Washington County FairMaybe you will go to the Washington County Fair. Perhaps you will take your children, grandchildren, a friend’s children, or no children. You will probably go because, hey, it’s tradition.

The first fair dates all the way back to The New York Fair, which debuted in 1765. Not much has changed in 251 years since the original event, except the freak shows, which are now taboo. Washington County, Utah is celebrating 50 years of existence, and I will bet not much has changed here either. Sure there are some new additions, but Washington County is still thought of as being rural, despite the fact that the “good old days” feel is fading. Animals are still considered “inferior,” which to some justifies dominance and abuse.

Washington County FairPerhaps you and the children will visit the small animal show and you can explain why it’s OK to drag small animals from their natural habitats and social groups and force them to perform unnatural behaviors in the intense heat. Maybe you will attend The James and Cristie Cole Circus and further explain why exotic and endangered species are captured, separated from social groups, transported thousands of miles in small trailers and deplorable conditions, tortured into submission, and forced to perform in stressful environments. If you are lucky, you won’t have to explain why a tiger or elephant — a wild animal — escaped and had to be shot.

Perhaps, instead you can view the “Wild About Monkeys” act that claims to train humanely with positive reinforcement. However, these are still wild animals that can be unpredictable. They belong in a jungle, not a desert.

Maybe you should try the “Wild About Gorillas” act instead. I certainly didn’t expect to find out that the “silverback gorillas” aren’t real. Finally, a safe, educational, and humane way to interact with very realistic primates. Perhaps this act will set a precedent. Maybe future fairs could be all about fake animals that we don’t torture or kill for our own entertainment. I’m not sure what the point of a livestock show is anyway. It seems rather bizarre to purposely gawk at animals that will probably end up on someone’s plate.

So maybe you will go to The Washington County Fair to ride the Zipper and become wildly disoriented or sick. Or, maybe you can attend the “Whirl Till Ya Hurl” event (I don’t even want to know). Perhaps you will grab some cotton candy or a funnel cake and remove your child from the ceiling fan later in the evening. After all, overdosing on sugar is our heritage. Maybe you will eat a hot dog composed of mysterious animal parts and possibly some inedible, nondescript fillers.

Washington County FairIt looks as though the Washington County Fair 2016 will feature multiple forms of entertainment from contests to concerts. There are many options for different people. If you want to see people hurdling through space, you could try the Aerial Assault Extreme Trampoline Show. What’s not to love about extreme aerial assaulting? Or, ride the express train or check out the funny face photo booth or the Hypno Hick Show. There will also be a local version of “The Newlywed Show,” probably minus the sexual innuendos. It may be possible to attend the fair, celebrate diversity, and still have fun without involving live animals. You can check the schedule here. Just saying.


We need a Washington County Animal Shelter

Washington County Fair’s James and Cristy Cole Circus raises circus animal welfare concerns

The Washington County Animal Shelter: $2 million to feel better about killing animals?