County Fair queen graces Westside

       Shelly Ann Looper can't remember her first county fair.
       That's because her family in eastern El Paso County has always been involved with 4-H and the annual summer event in Calhan. Her grandfather, Richard Looper, even started the fair's beer garden some years back.
       So it was only natural that Shelly would get into 4-H herself at age 8 and have 4-H projects for the County Fair as long as her age allowed.
       Now 21, the daughter of Lynn and Marsha Looper is involved with the fair in an even bigger way this year. She's the County Fair Queen.
       Ever since her selection at the Penrose Equestrian Center in March, she's been traveling around the county representing this year's 99th annual fair, July 24 to Aug. 1 (about 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days) at Calhan's El Paso County Fairgrounds.
       She averages about two service club appearances a week, with weekends frequently taken up with rodeo events, such as the Working Ranch Cowboy Association Ride for the Brand Rodeo at the Equestrian Center earlier this month.
       Her trekking brought her to the Westside July 15, when she met with the Cheyenne Mountain Lions Club at Bear Creek Regional Park.
       “Most of the groups I talk to already support the County Fair, so the reception is always great,” she commented .
       Being a queen is no easy haul. Shelly works at the Big R farm supply store in Falcon and is also studying for a nursing degree at UCCS. A skilled horsewoman, she was a member of the Pikes Peak Rangerettes for two years and still rides with them on occasion. She also augments her income by raising market beef and selling it.
       Why should people come to the County Fair? “It's a long-running tradition,” she said. “Everybody can find something there.” Amid all the exhibits, entertainment and contests, she said her favorite thing at the fair, is Terry Brown's Old Tyme Farm, which demonstrates old-fashioned farming, including interactive opportunities like cow-milking and separating cream from milk. “He's a volunteer and does it all unselfishly,” she said. “He doesn't charge anything.”
       In a deeper sense, Shelly said the fair “represents a way of living that everyone who lives out there really embraces. It represents family, kids and community. It's definitely a community thing out there.”
       For more information about this year's County Fair, call the County Fair office at 520-7880 or go the website: www.elpasocountyfair.com

Westside Pioneer Article