With the theme of “Stars, Stripes, and Summer Nights”, the Tooele County Fair wrapped up on Saturday, August 5, 2022.
The four-day affair included the Junior Livestock Show and Sale, Home Arts exhibitions from Tooele County Residents, 4H exhibits and activities, the City of Fun Carnival, live entertainment, as well as the Tooele County Broncs and Bulls, and the Punishment at the Peak Demolition Derby.
With something for everyone, the County Fair is something the County Fair Board hopes will continue to grow and return for years to come.
“We really wanted to give the residents of Tooele County an event just for them,” said Clifford Russell of the Fair Board. “Our main goal was to provide an event that would help strengthen the comradery in the community as a whole, and to highlight the unique talents of our citizens.”
Families, teens, and adults alike could be found enjoying rides at the carnival, taking in music at the main stage, and then strolling through the barn to look at the animals. A welcome contrast to the past two years where the county fair consisted solely of the Stock Show and 4H exhibits and activities due to the strange times of COVID-19 restrictions.
County residents appeared to be pleased with the many new offerings the 2022 Tooele County Fair brought forth.
“We were so happy to provide the Home Arts exhibit this year,” said Becky Babbitt, who chaired the Home Arts Division this year. “We received nearly 500 entries in Home Arts this year. We had such an outpouring of support and had amazing talent to display.”
The Home Arts exhibits included Fine Arts, Needle Work, Photography, Quilting, Arts and Crafts, Food Preservation, Baking, and other projects completed by Tooele County residents. Exhibitors ranged from small children to seniors and boasted an impressive showing.
“We waited in line for quite a while to enter our projects in the Home Arts,” shared one young mother. “But really, we are just super-excited to have the Home Arts back again, it has been a while.”
Morgan Rivera was also happy and looking forward to the next County Fair.
“I’ll be back next year,” she said. “It was so much fun. It’s kind of addicting, I already know what I’m going to work on for next year.”
The Tooele County Junior Livestock Show and Sale has been a staple in the county for years. Youth ranging from 3rd grade to 12th grade show and then sell animals they have been raising as 4-H and Future Farmers of America projects throughout the year.
The Stock show committee made great efforts to make the animals accessible to passers by who wanted to check out the livestock barn to see the animals.
One family shared that they loved walking through and seeing all the animals. The 4-Hers had even let them pet their lambs.
Another family shared that they too had a lot of fun walking through the show barn, they hadn’t ever been to a Stock Show and it looked pretty cool.
Tooele County Broncs and Bulls featured a full rodeo with both youth and open divisions. Local cowboys and cowgirls competed alongside competitors from out of town for the top spot in each event. Event coordinator and Fair Board President Steven Babbitt said that he didn’t have to look far to find the high-quality rodeo stock, talent, or volunteers to make this rodeo a success, and he expressed gratitude for those who worked so hard to make it all happen.
7C Buckers, a local Stock Contracting Company, provided outstanding bucking bulls and horses. And the line-up of rough-stock riders, ropers, and barrel racers were full of familiar names to those in the local rodeo scene.
There were several ways the rodeo offered fans opportunities to share in the fun. At one point, three couples from the audience competed in an impromptu singing competition in an effort to win his and hers cowboy boots donated by CAL Ranch. Another was the high-energy, all-ladies calf-scramble. The final event of the night was the action-packed “wild cow riding” which featured teams of three, tasked with saddling a wild cow and riding it across the finish line. The crowd was obviously feeling the thrill as the scene came to a close. Feet were stomping in the stands and cheers echoed in the air.
The Main Stage featured music, magic, and mind tricks. With the talents of: Skylar Greer, Whitney Lusk, Devin Barringer, Elias “Lefty” Caress, The Donner Party, Carver Louis, and UnBroken, the crowd at the Main Stage was never without a quality show.
“I really liked the awesome, funny magician,” said Bailey Hurst, of Grantsville.
Hurst enjoyed the fair with her family and had several items entered in the Home Arts Youth Division.
Steven Babbitt, fair board president, said that he considers the 2022 Tooele County Fair a huge success.
Not only was the Fair Board trying some things that haven’t been done in the county for years, the board also had to put forth great effort to get sponsors, vendors, entertainment, events and volunteers who would really make the event enjoyable and memorable for those who came out.
“We hope we provided an event that everyone enjoyed,” Babbitt said. “A lot of people donated a lot of time and effort to plan, prepare, and make this happen. We got a lot of positive feedback from participants and just people who came through. We hope it continues to grow and that as we improve things and get more people involved that the Tooele County Fair will be the type of event that people from every part of the county will look forward to year after year.”
The Fair Board credits local businesses and members of the community who volunteered for the success of the Fair.
“We are so glad the County Council supported us in our vision for the Fair,” said Mindy Walters, of the Fair Board. “They gave us the green light and we went to work reaching out to businesses for help and so many stepped up and helped us out. We can’t put on an event this size without an army of donors, vendors, and people who make it all happen. And we look forward to building our relationship with those businesses and individuals who want to continue to be a part of it. I think great things are in store for the future.”
Misty Russell is the Tooele County Fair media specialist