Henefer couple to serve as grand marshals of Summit County Fair
When LaNae Ovard learned that the Summit County Fair board had chosen her and her husband, Everett, to serve as this year’s grand marshals she was “totally amazed.”
“I never pictured us doing that and doing it together,” she said. “One of our kids asked: Well how come they chose you? And you know, I don’t really know.”
The fair board typically chooses people who have been involved with the fair for many years to serve in the role. The Ovards have each spent nearly 40 years volunteering for the junior livestock sale, with LaNae serving as secretary and Everett helping with the sale invoices.
“I guess they decided because of our involvement with the sale we deserved to be chosen,” she said.
The Ovards are longtime Henefer residents, with Everett living there his whole life. They have six children, 17 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. They currently own and operate Diamond O Livestock with their son and grandson on property formerly owned by both of their grandfathers.
LaNae grew up on Chalk Creek Road and fondly remembers helping her father show Jersey cows, a small breed of dairy cattle. As a kid, she and her siblings would teach the calves to lead before taking them into the fair for show.
“I could remember that he was always a big fan of the fair,” she said of her father. “He loved it.”
She stayed involved as an adult, participating in the home arts exhibits and submitting her crocheting. Several of the Ovards’ six children also participated in 4-H horse shows and other projects.
The Ovards have watched the junior livestock sale evolve into what it is today: one of the biggest in the state. LaNae said she remembers when the sale would only last a little more than an hour and bring in around $40,000. Now it lasts up to five hours and nets more than $350,000.
The grand marshal appointment is particularly special to the couple for several reasons. LaNae’s father served in the same post more than 20 years ago. The Ovards will appear at several events throughout the fair’s duration, including the parade on Aug. 11, which happens to fall on the couple’s 59th wedding anniversary.
“I’m just surprised they asked both of us,” she said. “I guess it is pretty special when you think about it.” The 2018 Summit County Fair, a tradition for more than 50 years, is set to begin its seven-day run this weekend at the county fairgrounds in Coalville. It was scheduled to start Saturday and will last through Aug. 11.
The traditional fair will feature a demolition derby, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo, 4-H and home art exhibits, a junior livestock sale, vendors, food and a carnival.
The food booths and the beer, wine and spirits garden are scheduled to open at 5 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the popular demolition derby event at 7 p.m. to kick off the weeklong schedule of events. Tickets for the derby are already sold out.
The carnival midway is returning beginning Wednesday, Aug. 8, and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 11, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Carnival tickets can be purchased at the gate. More than 20,000 people attended the fair last year.
Summit County plans to celebrate the completion of the $5 million overhaul of the fairgrounds on Saturday. The playground, pavilion and livestock buildings were torn down to make way for a new $1 million livestock building and 1,100-square-foot community event center. The Ledges Event Center, which replaced the popular Quonset Hut, will house the fine arts and exhibits for this year’s fair.
A free shuttle service will be provided from Park City to Coalville by the Park City Chamber/Bureau on Aug. 4, 10 and 11.
Schedule of the first few days of the fair:
Saturday, Aug. 4
5 p.m. Food booths and beer, wine and spirits garden open
5-7 p.m. Josh Craigle and Amanda Johnson at the entertainment tent
7 p.m. Demolition derby
Monday, Aug. 6
2-6 p.m. 4-H exhibitions entered at the Ledges Event Center
Tuesday, Aug. 7
2-8 p.m. Home arts exhibitions entered
2-7 p.m. 4-H exhibitions entered
4-7 p.m. Fine arts exhibitions entered
4 p.m. Open horse show in the large and small arenas
5:30 p.m. Youth archery open shoot
6 p.m. Limited food booths open
6:30 p.m. Youth archery competition in the backfields
For more information about the fair and to view the entire schedule, go to http://summitcountyfair.org/schedule.
Becca Gerber, a first-term member of the Park City Council who is seen as bringing a younger person’s perspective to the Marsac Building, will seek reelection this year.