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New world-class skatepark a highlight at 2019 Utah State Fair

By Graham Dudley, | Posted - Sep. 4, 2019 at 8:07 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — As another Utah summer comes to a close, it’s time once again for the annual Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City.

Running from Sept. 5-15, the fair, as usual, will feature lots of food, games, rides, animals and music. But director of marketing Annie Hemmesch said there will be new things to expect this year as well.

This year’s fair, she said, will feature the “largest, and only, Olympic-sized skateboard park in North America. We just built it on our fairgrounds property, and it’s sponsored by Vans,” Hemmesch said. “Tony Hawk was at that (Tuesday) for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, and it is open to the public — with the exception of when they have their skateboard tournaments.”

There will be tournaments during both weekends of the fair, Hemmesch said.

Though the fair will, of course, maintain its roots in agriculture, livestock and rodeo, Hemmesch said organizers are making an effort to appeal to and include a wide range of Utahns this year. For instance, Dominican musician Prince Royce will be performing at the Days of ‘47 Arena on Sept. 11.

Other music scheduled for the fair includes Old Dominion on Sept. 12 and Foreigner on Sept. 13.

Other highlights from the fair include:

Utah's Own PRCA Rodeo, Sept. 6-8

All-you-can-eat Ice Cream Festival, Sept. 9 in the Specialty Tent

Kings of Mayhem tournament jousting, Sept. 9

Beef Feast steak sandwich cookout, Sept. 13 in the Specialty Tent

Day of “Wreck”oning Demolition Derby, Sept. 14

Animals of Wizardry show, daily in the Grand Building

Terry Davolt, Farrell Dillon and Songblast, performing daily on the Gazebo Stage

The Utah State Fair began in 1856 as the Deseret Fair and was first held at its current Fairpark location, 155 S. 1000 West, in 1902. In 2017, Justen Smith of Utah State University told the Deseret News the fair’s roots are in “showcasing agriculture.”

“That’s what it was hundreds of years ago, and at the base of it and the root of it, that’s what it still is, and I think that’s what people appreciate. … The entertainment part’s fine too, but the root of it all is celebrating the harvest, celebrating agriculture and where our food comes from,” Smith said.

Tickets and additional information about the fair are available on the fair's website. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for youth, and seniors and children 5 and under are free.

Graham Dudley

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