Colorado State Fair

1001 Beulah Ave, Pueblo, CO 81004
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Date Established:

The Colorado State Fair began October 9, 1872. It was held by Southern Colorado Agricultural and Industrial Association, which received no cash assistance from the community or the State. The Colorado State Fair was incorporated on November 17, 1886. After becoming incorporated, the Fair purchased fifty acres of land for $3,000 and made improvements of $5,000. The land was located near Mineral Palace Park. The fair remained at Mineral Palace Park until 1890 when the board moved the site to 100-acres of land that was located west of Lake Minnequa. The board purchased the new site for $30,000 and sold the Mineral Palace Park location for $48,000. This was a 40,000-dollar profit in only four years!

Opened in 1901, the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo have long played an important role in the state’s agriculture, education, and entertainment. Farmers and ranchers attend the fair to display their products, see new technologies and techniques, and buy livestock, while others come to learn about agriculture or enjoy the rodeo. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed many of Colorado’s fairgrounds facilities in the 1930s.

Current use/ownership of building:  The Colorado State Fair and Fairgrounds are a vital community asset for Pueblo and a cultural and historical asset for the State of Colorado. The Fair showcases the State’s diverse industries, crafts and agricultural heritage. It also provides opportunities for youth engagement in agriculture and supports emergency relief efforts as seen in the adaptive re-use of its facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizationally, the fair is one of the divisions of the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Past use of building: Fairgrounds were used as a base camp for Colorado militia troops training for World War I.  ½ mile dirt oval track used for horse and motor racing.

Significant damages, restorations, etc: President of the Colorado State Fair Commission, Ray Talbot (1931-1953)  brought New Deal projects to the fairgrounds during the Great Depression. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) helped fund six new buildings as well as new walls, horse stables and other infrastructure in the 1930’s.

Annual events/functions (link to community events):

Pueblo County Fair/ 4-H

CSU Extension Various Classes

Rock Mountain Street Rod Nationals

Fun fact: In 1940 the new Rabbit Building on the fairgrounds was billed at the time as the “Largest Rabbit Show Building in the World”

Community Impact: The Colorado State Fair generates over $29 million annually in economic impact to the surrounding area.

This page is sponsored by the Leadership Pueblo Class of 2022.