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Routt County Fair Celebrates 100 Years, SmartWool 20, Steamboat Today 25

Routt County Fair Celebrates 100 Years, SmartWool 20, Steamboat Today 25

A slew of milestones have come to the Yampa Valley lately, including last year’s 50th anniversary of Steamboat Ski Area and the 100th for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Winter Carnival. Joining the club in 2014 is Hayden’s Routt County Fair, which celebrates its 100th anniversary, local manufacturer SmartWool, which turns 20, and the Steamboat Today newspaper, ringing in its 25th year

“It’s a huge milestone and accomplishment,” Routt County Extension 4-H agent Tami Thurston says about the fair’s 100th. “Clubs had special decorations on their pens and we made special 100th belt buckles and 4-H chairs for winners.”

Several new events paid tribute to the fair’s century-long history, including the Routt County Fair Chute Out, featuring special bull and bronc riding contests. It also continued such traditions as the Bobby Robinson Sr. Memorial Barbecue, art exhibits and the junior livestock sale benefiting 4-H. With more than 1,300 exhibits, the event continues to be what its organizers call “one of the biggest little fairs in the state.”

SmartWool rolled out the carpet for its 20th anniversary. Founded in Steamboat 1994, the company, owned by clothing giant VF Corp., has brought more than 80 million pairs of socks and tens of thousands of apparel products to market around the world and is considered the world leader in performance merino wool apparel.

“Our growth over the last 20 years has been fueled by the quality of life Steamboat offers,” President Mark Satkiewicz says. “We attract people who know what it means to live in Steamboat.”

The company has made Outside Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” list for the past six years and also has a strong philanthropic side, with employees encouraged to volunteer for causes of their choice and the company’s Advocacy team distributing more than $1.5 million to various causes since 2006.

The Steamboat Today daily newspaper also celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014, as an offshoot of the weekly Steamboat Pilot newspaper founded in 1885. The free daily newspaper, which published its first issue Aug. 21, 1989, celebrated the milestone with a gala reception and art show at the Art Depot downtown, featuring iconic photographs published throughout the past 25 years.

“It’s a huge milestone and a testament to the great community we have in Steamboat,” says publisher Suzanne Schlicht. “We couldn’t have made it without the entire town’s support.”

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