Washington County Fair returns with new events, focus on county heritage

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

ST. GEORGE — The Washington County Fair is returning to close out the summer before the school year starts with new attractions and a new layout.

Demolition Derby at the Washington County Fair, Hurricane, Utah, date unspecified | Photo Courtesy of the Washington County Fair, St. George News

Set to run Aug. 7-10, the fair returns with an emphasis on celebrating Washington County’s heritage in an event that organizers say will have a little something for everyone.

The Washington County Commission gave the reins of the fair to the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this year and tasked it with revamping the event, fair chairwoman Susi Lafaele said.

Specifically, the commission wanted the fair to focus on celebrating the county’s heritage while also making it more inclusive.

“We really are trying in all our events and everything we’ve done … to make sure that we try to include all groups of people that live here in our county,” Lafaele said.

New events and attractions have been chosen with this goal in mind, including more music.

Attendees at the demolition derby at the Washington County Fair, Hurricane, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Fair, St. George News

As part of the revamped fair’s ribbon-cutting, a free concert will be held on the first day featuring the band Beans and Wheels followed by Love and Theft.

The following night will feature the band Blood, Sweat, and Tears, with a battle of the bands taking place the day after that. Other musical acts include Soul What and Vinyl Fusion.

In celebration of the county’s farming, ranching and general agricultural heritage, Lafaele said there will be a free junior rodeo and barrel-racing event, in addition to other events and contests like sheep shearing, animal showings and others involving 4H participants. There will also be a free, expanded petting zoo.

The carnival, boxing and demolition derby are returning to the fair this year.

As part of the fair revamp, organizers have pushed for more community involvement. Lafaele said this has included a contest asking the public to submit new fair logo designs and seeking people to sing the national anthem at the start of different events.

A child enjoys the petting zoo at the Washington County Fair, Hurricane, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Fair, St. George News

“We really wanted people to know this was their fair, so they feel like they have a stake in it — feel like they own it,” Lafaele said. “It’s their fair. They can be proud of it.”

Additional volunteer opportunities are available through the fair’s website.

A survey issued by the county last fall also resulted in two new features, including free water slides and the incorporation of a beer garden.

The new layout of the fair will be more centralized, and some events have been moved to different parts of the fairgrounds. Food vendors will be outside near a large, air-conditioned tent that will serve as the main stage of the fair.

With the exception of parking, which will be $5 for an all-day pass, tickets for the fair’s major events are being sold online, which is another first for the fair.

Tickets can be bought through the Washington County Fair’s website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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