Arguably, the best part of every summer is the Utah State Fair. And if you have yet to head out to the Utah State Fairpark, you're missing out on everything from fried food, rodeos, flea markets, demolition derbies and, of course, great live music. The problem is, there's only one week left! So, in an effort to help break down the best party of the year, here are nine things that you can't miss at this year's fair.---
GUYS IN FLANNEL DOING GUY STUFF
A daily offering at the fair, The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show is “family fun” entertainment that's exactly what it sounds like. In the show, professional lumberjacks from across the nation compete in events such as logrolling, chopping, cross-cut sawing, axe throwing, hot-saw competition and, of course, tree climbing.
The show has apparently been traveling around the nation for 28 years now -- and its website claims that theirs are the “best of all lumberjacks.” If you want to find out for yourself, the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show performs three times a day on the East Lawn.
OVER 40 CLOWNS!
Afraid of clowns? Then the 2013 Utah State Fair is not the place for you! On any given day of the fair, you can see up to four different clowns blowing balloon animals, squirting people with flowers and trying to be funny. Oh, and they're all walkaround entertainment -- meaning that they'll be all around the fair, and, if they wanted to, could follow you anywhere you go.
THERE'S A COW MADE OF BUTTER
The Utah Dairy Council holds a drawing competition annually, and every year its winner is used as an inspiration to the butter-cow sculptors of the Utah State Fair. That's right, for just the price of a ticket, you yourself can see a 700-pound, life-size butter cow based on a drawing done by a middle-schooler! This year's winner, a joyful cow jumping in the air, has a lot to live up to. Last year's butter cows were based on characters from The Hunger Games.
THE FOOD; OH, GOD, THE FOOD!
We couldn't write a state fair article without talking about state fair food. This year, the fair offers such delicacies as poutine, pierogies, deep-fried frog legs and chocolate-covered bacon waffles. The “Utah's Own” section, showcasing local food producers, will also return to the fair. If you're not into carnival food, Utah stand-bys such as Siegfried's, Moochies and The Pie will all have food available.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Break out your homemade shirt and get ready to jump up and down vigorously because The Price is Right is coming to the state fair. On Sept. 12, audience members will have the chance to be a contestant on the famous game show. Read up on your laundry detergent prices and practice your ability to spin a giant wheel in case you are chosen. Though Drew Carey won't be there, you can still try your hand at Plinko. Show times are 5 and 8:30 p.m.; tickets are available in advance and the day of the show.
After eating an abundance of corndogs and cotton candy, join a food-eating contest to prove that there is no limit to the amount people can eat while at a state fair. The food-eating contests range from pie and ice cream to even watermelon (for the person who is health conscience when gorging on an enormous amount of food). There is even a milk-chugging contest on Sept. 10, and a cracker-stacking contest, which is exactly what it sounds like. The contests are scattered throughout the fair; check the schedule for specific times.
ANIMALS RACING EACH OTHER
The state fair has raced pigs and goats before, but this year, for the first time, there will be a duck race. Every day of the fair, there is a chance to not only see the duck races, but hold one of the four Mallard ducks and release them when the race begins. Win prizes and get the chance to brag that your duck was the one that could swim in a straight line the fastest. The races will be held four times throughout each day.
THERE'S A WIZARD SCHOOL!
Although the name suggests that the Wizard's Challenge is all about spells, the exhibit is actually learning about science through magic themes. For those attending the fair with children and you need to distract them because they are driving you crazy, this is one of the places to go. The exhibit showcases things such as blowing 25-foot-long bubble tubes using a wand, and testing if people have the balance it takes to be a warrior. The exhibit is free and open every day of the fair.
THE DEMOLITION DERBY
On the final day of the fair, Sept. 15, jimmy-rigged cars will smash into one another and see who comes out on top at the Demolition Derby. Sit as close to the front as possible to try and get a state fair souvenir in the form of a piece of car to the face. End the fair on a high note, because nothing says fun like a bit of violence and the destruction of cars. Tickets are $22 in advance and $27 on the day of the event.
For a full list of things to do at this year's fair, check out the daily schedule here.