LOVINGTON, N.M. – This vibrant county in the southeastern corner of the state is as diverse as any in New Mexico.
The Lea County Fair and Rodeo will honor that during the exposition that runs Friday, Aug. 5-Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Lea County Fairgrounds in Lovington. From Mexican Heritage Night to kick-start the fair to the final night with a full-fledged Western experience, amazing things happen in the community of about 12,000 people.
“Our Mexican Heritage Night is a big night for us,” said Corey Helton, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board. “A big demographic of this community is Hispanic, and we get a large turnout for that. It’s probably one of the biggest nights of the fair because there’s such a rich culture here.”
It shows in the musical entertainment, Los Traviezos, La Marquinaria and Arrolladara.
“We are going to have three separate concerts that night,” Helton said. “We also have our Hispanic Heritage Queen contest. It’s a big night for many people.”
It’s just one of nine big nights in Lovington in August. From a world-class rodeo to the top-flight musical entertainment to the carnival, food and livestock shows, there is a reason the fair has been recognized as a regional showcase.
The rodeo is a regular nominee for Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. With Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday, Aug. 9, there will be five nights of the best in the business competing for Lea County titles.
In addition to the top-ranked contestants, the event also is home to the elite bucking stock from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, the largest stock contractor in the PRCA and also a four-time nominee for Stock Contractor of the Year.
“We’ve had some construction at the fairgrounds, trying to get it ready for the fair and rodeo,” Helton said. “We’ve reconfigured the bucking chutes to make everything go a little smoother.”
The fair and rodeo’s concert series has always been smooth setting for fairgoers, and this year will feature six acts that are the perfect mix for folks in the region. From Jody Nix on Saturday, Aug. 6, to fight straight nights starting Tuesday, Aug. 9: William Clark Green, Matthew West, Troy Murph, Neal McCoy and Justin Moore.
“We’ve got several nights of music that people will want to dance to,” Helton said. “But we also wanted to make sure everybody got to have the big music acts we’re all so used to at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo with Neal McCoy and Justin Moore. Those two acts are going to be a great way to close out our event.”
The staple for the fair and rodeo has always been the livestock shows, and that continues a long-standing, multi-generational tradition in Lea County.
But there’s much more for fairgoers, from the top-rated carnival to daily entertainment to a host of vendors and other treats. And because the entire exposition is underwritten by the Lea County Commission, admission prices are set perfectly for anyone across the region.
That’s why it’s the premier county fair in New Mexico.