CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — For the first time in its 161-year history, the Washington County Fair is moving to April to beat the summer heat. But rest assured, there will be just as much entertainment and affordable fun for the entire family.
“You’ll see some of your favorites and some new things too,” Washington County Fair director Susi Lafaele said.
The 2021 fair will be held April 14-17 at Washington County Legacy Park in Hurricane. General admission tickets cost $1 per child under age 12, $2 per adult or $5 per family. Admission will be free on April 15 from 2-6 p.m. There is no cost for parking.
Festivities kick off April 13 with the fair parade, which features county and city royalty, floats, marching bands, horses and vintage vehicles, among other attractions. Hildale Mayor Donia Jessop will serve as this year’s grand marshal. Veterans Park in Washington City will host an opening celebration featuring music, inflatables, treats and giveaways immediately following the parade.
The fair was held over the second weekend in August for more than 50 years. Following the 2020 event, local tourism leaders consulted with the Washington County Commission about moving the date from summer to spring. Lafaele said the change was prompted by responses to surveys conducted over the past few years with fair attendees, many of whom complained about the excessive heat.
“We knew based on the data from the surveys that we needed to do something,” she said.
Aside from cooler weather, attendees can expect all of the same attractions that have made the fair a local favorite for generations, including the nightly carnival and fireworks show.
Although pumpkins and squashes aren’t yet in season, agricultural products such as root vegetables and lettuces will be on display, along with fine art, quilting and kids’ crafts exhibits. The food vendors, petting zoo, junior rodeo, demolition derby and beer garden are also returning, and attendees will be able to browse dozens of retail vendors in the Grafton Exhibit Hall.
A tractor pull and MMA match are among the attractions making their debut this year. Additionally, the fair will recognize Washington County residents who have served in the military with a wall of honor and mobile education exhibit from Wreaths Across America.
And don’t forget the entertainment. Find a shady spot on the grass to enjoy live music by local artists throughout each day. This year, the fair will hold three concerts in the outdoor arena featuring the Rock Bottom Boys, a folk and rock roots trio; the Como la Flor Band, a Selena tribute act; and country singer-songwriter Ned LeDoux.
Tickets for the concerts, demolition derby, boxing and MMA events are available to purchase online.
“Come prepared to see a wide variety of events and stay for several hours,” Lafaele said. “You can just lose yourself visiting all of the animals and walking up and down all the aisles looking at the items people have made. Maybe you’ll find some really cool jewelry or things to buy.”
The first Washington County Fair was held in September 1860 at the estate of John D. Lee. At the time, Washington City was the county seat and St. George was not yet settled. Families from surrounding towns journeyed by horseback and wagon to show off their livestock, crops and crafts, this rare opportunity to gather perhaps offering a moment’s reprieve from the hardships of pioneer life.
After many name, venue and date changes over the following decades, Washington County Legacy Park was selected as the fair’s permanent location in 1997.
“It’s pretty incredible to have a fair that’s such a long-standing tradition,” Lafaele said. “One thing that we’re really trying to continue is just that tradition of community. The fair brings everyone together.”
- What: 2021 Washington County Fair.
- When: Wednesday-Saturday, April 14-17.
- Where: Washington County Legacy Park, 5500 W. 700 South, Hurricane.
- Tickets: $1 per child under age 12, $2 per adult or $5 per family.
- Resources: Website.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
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