Cows gearing up for weekend’s ballet | ParkRecord.com
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Cows gearing up for weekend’s ballet

Dan BischoffOf the Record Staff
Left to right: Steve Phillips, Curtis Graf, Randy Barton, Ed Fraze and Janice Haskell show the cows how to dance.
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Bovine are usually not considered graceful animals. But at the fairgrounds in Peoa this coming weekend, they will get their chance to prove otherwise during the Cow Ballet.

The fundraiser for Mountain Town Stages will take place Saturday from 4 to about 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate, kids 12 and under are free. A host of other activities will accompany the cows, but the ballet is the main event.

"The event culminates with cow ballet," said Ed Fraze, the president of Mountain Town Stages. "It’s a dance performance of humans and cows all dressed in tutus. That’s a spectator arrangement, the culmination of the evening."

For someone who hasn’t seen cows in tutus, the event is difficult to fathom.

"It is one of those things that’s really hard to describe," Fraze said. "It’s something between a concert and a carnival and an auction and a barbecue and a freak show. It’s a conglomeration of all those things. It’s a fundraiser for all those things. It’s a very family-oriented event, but also with adult fun as well."

The animals, Fraze said, while not trained, are familiar with people and are treated like royalty.

"They’re not exactly trained but they are tame. They are little roping steers," he said. "That’s why they are more accustomed to people being around them. We dote over them, we put them on a pedestal. Some of the males find it a little feminine but they usually get over it. It’s very unusual," Fraze said with a smile.

Humor is what makes this event successful.

"People love it. It’s just hilarious. It’s like a comedy routine, everybody’s laughing and the music is really funny, mooing cows with music," said Sofia Mileti, the second chair program director of Mountain Town Stages.

In addition to the ballet, admission includes a barbecue catered by Kumbaya Kitchens, music by the the popular ’80’s band Bow Wow Wow, dancing, and $5 worth of games or drink tickets. There will also be a fishing pond, competitions and an auction. Tickets are available at Summit and Wasatch county 7-Eleven stores, Orions Music, all Smithstix locations or by calling 901-7664.

This year, the event will be without cowpie bingo, much to the relief of nostrils everywhere. However, the cowpie long jump competition will await brave souls.

"It’s basically a heaping pile of cow crap," Fraze said. "The take-off point is two feet away, then they move back a few feet, as people land in the goods they get cow crap on them. The winner is the longest jump over the stuff."

There will also be numerous events to entertain children.

"Lots of kids games," Fraze said. "There will be tic-tac-toe with bean bags, hay rides, fishing; plenty of things."

Second Chance Orphan Wildlife will host a petting zoo for the first time at the Cow Ballet.

"There will be live animals from the rehab facility, and we’ve never done that before," Mileti said.

Adult games are also set to entertain. Returning again this year is the popular beer relay races.

"We call it, ‘Beer Barrel Racing,’" Fraze said.

The winner needs to possess speed, agility and concentration as he or she navigates barrels with a full glass of beer. Runners who spill the brew will be docked time. All the racers will receive cow ballet trophies according to Mileti.

The silent auction will cover the gamut of possibilities. There will be auction items for every budget.

"There will be over 120 killer prizes form sandwiches to really nice overnight stays in resorts," Fraze said.

Mountain Town Stages has just wrapped up its free summer concert series. This has been one of the most successful summers seasons for the organization so far.

"It was fantastic," Fraze said. "Out of all those shows, we had only two that were canceled due to weather. We’ve put on a lot of shows in the past, this certainly was the biggest number of shows we put on without cancellations.

"This year, the attendance was better than ever," Fraze continued. "We were getting bigger and better crowds than we had in the past. (People) were digging the talent and atmosphere that we created."

The Cow Ballet is the largest fundraiser for Mountain Town Stages. The organization counts on this fundraiser to recuperate from the summer’s concerts, which numbered over 100 shows.

"We deplete the bank to put on the shows in the summer, and this catches us up," Fraze said. "This one by far is the most elaborate fundraiser throughout the year."

The Cow Ballet fundraiser for Mountain Town Stages will take place in Woodenshoe Park in Peoa Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. until the cows come home; about 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate, kids 12 and under are free. Admission includes barbecue, catered by Kumbaya Kitchens, music and dancing, and $5 worth of games or drink tickets. There will also be a fishing pond, competitions and auction. Tickets are available at Summit and Wasatch county 7-Eleven stores, Orions Music, all Smithstix locations or by calling 901-7664.


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