LOVINGTON, N.M. – The 2022 Lea County Fair and Rodeo has plenty going on during its nine-day run.
From various livestock shows to the exhibits in the Yucca Building, amusement attractions and carnival rides, concert series and five nights of high-flying, heart-stopping rodeo action, the entertainment options at the 86th fair and rodeo are endless.
This year’s theme is Honoring Our Heritage, and the annual exposition is the perfect place to do that. From opening night on Friday, July 29, through the final Saturday, Aug. 6, each day is packed full of activities. Children will be scrambling to make sure their exhibits are in perfect shape, and families will be working together to see what happens when the exhibits are judged and livestock is sold.
“When you look at all the entertainment opportunities you can have at the fair and rodeo, there’s just so much packed into it,” said Larry Wheeler, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board. “Because our county commission believes in it, they underwrite the costs. That, along with the great sponsors who support it, makes it terrific.
“There’s a lot going on for a $10 admission.”
That includes a concert series that is second to none in this region of the country. Headlined by country artist Cody Johnson on the final Saturday, there are five other nights of incredible concerts:
- Friday, July 29: Ramon Ayala y sus Bravos del Norte and La Leyenda (Hispanic Heritage)
- Tuesday, Aug. 2: Randall King
- Wednesday, Aug 3: Zach Williams (Faith and Family)
- Thursday, Aug. 4: Randy Rogers Band
- Friday, Aug. 5: Joe Nichols
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Wednesday of the fair is Faith and Family night, and that means free admission all day.
“Our admission price is very reasonably, especially when you consider all the entertainment that comes with it, but we wanted to have a night where families can enjoy a night without worrying about the cost of getting in,” Wheeler said. “We want families to enjoy the rodeo and exhibits, along with Zach Williams that night, and we can help by removing a big portion of the costs.
“Our goal is to provide for the kids, and a lot of the time we’re talking about our exhibitors. This is a chance to reach everyone in the county and give them a night of entertainment at no admission fee.”
The fair is a perfect opportunity to help educate others about where food comes from. Meals are more than trips to the grocery store; hard-working ranchers and farmers toil their daily tasks to make sure the world is fed.
“That’s very important, especially in our society where there’s such a separation from urban to rural lifestyles,” Wheeler said. “We also must maintain our purpose as a fair board to entertain and provide for the people in our community and beyond. That, too, makes our fair and rodeo special.”