Demolition Derby and rodeo tickets for the 2017 Summit County Fair go on sale
Fair-goers encouraged to purchase early
While the Summit County Fair is held in the summer, organizers have been gearing up for months for the annual draw that attracts thousands to the East Side.
The week-long event features a parade, several 4H and home art exhibitions, competitions and the Jr. Livestock Sale. The popularity of the Demolition Derby and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo has also continued to soar over the years and the events often sell out quickly.
Tickets for this year’s Demolition Derby and PRCA at the Summit County Fair, which will run Aug. 5-12, are on sale now and can be purchased online at http://www.ticketfly.com/venue/16821. Prices for the events range from $13 to $15.
The Demolition Derby is scheduled to be held Saturday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m. Adult tickets are available for $13.50, with fence-line seating on sale for $13. The last driver whose vehicle is still operational will win an undisclosed amount of prize money, according to the fair website.
Cody Blonquist, a member of the fair board, said he expects a majority of the tickets to be sold before the end of the month.
“The website map allows you to select your seating area, this means most desirable seats will go first,” Blonquist said. “I have already purchased tickets for our family and suggest others do so soon. Historically, this has been the most popular event at the fair.”
Blonquist said the event remains popular, with many returning contestants. He said the purse is another draw.
“That keeps drivers coming back despite of the shortage of vintage automobiles,” Blonquist said. “But there’s been a derby at the Summit County Fair as long as I can remember. I can recall watching it as a kid more than 30 years ago.”
The PRCA Rodeo is scheduled to be held Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 at 8 p.m. at the large arena, located in the Summit County Fairgrounds in Coalville. The rodeo will feature bull, bareback and saddle-bronc riding, among other races and tests.
Cliff Blonquist, who has overseen rodeo operations for the last 23 years, said the event annually produces a near sell-out crowd and suggested purchasing tickets early. He added the fair has grown in popularity over the years.
“What we thrive on is we try to hire the best entertainers in the business,” Blonquist said. “We are in the entertainment business and we try and bring a good rodeo that is stocked with top-of-the-line contestants.”
“For a small town, we are comparable,” he said. “PRCA puts on about 475 rodeos and our purse ranks in the top 30 percent.”
Blonquist, who grew up in Coalville and has served several years on the fair board, said the fair continues to expand and attract people from outside of the community. He said organizers emphasize that the fair is a county-wide event, not just for those in North Summit.
“That’s the neat thing. We get a lot of people from out of the county and we never wanted to make it a Coalville thing,” Blonquist said. “We are getting a lot of interest from outside the community. Between the Demolition Derby and the rodeo, every event brings a different crowd. It is still a rural, county fair and that really makes it a community and family-oriented event.”
Last year, the county purchased two properties adjacent to the current fairgrounds in Coal. Officials plan to nearly double the size of the fair, as the projects are completed within the current blueprint. The first phase of construction the fairgrounds will begin after the 2017 Summit County Fair.
The Quonset Hut is expected to be among the first buildings demolished during the first phase. The playground, pavilion and livestock buildings would also come down. A new access road, multi-purpose building and associated plazas would be constructed in their place. The plan shows the next phases occurring over the next 10 years.
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Jenn Armstrong-Solomon provides the services of her trauma-sensitive yoga nonprofit, Tall Mountain Wellness, free of charge to groups like the Summit County Drug Court and the county jail.