Francis City to host Frontier Days
Every summer the towns on Summit County’s East Side take turns hosting events to honor the community and recognize traditions. This weekend its Francis City’s turn.
Francis City designates Labor Day weekend for its annual Frontier Days celebration, which spans three days: Friday, Saturday and Monday. The event features several popular attractions, including vendors, a parade, live music and a rodeo.
"It’s just a lot of down-home country people who come," said Marcy Burrell, a Francis City planner. "It’s usually not too crowded and it is really fun. But we are definitely going to go above and beyond what we normally do for fun."
Organizers are expecting a large crowd this year because the event coincides with the city’s sesquicentennial anniversary. Several programs highlighting Francis City’s settlement and history are scheduled.
Francis resident Steve Brown will be selling his book a "Brief History of the Past" about Francis’s history for around $10.
"I think it’s a good deal and I think the city takes the right steps to celebrate Francis," Brown said of the event. "Francis had it tough when it got started, but it’s typical small-town Utah and America."
Three bluegrass bands will play throughout the day on Saturday at City Park, including local band Dan Bates. The music will go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Other activities will include craft booths, a climbing wall and bounce houses.
A new feature this year will be the a cook-off, sponsored by the International Dutch Oven Society. Residents are invited to cook three dishes for the contest or purchase a $10 wristband and sample the entrees. The Grand Champion may be invited to compete in the International Dutch Oven Society championship cook-off in March.
"We are really anticipating a bigger crowd than normal," Burrell said. "We have a fun celebration that is mostly free and very family friendly."
The unofficial theme for the weekend is military appreciation to honor the county’s veterans, especially those of the Vietnam War. The parade, to be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, will feature a motorcycle procession of approximately 25 to 50 military veterans who are traveling from Layton. It will be followed by a Vietnam Memorial ceremony at the Francis City Rodeo Arena.
Dennis Howland, president of the Utah chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, said organizers are searching for Summit County residents who served in that conflict to recognize at the Rocky Mountain Professional Rodeo Saturday night.
"We are really working hard to remind people that our guys served in a very tough war and came home to a less-than-welcome situation," Howland said. "I grew up in a small town in the Midwest. When I came home I was treated badly everywhere except in my hometown."
The RMPRA Rodeo is scheduled to be held at 7 p.m. at the Francis City Rodeo Arena. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 3-12. Veterans will receive a $2 discount with an ID. The night is tagged as "Military Appreciation Night," where spectators and contestants are encouraged to wear camouflage.
"I think it’s incredible and we feel very honored that someone is finally saying, ‘We want to welcome you home.’ It means a lot to Vietnam veterans," Howland said. "I just think that Francis Frontier Days and the parade is really what America is about."
Howland encouraged any veterans or family members of veterans to contact him to be recognized at the rodeo at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 801-389-1893 .
Frontier Days resumes Monday with a 5K at 7 a.m. followed by the Jr. Rodeo and several rodeo events, such as the popular Ring of Fear. For a full schedule of events, go to http://www.francisutah.org/frontier-days.htm.
Tickets and entry applications are still available for the RMPRA Rodeo. For more information call 435-783-6836.
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