Utah State Fair: Food and fun for everyone

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SALT LAKE CITY — Tickets to the BYU v. Utah football game are sold out, but if you’re dying to be in Salt Lake this weekend or just need some time away from Provo, the Utah State Fair is calling your name.

The Utah State Fair has taken place every year since 1856, just nine years after the pioneers settled in the Salt Lake Valley. Over the years, it has a become a staple of Utah culture, showcasing food, craft, livestock, music and art exhibits unique to Utah.

Emily Smith, a junior from Booneville, Miss., attended the state fair on Saturday, Sept. 8, and said the fair has something for everyone.

“It was like most other fairs I’ve been to,” Smith said. “There are lots of rides, animals, arts and crafts, line dancing and food.”

Smith recommended checking out the Hunger Games butter sculpture and trying — wait for it — fried green jello.

“It wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be,” Smith said. “It didn’t taste bad, but it didn’t taste really great either, but I’m not the biggest fan of fried food in general. My roommates really liked it though!”

Along with fried green jello, which can be found at Jon’s Famous Fresh Lemonade Stand next to the Pioneer Building, the state fair is home to numerous food vendors with treats like funnel cake, candy apples and mini donuts, as well as (somewhat) healthier foods such as hamburgers, Indian fry bread, walking tacos and seasoned corn on the cob.

Chelsea Cummings, a junior from Boise, Idaho, was particularly fond of the corn, which can be found at numerous booths around the fairgrounds.

“We were walking along and this guy was holding out a sample plate of corn, so I tried some,” Cummings explained. “It was delicious! If I was going back to the fair, I would go back just for that.”

In addition to delicious food, the fair has an impressive lineup of shows and entertainment acts, including  the Olympic High Dive show, the Matt Baker Comedy and Stunt Show and several dance groups. Performing acts and times vary by day. For a complete listing of shows, days and times, visit utahstatefair.com/dailyschedules.

Cummings attended Utah’s Own Rodeo at the fair on Saturday, Sept. 8, and said she wasn’t able to see any other shows.

“Other than going to the rodeo and getting some grub, I didn’t do a whole lot,” Cummings said. “But you can tell just from walking around that there is tons to do, whether you like crazy carnival rides or more tame shows and exhibits.”

The fair, which opened on Sept. 6, continues through Sunday, Sept. 16 daily, opening at 9 a.m. Gate tickets are $10 at the door but can be purchased online for a reduced price of $7. For more information, go to utahstatefair.com.

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