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El Paso Co. Fair to bring 25,000 people to small community of Calhan

El Paso Co. Fair to bring 25,000 people to small community of Calhan
Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 22:16:53-04

CALHAN — The 117th edition of the El Paso County Fair will run through this Saturday, July 23.

It’s happening in the small town of Calhan, where less than 1,000 people live, but the fair itself brings in more than 25,000 people every year. Those people are coming from cities like the Springs, or from other small, rural communities nearby.

“We’re very proud that we're located in eastern El Paso County, because of the fair's ties to the agriculture and so that's important,” said Todd Marts, the El Paso County Community Services Executive Director. “We bring the city folks like me out here to the county fair and to Calhan that I do think it has an impact on the hotels, the gas stations, and the restaurants in town.”

It’s a small town though. Adam Wilson, who works at Karen’s Cafe and Stephanie’s Bar & Grill, says there are only two restaurants in town. But for the few businesses, the fair is a small boost in business every year.

“From the fair, we see just a handful of customers throughout the day and then when the fair is shutting down at the end of the day, we see a bunch of new people almost every day,” said Wilson.

Wilson also mentioned the restaurant has been open for about 3 1/2 years. Plus, 95% of their customers are regulars, but during fair week, they get to meet dozens of new people.

“It’s very different because we're just used to quiet, but then every year during the fair, there's a large number of new people that have only been here for the fair in the past or never before.”

From all the activities to the vendors and entertainment, the fair also aims to bring in $250,000 every year which goes directly back to this community event. Marts says it’s financially sustainable.

“We raise enough money during the County Fair to pay for all the components, here but also for things that go on throughout the year too,” said Marts.

Like most community events, the El Paso County Fair is put on with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

For more information about the fair, click here.

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