Parents and their kids are still getting used to the back-to-school routine, and get a short reprieve for Labor Day, next Monday. On top of that, the weather casters are saying that, true to the calendar, temperatures should be scaling back from their highs in the mid-90s, more to autumn-type levels.
I’d also like to comment on three other newsy events. The first is the election, by district Republican delegates, of Stewart Barlow. He is the new House of Representatives member for District 17. The seat held by Julie Fisher since 2004 opened up when she accepted the governor’s call to head the state Department of Community and Culture.
Whether you agree with a lot the Legislature does or not, I applaud those men and women for what they do. It means leaving jobs, in many cases, for a relatively meager stipend to tend to the public’s business.
I also laud those who showed interest in Fisher’s seat, and ran to fill the rest of her term, which runs through the end of next year, as well as the delegates who care enough to be involved in that process.
Stewart Barlow seems like a solid fit for the position, although that is no reflection on the others who vied for the seat.
He follows in the big footprint of his father, Haven, who at 42 years of service was in the Legislature longer than anyone else in history.
Haven did so much that benefited Davis County higher education, and so much more. It sounds like Stewart, with his own broad experience in the medical field and beyond, will create his own “stamp,” as Brazilians say, as a legislator.
I wish him, and all of our elected officials, well as they provide what basically is a public service for the rest of us.
Now, on to the fun stuff.
Friday starts the sixth annual Antelope Island Stampede Festival.
What started as a balloon festival has intentionally morphed into so much more. It now offers something for virtually every interest and takes into account the ever-changing weather possibilities.
Balloons can only be safely flown when there is little or no wind or any other weather disturbance.
So for times when nature won’t allow their flight during the three-day event, kites of all kinds and descriptions can take to the air. Every kid knows the windy days of March are a kite-flyer’s paradise.
But then there is so much more. Professional BMX riders will show off in three demo rides both Saturday and Sunday. And music lovers can relive the ‘70s with music of the Beach Boys and Neil Diamond.
This year adds a Syracuse Stampede 5K an 12K race, pony rides, more food and craft vendors, plus a chance to explore what the island always has to offer.
It costs just $15 a carload to get on the island and get in on all the goings-on.
The Stampede Committee estimates at least 25,000 people, possibly many more, will swarm to the island for this event. That’s thanks to growing interest region-wide.
Another big event is the annual Davis County Gala, which takes place the evening of Thursday, Sept. 8.
It draws far fewer participants – maybe up to 750 – to what is a formal, very choreographed evening of fine food, entertainment and celebrating, plus a chance to use proceeds to benefit the 4-H after school programs.
That will allow for more so-called latch-key children to stay after school – not as a detention, but to participate in educational and fun activities. They can do it in a safe environment, rather than potentially going home to an empty house or elsewhere, to activities and challenges unknown.
Over the years, this event has supported such causes as Alzheimer’s education, counseling, and support; the Wasatch Community Learning Center; to honoring our military and supporting Hill AFB.
So, if you feel so moved, enjoy one or both of those homegrown events.
No matter what, I wish everyone an enjoyable, carefree and safe Labor Day weekend!