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BREAKING NEWS - "Box Elder County to move forward with 2020 fair events - with major modifications"

BOX ELDER COUNTY - By Cari Doutre - July 10, 2020

Box Elder County was not going down without a fight – especially when it came down to the 2020 county fair.

Months of uncertainty during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic put Box Elder County’s fair plans for 2020 up in the air. Now, less than seven weeks away from the August 22, start date of the fair, the county is ready announce some of their plans.

This year’s event will be scaled down to just the Box Elder Junior Livestock show and auction (see more information below), the Golden Spike Rodeo and a few other events. Some events are still undecided at this time.

Box Elder County officials, members of the Box Elder County Fair Board and representatives from the Bear River Health Department met on Wednesday, July 8, at the fairgrounds in Tremonton to discuss any concerns and to make a few final decisions.

“We think we made the decision for the plain fact to make sure everybody has the opportunity to do what they want to do. I think that’s what the whole county stands behind. It might not be the norm, but I don’t know what the new norm is. I think everyone is learning as they go. We want to make it as safe as possible, but we also want to make it as good as possible,” said Box Elder County Commissioner Stan Summers.


· Box Elder Junior Livestock show and auction

· Golden Spike Rodeo

· Paws for Applause 4-H dog show

· Honor Flight concert

· Draft horse show

· Breakaway roping

· FFA and 4-H displays

· Home Arts displays


· Carnival of Fun rides, games and booths

· Box Elder County fair parade

· Commercial vendor booths

· Fair book

· Fun Run

· Bandstand entertainment

Additional updates will continue throughout the next few weeks and all events are subject to change at any time to meet state mandates or other concerns.

“We’re under state mandate and we’re doing everything we can under that state mandate,” Summers said.

“Hopefully this isn’t the new norm and we can get back to whatever that is,” Summers added.


One of the county’s top priorities this year is making sure the Box Elder Junior Livestock show and auction continue - but in a safe and responsible manner.

Further details will be released by the Box Elder Junior Livestock Committee in the next few weeks.

The following modifications have been confirmed for 2020:

· No live auction

· Virtual only livestock auction - More details to be released soon

· No housing of animals at the fairgrounds

· Each species of livestock will come in for one day only - More details to be released soon

· Animal weigh-ins and other requirements are still to be met as in previous years

“Just like everybody else we’re trying to balance health and safety with finishing these projects for the kids,” said Lyle Holmgren, Box Elder Junior Livestock Board President.

“They will bring them (animals) in, get them weighed come back for the show then take them home and come back when they disperse the animals on Sunday,” Holmgren added.

“The whole idea is to kind of force everybody apart as much as we can and only have them there when they absolutely have to be,” Holmgren said.

Software is currently being developed for the virtual auction.

“The kids still need to follow the rules as they did last year. There will still be weights and there will still be guidelines for them to follow as in the past with their animals,” added Karleen Ramsdell with the junior market beef program.

The livestock committee’s biggest concern is the community.

“First and foremost we need to think about the health and welfare of the public and I think we’ve made a compromise here that works and we’ll make sure we do our best to do that,” Holmgren said.

“It would have been easy to just say ‘look, we’re just going to wait’ but then we started thinking of the kids that are doing this and we can’t leave them high and dry so we decided to go ahead and do it this way. I think it will work out,” he added.

“It’s a big part of the fair. We have a lot of good kids and lot of these kids are seniors and this will be their last year. Let them have fun,” Ramsdell said.


The 2020 Golden Spike Rodeo will go on as planned. It is scheduled for August 26-29.

The following modifications have been confirmed for 2020:

· Face coverings or masks are required when entering the rodeo arena

· Social distancing requirements are to be followed when entering and exiting the arena

· No general admission tickets will be sold

· Tickets must be reserved and purchased online

· Limited to 6,000 people in attendance each night

“The quality of cowboys will be unsurpassed,” said Golden Spike Rodeo Chairman Brent Rose about this year’s rodeo.

Rose added that it is important to keep the Golden Spike Rodeo this year for,

“Tradition and for the cowboys, the contractors and the people in Box Elder County to enjoy the rodeo.”

Box Elder County is required to follow guidelines set by the Bear River Health District, the Utah Department of Health and the State of Utah regarding COVID-19 related restrictions. Box Elder County, and the majority of Utah, are currently in the Yellow Phase (as of May 16) of the color-coded health guidance system established in March.

Officials in the county have met with Utah Governor Gary Herbert and other state leaders about this year’s events and will continue to make sure all guidelines are met.


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