There’s no place like home!
After six different locations for the Washington County Fair, its 7th location was what everyone had hoped for—a brand new home at a permanent location, forever and ever!
From the John D. Lee mansion in Washington City in 1860, to the St. George Hall, St. George Tabernacle basement, Streets of Hurricane, Hurricane High School and then moving to the Hurricane Middle School, the pressure was on the Washington County Commission to secure a location in which the fair could be held—along with many other equestrian events throughout the years to come.
The county made an application to the BLM for a recreation and public purpose lease on 180 acres of land in the Purgatory Flat area. Approval came in 1995, and a used facility in Wichita, Kansas that was being dismantled came up for sale. The county moved quickly to purchase it at 50% the original cost, and the grading for development began in 1996.
In August of 1997, the Washington County Fair moved to its new home. Though not complete by any means—dust blowing, hot buildings, non-paved roads and parking lots—it was a great start… and it was home!
Improvements are happening every year. And now, twenty years later, we welcome the new Utah State University Extension building as part of our fair grounds. With 19,000 square feet of exhibit space, new and exciting attractions and events can be held throughout the year. Yes, there’s no place like home!
There is no other event that can bring a county together like the fair. We, as a fair board, try to present one of the best, affordable events possible to individuals and families throughout the county. What other place can you enter your talents in every category, be judged and critiqued, receive a ribbon, premium and have it displayed for all to see? It is a place where wholesome family activities exhibit the quality of life we all value. —Wendy Sandberg, Fair Director
Let us have a fair! Not to do so will be a step backward! —F.L. Daggett, 1908 (Washington County Fair History)
Come out to the fair and forget your cares and troubles. It is as necessary for people to forget their cares and troubles and have a good time now and then as it is for them to eat and sleep!
—Homer Englestead, 1944 (Washington County Fair History)
My biggest nightmare is to overlook details, with all that is going on at once. My biggest reward is to see the crowds gather, the parking lot full, smiles on kids faces when they get a blue ribbon and premium or win a prize, and families having fun together. The best over-heard quote was when we had the elephants on the lawn entrance. One little girl said to her dad, “I have never seen an elephant before! Look how big they are! I just want to stay here and look at them all day!” Those are the reasons I, too, am celebrating my 20th year as fair director. The fair is our holiday in August, which I am so proud to be a part of! — Wendy Sandberg, Fair Director
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