2003 Sanpete County Fair Has Something for Everyone – Press Release 8/4/2003

DATE 8/04/2003 4:55 PM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

2003 Sanpete County Fair Has Something for Everyone

The annual Sanpete County Fair, known for its ability to transport fair goers back in time a hundred years, is being held Aug. 16-23 in Manti.The Sanpete County Fair Board has resisted trends to evolve into a more trade show-type event and preserved many of the county fair traditions started decades ago, such as horse and cattle shows, royalty contests, rodeos, pet shows and barbershop quartets and a cowboy poetry concert. The result is an old-fashioned celebration with something for everyone, says Sally East, Sanpete County’s economic development director.”There are many elements of the fair that promote the home town’ element of local county fairs,” East says. “For example, there are 4-H programs involved in the fair, and I remember being in 4-H and the self satisfaction you get when you perfect your muffin or cookie recipe and take it to the fair and get a ribbon. It’s that home-grown, grass-roots feeling that I think we are losing across the nation.”

The fair is also a wonderful way for Utahans both local and out-of-towners to take a step back in time and experience life the way it once was in rural Utah, she says. “The fair gives Sanpete County an opportunity to preserve its culture, convey its heritage and celebrate its unique rural history,” she says. “And it brings so many people out into the community. Whether its to the antique car show, to the demolition derby, the horse pull to watch those beautiful animals, or at the local talent show where many kids are performing for the first time and you have mom, dad, and grandma and grandpa in the audience. You see a lot of new people and people you haven’t seen in a long, long time.”

Prior to this year’s fair, there will be an Open Horse Show held Saturday, Aug. 9 at 8 a.m. at the Manti fair grounds. The competition will feature halter classes and showmanship classes for youth. Performance classes will include the lead line, walk trot, Western Pleasure and horsemanship divisions. There will also be trailer races, egg races, boot races, barrels poles and an obstacle course.

Fair highlights include the Miss Sanpete County royalty contest, which will be held Saturday, Aug. 16 in the Manti High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Cost is $6 and includes entertainment. Fair activities on Monday, Aug. 18 include the Karena Junior Buckle Rodeo at 6 p.m. for youth ages 6 – 17, and the cowboy poetry contest at 7 p.m. at Manti High School, featuring some of the best cowboy poets and singers in the nation will be at the event. Cost is only $3. Entertainers include JP Carson, Fred Engle and Sam DeLeeuw. In addition, the top five young cowboy poets, determined at an earlier competition, will entertain Monday night. There will also be musical performances by “Stampede” and “In Cahoots.”

Tuesday, Aug. 19 there will be a 7 p.m. barber shop quartet concert in the Manti High School auditorium. The event features the Utah Valley Chapter of the Skyline Chorus of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. Admission is $3.

Highlights of activities being held on Wednesday, Aug. 20 include the opening of the Midway Carnival at 6 p.m. and the Farm Bureau Talent Find at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21 there will be beef, dairy, swine fitting and showmanship at 8:30 a.m., small animal judging at 10 a.m., a local talent show from 4 to 6 p.m., a derby parade down Main Street in Manti at 6 p.m. and a demolition derby at the fairgrounds at 7 p.m. The demolition derby, with tickets costing $7 and $8.

Events on Friday, Aug. 22 include the antique tractor and equipment show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring old farm equipment in all its restore splendor. The Pet Show, which is celebrating its 26th year, will begin at 11 a.m. and feature pets of all shapes and sizes. The first-annual Dutch oven cook-off will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. The Big Extreme Motorcycle Show will begin at 2, 3 and 5 p.m. The show features professional freestyle riders performing stunts 40 to 60 feet in the air. The riders have been featured on numerous television and sports shows. At 6 p.m., there will be a Car Show Cruise Night down Main Street, followed by Family Night at the Clegg Championship Rodeo at 8 p.m. Family admission to the rodeo is $25. Clegg Championship Rodeo has been a participant at the Sanpete County Fair for 24 years. Hometown contestants will also be featured.

On Saturday, Aug. 23, activities begin early in the morning with a 6:30 a.m. 5-K “Fun Run, followed by the annual EMT breakfast at 8 a.m. A car show begins at 10 a.m., along with mud volley ball, local talent shows, and the antique tractor show. At noon there will be a beef producer’s dinner, followed by a 12:30 clown show class. At 1:30 p.m., the best draft horse teams in the U.S. will be featured in an old-fashioned horse pulling match. The teams are much like those used a century ago to do farm work and weigh from 3,000 to 5,200 pounds. Other events that day include a mud scramble and pie eating contest. The annual Mammoth Parade will be held on Main Street at 5 p.m., featuring floats and musical performances. It will be followed by the evening rodeo performance at 8 p.m.

“The Fair Board has put together a spectacular celebration, and really pulled together to make this a wonderful celebration,” East says. For a complete schedule or additional information on the fair, call (435) 462-2502.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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