SALT LAKE CITY — Call it a "September To Remember."
That’s how Utah State Fair plans to rebrand as it moves forward with modifications amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Utah State Fair Board voted unanimously Monday to continue fair events this September with adjustments that will make it vastly different from past years.
Exact details of what those changes will look like weren’t immediately released but are expected to be detailed in the coming weeks before the fair is scheduled to begin Sep. 10.
"The ‘September to Remember’ event can take on many forms from managing smaller groups of people on the fairgrounds property and maintaining social distancing while we honor the hard work of our Utah 4-H and FFA youth who have invested in preparing for this year’s fair, many of whom use proceeds from their winnings to pay for college," said Larry Mullenax, executive director of the Utah State Fairpark, in a statement.
Officials said that all events that will be held for "September to Remember" will follow "the most up-to-date directive health measures." In addition, the organization plans to work with state and local health departments, as well as the Utah Governor’s Office and Salt Lake City officials to follow public health guidelines.
The Utah State Fair dates back to when Utah was still just a U.S. territory. According to Utah History Encyclopedia, the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society was formed in 1856 and the first event was held that fall where the Joseph Smith Memorial Building currently stands. The event was held irregularly and in different locations after that but has since become an annual fixture.
The board’s decision Monday to move forward with events — albeit with adjustments and a different name — comes as other states have decided to not hold state fairs this year. Fairs have been canceled in New York, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin this week. The North Idaho State Fair was canceled last week.
Mullenax said the Utah State Fair typically employs more than 400 people during 11 days and features many booths and vendors. The typical Utah State Fair is planned to return in 2021.
"We know that the difficult decision today will lead to a stronger Fair in 2021," he said.
More details about events for "September to Remember" are expected to be released on the fair’s website between this week and September.