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Subject: Does the Utah State Fair still matter?
Date: Sun Sep 13 16:18:43 MDT 2015
Does the Utah State Fair still matter?
A long time ago, the state fair was a place to celebrate the accomplishments of all of us together. It was a place to showcase new and exciting things, the next thing that would revolutionize the world, or change the face of your home forever. It was the place where bragging rights were won or lost for the rest of the year. “You may have won the blue ribbon at the county fair Martha, but I won the blue ribbon at the Utah State Fair!” The county fair was a show; the state fair was the Big show.
Before we were so connected by the internet and cell phones, the state fair was a place for the state to come together and to truly see the best we have to offer. The smell of roasted sweet corn and the sounds of goats and cows filled the brisk evening air. One could ask in the world where everything is digital and we don’t do anything without our cell phones, or social media, do we need a state fair anymore? But the truth is in this day and age, when we are so connected online, we need real interaction now more than we ever have.
When a 1st grader has never seen a cow or a litter of piglets except on TV or in a book, we need a state fair. It is a nod to our agricultural roots, and a reason to come together no matter where in the state we come from. As a state, our backgrounds may divide us by city or county, but at the state fair we are one common people, one common state. With as much as divides us, the state fair unites us. There are hundreds of celebrations, fairs and shows throughout the year, but only one that celebrates our state and who we are as a common people and that, that alone is worth saving.
It is worth saving not just for ourselves but for the generations who will come after us. It is the heritage of our state we are preserving and the future of our state that we are promoting. A cell phone will never give you the experience riding a ride will, or winning a prize for your sweetheart, or biting into a freshly dipped corn dog, or replace the look on a toddlers face their first time seeing a goat, or a pig, or a sheep, or a cow in person. (Or animal)
The state fair matters because we need to come together to remember where we came from, and where we are capable of going if we work together to preserve it. The state fair is not another show, it is a piece of our living legacy handed to us from the generations who preceded us, and one we can give to all of the generations who will come after us.
-Jordan R Hinckley, Salt Lake City, Utah