Francis’ Frontier Days wraps up Summit County’s east-end celebrations |

Francis’ Frontier Days wraps up Summit County’s east-end celebrations

The annual Francis Frontier Days celebration is set to return over Labor Day weekend. The event spans three days and will feature a rodeo, vendors, live music and kids games.
Photo by Byron Ames

Francis will wrap up the summer celebrations for the east end of Summit County over Labor Day weekend with the annual Frontier Days event.

For more than 30 years, the Kamas Valley community has gathered together to recognize its rural heritage and Francis’ place among western frontier towns. Mayor Byron Ames said the event embodies Francis’ rural background.

“This valley over here was part of the settlement of the western frontier,” he said. “Part of this weekend is about preserving that community and getting together to have fun.”

The celebration spans three days: Friday, Saturday and Monday. Horse games, vendors, live music and a Rocky Mountain Professional Rodeo Association rodeo will be featured.

The event has evolved over the years to better reflect the community’s interest.

“We have tried to have this grow with the desires of the community,” he said. “At its core, there is a horse- and animal-centered theme. There are rodeos on two different days, horse games, kid games and all of these things you would expect to see at county fair-type events.”

Bluegrass bands will play throughout the day on Saturday at City Park. The music will go from noon until 6:45 p.m. Other activities will include vendors, bounce houses, and a Dutch oven cook-off.

The cook-off has only been featured in recent years, with prizes awarded to the winners in each category. Advanced contestants are invited to cook three dishes for the contest while novice contestants will be judged on two dishes. An overall “Grand Champion” will be recognized.

The RMPRA Rodeo is scheduled to be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Francis City Rodeo Arena. Tickets are $8. Children younger than 3 are free. The night will include a patriotic tribute to veterans, as well as professional skydivers. Tickets are still available and can be purchased in the city offices or by calling 435-783-6236.

“It will be really cool,” Ames said. “We have some bagpipers coming and there will be some other surprises.”

Ames said attendance has remained consistent throughout the years. He said more than 500 tickets are typically sold for the rodeo for a “packed house.” He added, “We are not complaining.”

“We have good crowds and we are providing the right events,” he said. “The challenge is the needs of the community have evolved and we want to meet those needs. But, it remains a fun, family friendly weekend.”

Francis City Councilor Trilby Cox said this will only be her second time attending the celebration. The first-time City Councilor was elected in November of 2017 and has lived in the area for about five years.

“I loved it,” she said. “It was incredibly reminiscent of every little small-town celebration that I’ve gone to. It embodies everything that is good about a small town: people sharing burgers in the snack shack or friends who haven’t seen each other for a while listening to music. It is such a fun time.”

Cox helped oversee the rodeo royalty contest earlier this summer and will be in charge of the 5k fun run on Monday. She said participants are encouraged to wear costumes.

“We are trying to change it from a regular 5k into something that is fun and unique,” she said.

A new route will be featured this year that will take runners from City Park through the neighborhoods before looping back around to City Park for the finish. Online registration will be open until midnight on Sept. 2, the day before the race. Participants can also sign up on the day of the race.

The race will be followed by a breakfast and the Jr. Rodeo, which includes kid’s scrambles. Rodeo events will continue in the afternoon beginning at 2 p.m. with the barebacks, broncs and bulls.

“It’s been fun as a first-time City Council member because it has been a great way for me to be involved in the community more so than I already have been,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of new and different people that I may not have run into other aspects of my life or at meetings. It’s been a lot of fun to reach out and work with other people I haven’t run into before.”

For a full schedule of events, go to

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