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And the West is History: La Plata County Fairgrounds – 1974

Describing to newcomers what the La Plata County Fairgrounds was like before its redesign in 2000 is a bit difficult. This picture shows the 600-foot grandstands that seated 7,000 spectators, the racetrack, rodeo arena, football and baseball fields. The two-block long row of horse stalls created a stone wall along Main Avenue. In addition to regional and county fairs, the Fairgrounds hosted many events over the years, including horse racing and rodeos, livestock shows, 4-H activities, equestrian events and the annual Spanish Trails Fiesta (later known as the Navajo Trails Fiesta). It was also the site for circuses, auto races, demolition derbies and the annual Fourth of July fireworks show. High school football and baseball games and Little League Baseball were played on the fields. The structures removed in the redesign of the Fairgrounds were constructed by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and provided employment and training for more than 200 local laborers who had lost jobs during the Great Depression. Starting in 1999, the grandstands, racetrack, interior rodeo grounds, ball fields and horse stalls were removed. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 22.38.6 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)