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99 Fairs Back in Time

Horse Races Down Popular Street and Baseball Games on the Public Square
Article Date: 
13 August, 2010 - 06:00

The Morgan County Fair is promoted as “The Biggest Little Fair in Utah.”  After watching only a fraction of the work that was done by Fair Board members while in the newspaper office, it is certainly possible that they actually do just as much work as those in charge of the bigger fairs in the state.    
The Fair is a long-standing tradition in Morgan County.  To be exact, this year’s 2010 fair was the 99th year of the fair held in Morgan County.  So, that got me thinking about how it all began back at the turn of the century when there was not and had not been a fair here at all.  
In the coming year of 2011, it will be the Centennial Anniversary of this annual Morgan tradition, and I can’t help but wonder… If that first person or persons to start the fair back in 1911 could see what had become of it, what would they say?  I imagine they would be impressed.
In 1911, workers sat down to organize the first fair which they called the Big Fair on the last week in August 2011.  I imagine that one of their first priorities was to schedule what date they would have the fair.  They set the dates for first county fair to be the first week of September, 2011.  
So, there ya go Kris Krammer and team.  What took you an entire year to prepare for the fair? The first fair board allowed themselves a grand total of one week to completely plan and prepare everything from start to finish.   I wonder what they did with all of that extra time on their hands back then.   It could explain why Morgan has so many amazing community events and activities like Morgala Days!        So this first fair was planned and one week later it was held on the Public Square.  Livestock was brought to the square to be shown.  As for the rodeo, it was the “local boys [who] worked with the farmers to get livestock for the rodeo and took care of the entire thing.
Well, there is one answer for Kris and crew to expedite things.  Put the kids in charge…  Maybe next year we will see more of our fair worker’s kids involved and “providing the rodeo” …. Or, maybe we’ll see another fairworker’s kid conducting an auction of livestock?  The truth is I saw so much support of the fair volunteer families that I would be surprised at all to see them taking on more responsibilities.    
When the dates of the first fair on the square arrived, and it was fair time, there were other examples of how much times have changed in the last 100 years.  As part of their first fair, “Horse races were held on Popular Street (100 West Street), and after they had cleared away the livestock from the public square for earlier, they played baseball in the square.  I think it would be very entertaining to see a galloping stream of mounted equine engaged in a competitive run for the blue ribbon.  
Here’s another good idea…maybe they could have the horse race right here on Morgan’s “Historic” Commercial Street.  How appropriate is that for celebrating a century of county fairs and its history?  
I could simply set my desk chair on the sidewalk outside on our newspaper and the Browning Outlet store fronts and be ready to go.  I might even be able to finally beat the “parade route” people who park their lawn chairs and coolers at least 24 hours before the start of any actual event starting to time so they will be assured the best place to see it all.  Now, that would be newsworthy and history-making to me!
The more I consider it, the more I think the idea is sound and should be heard during the public comment period of a council meeting.  Surely those on Morgan’s City Council will approve…. Especially considering their ever-increasing efforts to bring the previously packed and populated Commercial Street back to life…  
I wonder when Sherriff Ercanbrach attends these meetings.  He’s retiring from his long career soon.  Maybe he’ll be so relaxed about it that he will turn a blind eye to the rules of the road and approve of my unique idea for getting into the spirit of celebrating a century of the fair.  What better way to commemorate and honor this special anniversary.  We can go right to the county’s roots with a reenactment of the exact origins of the fair.  
I may just mention it to the next person form the fair board that comes for copies or doing other of the many other jobs of planning and preparing for the fair.  Then again, the fair board will be recruiting new volunteers for all work to be done in the next 50 plus weeks of planning and preparing the special anniversary fair… it might just be that they will be looking for this type of “out of the box” thinker.  Maybe my idea of having a historical reenactment of the first fair’s horserace down center of a main city street needs some tweaking.  
The Morgan County News is a proud sponsor of the fair.  With our recently found facts and first-hand knowledge of those who are silently serving us, we want to give a sincere thank you.  We appreciate your business, your help in gathering and providing great contributions for reporting news of the fair, for all of the time we observed you working and giving freely of your talents and for your determination to make sure that for the 99th time the fair would be there.  Because of your efforts, the county’s reputation and title of “the best little fair in the state” is preserved and deserved.