100 degrees? No problem; 7 reasons why the Washington County Fair is held in August

The Washington County Fair, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 10, 2016 | File photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The area in Washington County historically known as Purgatory Flat may take on a literal meaning when hundreds of people converge on the 2018 Washington County Fair this week.

With scorching temperatures expected to reach well over 100 degrees during the fair from Aug. 8-11, many may wonder why it’s held during the hottest month of the year. Fair Director Wendy Sandburg provided seven reasons why the Washington County Fair is always held in the second full weekend of August and why it won’t be changing any time soon.

The Washington County Fair Demolition Derby, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 13, 2016 | File photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

Read more: ‘Pirates of the Fairibbean’: 2018 Washington County Fair mixes a pirate’s life with traditions

1- Tradition

Holding the Washington County Fair during August has been the traditional time for the past 30 years, according to an email from Sandburg.

2- Contracts 

Fair organizers contract a carnival company to set up the fair five years in advance.

“If we were to change our dates, it is very unlikely to find another carnival that could accommodate our dates – let alone, be a good one,” Sandburg said.

3- Peak season for produce

Many fruits and vegetables, which are traditionally exhibited at the fair, are at their prime during mid-August when the fair is held.

4- It’s before the Utah State Fair

In order for the winners of the Washington County Fair to participate in the Utah State Fair, which will be held Sept. 6-16 in Salt Lake City, the Washington County Fair needs to be held before.

5- School’s still out

Besides all the families and children who come to the fair, many youth participate in the Washington County Fair from Future Farmers of America, 4-H and local city royalties, so the fair needs to be held before the school year starts, Sandberg said.

6- Other big events in the county

The Washington County Fair is on a weekend with the least amount of conflict with other big events in the county like the St. George Marathon, Huntsman World Senior Games and Dixie Roundup, Sandberg said.

Lightning threatens, but the Washington County Fair goes on, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 10, 2016 | File photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

“Fair time in Utah for all counties is late July and August. We benefit from this because we can buy entertainment and attractions together at a cheaper rate.”

7- Fair weather for the fair

While the temperature highs average between 98 and 105 degrees during the weekend the fair is held on, most of the crowds come after the sun has already set, Sandberg said.

“The last three years, cooler temperatures have been a great new trend with thunderstorms the week before the fair,” Sandberg said.

In addition to all the snow cones, ice cream and drinks for sale at the fair, there are also three air-conditioning buildings on the fairgrounds.

“Supporting the community and being with the family is worth a little heat,” Sandberg said.

Email: sricks@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • Real Life August 7, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Lame excuses. August is a horrible time to have an outdoor fair here. Go to the Iron county fair in September if you want to have fun without dying of heat stroke.

    • comments August 7, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      Yup, them having to make up all these excuses just reinforces them being wrong. It’s ridiculous.

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