Pies and zombies: DU alumna brings them together at the Denver County Fair
Dana Cain (BA mass communications ’81) seems to have the magic touch for starting Denver events. She founded the Denver read more…
Dana Cain (BA mass communications ’81) seems to have the magic touch for starting Denver events. She founded the Denver Modernism Show, the Colorado Chocolate Festival and the Toy and Doll Collectors Supershow, and she runs many other events around the state every year. She also co-founded the Denver County Fair, which returns for its second year Aug. 10–12.
Cain says she had a “magical epiphany moment” two years ago, when she realized Denver lacked a county fair. “Once I realized that there really wasn’t a Denver County Fair, and that we could launch it, this humongous vision exploded in my mind,” Cain says. “I saw the whole thing—all this in a span of seconds.”
The fair mixes classic county fair activities such as pie-baking competitions, animal judging and carnival games with modern events like a “Geek Pavilion,” featuring awards for best homemade robot and best original comic book; a beard and mustache competition; and a steampunk fashion show.
“All of the classic county fair elements are coming back into style,” Cain says. “Everyone loves the stuff. And we go beyond the classic county fair fare too; we’re inventing this thing in the 21st century. So we get to represent Denver County as it is now, in the modern era. And that is why our fair gets to have pies and zombies.”
The fair, held at the National Western Complex, has moved indoors this year with a new gazebo food court featuring small local businesses and food trucks outside on the patio. A larger animal pavilion and a kids’ pavilion are new as well.
“We have 275 events on 12 stages in three days, and that doesn’t count the continual attractions; that’s just the stage events,” Cain says. “There are loads more live competitions—opportunities for fair-goers to spontaneously leap on stage and compete for a blue ribbon. I honestly believe that anyone who comes to the Denver County Fair will find something there to love.”