Members of the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce have finally established an annual county fair, despite the fact that it took them 66 years to do it.
The 1991 Utah Valley County Fair is under the direction of the chamber, with support and input from other chambers throughout the county, according to Brian Utley, the fair's director and director of communications for the Provo/Orem chamber."This is the first year since 1925 that the chamber actually had much to do with the fair," Utley said. "Many people are donating their time and energy to this year's fair to assure its success."
The fair will be held at the Spanish Fork City Fairgrounds from Wednesday, Aug. 14, through Saturday, Aug. 17. Events will include a beauty pageant, carnival, livestock and animal exhibits, live music, contests and dog show.
No fair was held in 1989, and only a limited fair was held in 1990, including 4-H events. At one time, the Utah County Commission had provided as much as $40,000 for fair funding. However, the chamber and commissioners have restored the fair this year in hopes of making it a self-sustaining event. The commission entered a three-year agreement with the chamber, authorizing its participation in the fair.
Members of the commission also have pledged their support to the fair, promising to provide seed money to ensure that this year's fair will get off the ground.
"I think the people here want this fair, and that's what we're going to give them," Commissioner Malcolm Beck said.
Though the fair already has $7,600 remaining from last year's fair fund, Geneva Steel's $4,000 has been set aside for 4-H events in this year's fair. Consequently, the chamber is pursuing several large sponsors for the majority of this year's funding.
Already, the chamber has kicked off its "passing the hat" campaign, in which sponsors donate time or money to the fair and receive a commemorative county fair hat.
This year's fair will probably include an admissions charge. The chamber is already planning season tickets, setting $2 adult and $1 children fees for the passes, which come in the form of an "I Love Utah Valley" button.
In addition, the chamber has written a fair handbook, which is available free of charge at the chamber office, 777 S. State, Orem. Individuals interested in donating time can contact the chamber at 224-3636.