In this ever-changing frenetic world some things, fortunately, remain constant. Like state fairs.
Utah proudly is in the midst of celebrating its 142nd annual state fair, which runs through Sept. 20.And while the cost to attend the event has admittedly not held steady since the first state fair in 1856, it remains a good bargain. For the price of a movie or less ($6 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and older and $4 for children 6 to 16 - children 5 and younger get in free), all can enjoy a myriad of activities daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (on Sept. 20 the fair closes at 10 p.m.).
State fairs are able to merge generations as they feature the best of the past and present and take a look at the future. Exhibits often reflect the innovations of progress, including the embrace of technology and agriculture. Modern agriculture must adapt and use new technologies, such as computers, to meet the increasing need for food and agriculture products.
Highlights of this year's state fair include "The Old Iron" exhibit, a Centennial Village and a 600-pound sculpted butter cow. Families around the state are providing the items to showcase balers, tractors and combines from the 1930s and 1940s. A new line of compact utility tractors, balers, swathers (hay mowers) and a wide variety of lawn and grounds equipment also will be shown during the fair. The Centennial Village depicts 19th century life. As for the buttered cow, that's the creation of Norma "Duffy" Lyon of Iowa who has been sculpting cows from butter for 39 years.
But there's more to fairs than exhibits. While education is important, having fun is, too. As usual, there are plenty of opportunities to be entertained. Music groups including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Matt King & Sara Evans, Rhett Atkins, Cheap Trick, Clay Walker and Neal McCoy will be featured in the main grandstand area.
And fairgoers who attended wrestling matches years ago in the old fairgrounds Coliseum will have a chance to reminisce as they watch four World Pro Wrestling matches featuring "Jake the Snake Roberts" and "Greg the Hammer Valentine" on the fair's final night.
All in all there's something for everyone - which is why the Utah State Fair has been going strong for more than 140 years.