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All's Fair 

What's on tap for Utah's county fair season.

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KAFZIEL VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Kafziel via Wikimedia Commons

It can be easy to forget sometimes if you live along the Wasatch Front, but Utah is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Whether you're a dyed-in-the-wool city-dweller or someone who actually dyes wool, you can find a lot of fun and fascination at the state's many county fairs. As some of them kick off this week, here's a sampling of where to go and what to do:

Davis County Fair (Aug. 15-18): An event with a history that goes back to the 1920s continues with classic fairground attractions like carnival games, a Ferris wheel and pony rides. Other highlights include an opening-night performance by BYU's a cappella group Vocal Point and The Voice finalist Madilyn Paige, a daily educational/performance experience with live sea lions, hands-on "bug-ology" exhibit, RMPRA rodeo and BMX racing. Legacy Events Center, 151 S. 1100 West, Farmington, daviscountyutah.gov/fair

Emery County Fair (Aug. 1-4): Country artist Ned LeDoux is the Saturday night headliner, wrapping up a weekend of entertainment that includes a cornhole tournament (online registration required), teen sand volleyball and three-on-three basketball tournaments, comedian/mentalist Shaun Bott and violinist Jenny Oaks Baker. Kids can enjoy inflatables and a "splash zone" Friday and Saturday. Emery County Recreation Center, 75 S. 400 East, Castle Dale, emerycountyfair.com

Juab County Fair (Aug. 6-11): Veteran country band Restless Heart provides the marquee name for a Thursday, Aug. 9, concert, but that's only part of a full week of activities. Watch ranch rodeo competitions, the Miss Juab County Scholarship Pageant, dog show, "diaper derby" race and a wide range of livestock judging, or you can even sign up for County Fair Idol. All ages are welcome aboard the free train rides Friday and Saturday. Juab County Fairgrounds, 350 W. Center St., Nephi, juabcountyfair.com

Salt Lake County Fair (Aug. 9-11): City folk can still put on a country show. Daily activities for kids include wagon and pony rides, inflatables, petting zoo and bunny holding, plus a wide range of field games. Those looking for entertainment will find it in the form of the Great Salt Lake Dog Training Club Dog Show (Friday), a movie-in-the-park screening of Charlotte's Web (Friday) and junior rodeo events like mutton bustin' for 5- and 6-year-olds (Saturday). Salt Lake County Equestrian Park and Fairgrounds, 2100 W. 11400 South, South Jordan, saltlakecountyfair.com

Summit County Fair (Aug. 4-11): Visitors are invited to sign up for a nearby campsite, whether to participate in events or as a charming, inexpensive way to hang out through several days of activities. Kid-friendly activities include the daily carnival, petting zoo and pony carousel, while grown-ups can relax in the beer, wine and spirts garden. Competitions include youth and adult archery, livestock judging and PRCA rodeo. Entertainment offerings are scheduled to feature Excite Dance Co., country band Deep Red Dirt and hypnotist Kerry Sharp. Wrap up the week with a Saturday fireworks show. Summit County Fairgrounds, 202 E. Park Road, Coalville, summitcountyfair.org

Tooele County Fair (Aug. 2-4): The City of Fun Carnival provides the centerpiece with rides and midway games, while animal judging, home arts and a baked goods competition earn accolades from judges and visitors. Scheduled musical entertainment includes a free performance by country artist Charley Jenkins and a headliner concert by Craig Morgan, which is separately ticketed ($10), as is the demolition derby ($5-$15). Deseret Peak Complex, 2930 W. Highway 112, Tooele, tooelefair.com

Utah County Fair (Aug. 15-18): Bullfighting? In Utah? Well, if it belongs anywhere, Spanish Fork might be appropriate. The Utah County Fair includes the American rodeo-style variation, along with the Scales & Tales large reptile show, shark encounter, Macey's hot-dog-eating contest and evening music headliners, along with plenty of craft, 4-H and animal exhibits. Spanish Fork Fairgrounds, 475 S. Main, Spanish Fork, utahcountyfair.org

Washington County Fair (Aug. 8-11): It's "Pirates of the Fair-ibbean" in Washington County, as Cap'n Arrr entertains families with cannonball juggling and other special pirate skills, young ones get a chance at a "pieces of eight" treasure hunt, while a free pirate ship playground provides a centerpiece attraction. Visitors can also experience a live shark encounter and tropical bird show, plus live music acts including The Joe Sherman Band, Bellview and Wooden Tantrum. Home arts, 4-H and canned food judging take place throughout the event. Washington County Regional Park, 5500 W. 700 South, Hurricane, washcofair.net

Weber County Fair (Aug. 8-11): You might have seen a traditional rodeo, but have you ever seen a backhoe rodeo? The Weber County Fair features both—the latter a unique skills competition with heavy machinery—along with a wide range of vendors and livestock competitions. William Michael Morgan performs a free-with-admission concert on Friday evening, while special ticketed events include MMA fighting at the Golden Spike Arena (Friday) and Western Grand Nationals Demolition Derby (Saturday). Weber County Fairgrounds, 1000 N. 1200 West, Ogden, webercountyfair.org

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