by 12 foot screen for the concert and at least an 11 by 17 foot model for the rodeo, or perhaps something even larger.”
A beer garden was met with some resistance for several years, but three years ago, the commissioners decided to go ahead with the idea, given that a lot of stipulated safeguards would be in place to curtail any underage drinking. Bennett said the past two years have been trouble free and have, as hoped, raised additional funding for the Fair Board plans. “We raised $10,000 the first year and $9,000 the second year and last year, all of our tip money was donated to SECCI, Southeast Colorado Cancer Initiative. “We decided early on, that any of our donations would go to local organizations.”
Last year’s concert/beer garden was a combination of wet or dry, depending on room under the tent as patrons sought shelter from one of southeast Colorado’s quick-moving thunderstorms. The music and the beer tent never missed a hitch. There is sufficient space within the enclosed area for folks to mill around during drier weather conditions. As usual, there is no entry fee for admission to the beer tent as the proceeds are made off the sale of the beverages.
By Russ Baldwin
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