Anyone who thought Tooele County couldn’t handle two major, back-to-back events, and still get good crowds, got it wrong. The big audiences that attended Country FanFest the previous weekend didn’t leave the 2017 Tooele County Fair short of attendees a week later.
As reported on today’s front page, the county fair last weekend, with its lineup of carnival rides, exhibits, entertainment, livestock show, demolition derby and more, attracted a strong showing of both residents and visitors to Deseret Peak Complex.
“It’s hard to tell exactly how many people attended the fair because we don’t charge for general admission,” said fair board chairman Ron Baum. “But this year’s fair was a success.”
He said several venues were continually packed with people, and the Nathan Osmond concert on Thursday night, and the Darryl Worley and Maddie Wilson concert on Friday night, collectively attracted over 1,500 fans.
Also, Del McQuiddy, organizer for the “Punishment at the Peak” demolition derby on Saturday night, said the stands were filled with over 5,000 people, some of whom came from other western states, and even other countries.
All of which comes as welcome news. After being canceled in 2013 due to county budget and staffing cuts, the fair, now in its 63rd year, has worked its way back over the past four years to a summer event many look forward to. Such anticipation, along with the county fair, we hope continues for years to come. The Tooele County Fair, like other county and state fairs across the U.S., is a big part of America’s agricultural history and tradition that deserve celebration every year.
That tradition perhaps started with the first fair held in the country. The York Fair in York, Pennsylvania, began in 1765 and continues to this day. From that first one more than 250 years ago, fairs in America have evolved into multi-day, community events that emphasize livestock, horticulture and agriculture, but still offer something for just about everyone. The contests, entertainment, food, carnival rides and more are hallmarks of summer in America.
But that’s only part of the story. The county fair helps us to remember Tooele Valley’s agricultural roots that hail back to the mid 19th Century when Mormon pioneers arrived and turned desert ground into gardens, fields and pastures.
As Tooele Valley becomes more urbanized, the Tooele County Fair, with its Tooele County Junior Livestock Show (now in its 69th year) and other agriculture-related contests and exhibits, distinguishes between the urban and rural, but also closes the gap between the two. At the fair, children can learn, and parents are reminded, how food makes it to the table. And that process takes industry, thrift and commitment — values that are central to our American way of life.
Thanks to the continued support of the Tooele County Commission, and dedication from Baum, the fair board, and the staff at Deseret Peak, the Tooele County Fair continues to be an important community event that celebrates the county during the best time of summer.