Rodeos, punk rock and comedic gunfights at the Utah State Fair

Waterfowl champion at the Utah State Fair. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

The Utah State Fair begins Thursday. Here are some ideas for making the most of opening weekend.

A few countries: It’s the state fair after all. Pull on those Luccheses and bring some swagger.

  • Utah’s Own Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo is held Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Tickets cost $15-25 in advance – $18-28 on the day of – and include amusement park admission.
  • Check out this year’s winning crops and creatures in the barns and farm building at the show. (Goats are especially fun.)
  • Take the kids for games, tractor pulls and laser gun quick draws at the Wild West Funpark south of the grandstand. Or visit the animals at Barnyard Friends and do chores at Little Hands on the Farm. No charge after regular lounge admission.

Satisfy your inner speed demon: Carnival rides start at 1pm today, with daily times varying throughout the fair. The list of rides and ticket prices are on the fair’s website.

Let yourself be seduced: Stage performances rotate daily through the fairgrounds.

  • For stunts, try the iFlip trampoline and bungee show or the comedy shootout at Tumbleweed Crossing. (Yes, you read that right: comedy shootout.)
  • For tricks, visit the Gazebo Stage for magician, hypnotist, and circus performances.

Focus: Most of the big musical shows take place next weekend, but there’s plenty to see in the next few days. A few choices:

  • SLC punk band Johnny Tightlips plays at 8:15 tonight.
  • Listen to some roots goodness Friday with rockabilly band Lean Canteen at 8:15 p.m. followed by The Fox Brothers (country) at 9:45 p.m.
  • For an early evening chill, catch Chrome Street’s classic take on pop standards at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.

Fair tickets: $12 for ages 13 to 61, $8 for seniors and children ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are free.

  • The fair runs until September 18. We will have more information in the days to come.

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Diana J. Carleton