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Inside story: Visit county fair,seeing the world
by Tom Busselberg
Aug 14, 2011 | 836 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s August already, and time for the Davis County Fair!

The four-day fair draws more people to one place than any other single annual event held in the county – about equal to the number of residents in Bountiful.

“Viva Las Davis” brings together all that is good about Davis County, such as the 4-H animal projects where young people have spent literally hundreds of hours, gaining experience in caring for an animal and all that goes with it.

Of course there’s also the entertainment, food vendors, pony rides, demolition derby, rodeo, and so much more – and much of it free to hopefully draw you in.

As County Commission Chair Louenda Downs said recently, “it’s just an opportunity to go back to be a community...see some of the cream of the crop of what’s going on in the county. It’s a celebration of Davis County.”

I suggest that you take some time to visit the fair which runs Wednesday-Saturday of next week. And don’t forget to bring two cans for donation to help those in need via the Family Connection Center Food Bank. It cuts $2 off the $4 paved parking price and helps our neighbors through a rough spot.

August is also a time for many to vacation. Europe almost literally shuts down during that month, and many of us across the pond take some time, even if it’s generally a lot less, to get away and relax.

I am just getting over the “car lag” from a five-day vacation that ended Monday night.

The highlight for us was seeing the grandeur, I would even say majesty, that is Glacier National Park in northern Montana, hugging the Canadian border.

The combination of high mountain peaks, variety of trees and shrubbery, accented by glistening lakes and streams – fed by glaciers that are reportedly getting smaller every year — all combines to create what must contend for being as close to Heaven as we can get and still be on Earth.

In addition to that, it was interesting, even refreshing, to see what other communities are like.

Yes, there was the letter to the editor from a Missoula reader complaining that the city spends too much in tax dollars on pedestrian trails and speed bumps, rather than fixing the roads – enough to quickly remind me, as a visitor, that what all seems to be wrapped in such a beautiful package still has its faults.

But the vibrancy of the downtowns in both Helena and Missoula was impressive.

Helena is the state capital – a city of about 28,000 people, or just larger than Kaysville – while Missoula is a city about the size of Layton, at 66,000 residents.

The state capital is home to some interesting architectural treats beyond that of the state capitol – which is nice but no threat to Utah’s capitol building, in my view.

For instance, two spires stretch into the sky – not from a Mormon temple, but from the city’s cathedral, patterned almost exactly after St. Stephens in Vienna, Austria. What an architectural gem, found in this relatively remote city and state, and built many years ago.

Just as the Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build, starting in hard Pioneer times, this cathedral is a testament to the faith of many of that city’s settlers, and continues to serve as a vibrant spiritual center.

Another architectural gem was almost enough to cause a car accident because it was so unexpected.

What is now the city’s civic center was built by Shriners in 1920, complete with a minaret and accompanying architectural elements. It looks like a huge mosque, but adorned by evergreens rather than the palm trees or desert landscaping one would normally expect.

The 2,300 seat auditorium now hosts many theatrical productions and more, while the 15,000 square-foot ballroom also sees plenty of use. A fire station has been tastefully added to one side, the addition appearing to completely replicate that of the original structure.

The small city also is home to a four or five-block long downtown pedestrian mall, reminiscent of others I’ve seen in Europe.

Missoula advertises itself as a place where you can fly fish “four famous rivers,” and that’s literally true.

There’s kayaking, plenty of jogging/bicycling/walking trails along the rivers, and so much more accenting the area’s beauty.

My point in sharing this isn’t as a new travel promotion representative for Montana or those two cities. It’s more to remind us of what is out there for us to see.

It’s also to remind us that there is much good in the people, scenery, institutions, and architecture here.

Let’s try to appreciate and protect the good that we have, while embracing, taking the much good that the people in other areas have cultivated.

It reinforces the fact that the more different people may sometimes seem, the more alike we really are.

Our politicians in Washington may not be able to see beyond their own petty partisanship, but we still have a great country, filled with many outstanding people and spectacles of beauty, even awe.
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