The Bent County Harvest Show began in 1942 as the Victory Harvest Show and has since become a long-time tradition to Bent County. Even at its start, the first Harvest Show was identified as a huge success with prizes totaling $110 and red, blue, and white ribbons distributed to about 100 winners. Some Long-time residents may remember that the Victory Harvest Show initially took place in the Decker Building which was formerly occupied by the Houk Motor Company. Now, you will recognize that location as the Family Dollar and Dairy Queen parking lots in Las Animas. During the next several years after 1942, the attendance began to increase and approximately 2,500 to 4,000 people visited the Harvest Show. Then, in 1944, the Las Animas Merchants hosted a free movie matinee on Friday and Saturday and a free barbeque at noon in conjunction with the Harvest Show. As the Harvest Show grew, exhibits included new additions to keep up with the changing world, but not forget what was being left behind (as antiques).
This year, the 77th (or 76th) Annual Bent County Harvest Show will be held on October 2-4, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hall in Las Animas, CO. Farm products, gardening, flowers, home art and foods of all sorts as well as the “old” antiques will be a part of the Harvest Show. Still, other categories have been added over the years to increase entries allow residents of all ages to participate. Including the categories already listed, some more of this year’s classes/divisions include: clothing construction, needle craft, home furnishings, baked goods, food preservation, handicrafts, art, photography, and produce decorating. There truly is something for everyone to showcase their talents in these exhibits!
Items are entered on Tuesday afternoon, judging on Wednesday morning, and then the show is open to the public on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Premiums are paid in each class (1st-3rd places). The Grand and Reserve Grand Champions in each division will also receive $20 and $10, respectively. Premiums will be paid on Thursday, October 4 at 4 p.m. If you are a resident of Bent County, a 4-H member, or a Bent County school student (even out-of-district), you are eligible to exhibit in this open class exhibit show. All exhibits shall be made or grown by the exhibitor. Harvest Show books and flyers are posted and available at local Bent County businesses, and at the Extension Office. Please contact Connie Harris, General Superintendent at 719-456-0706 with any questions, or feel free to contact the Bent County Extension Office at 719-456-0764. We look forward to seeing your entry – everyone is invited to participate and help keep the Bent County Harvest Show going!