FARMINGTON -- The Antelope Island Stampede Festival, featuring hot-air balloons and specially designed high-flying kites, received a major lift when the Davis County Commission approved a $3,000 donation to the event.
The commission presented the check to event organizers Vaughn Jacobsen and Barbara Riddle, members of Antelope Island Stampede Inc., the group helping organize the Labor Day weekend activity on the state park island.
The donation made to the fourth annual stampede came from tourism tax revenues belonging to Davis County, and not money from the county's general fund, said Davis County Community and Economic Development Director Kent Sulser.
The donation had been budgeted, Sulser said.
Jacobsen said the Stampede, held since 2006, has grown from a "weather-beaten" event to one that drew more than 22,000 people last year. He said some of those attendees come from as far away as Virginia and the state of Washington.
The festival begins on the island at 5 p.m. Friday. The event will feature 11 bands, more than 40 vendors and, for the first time, fireworks Saturday night.
"It is by giving that we actually live," Jacobsen said, paraphrasing from the book "Tuesdays With Morrie" in thanking the commission for its donation.
Commissioner Louenda Downs said, with organizers having figured out the weather component, the stampede festival has evolved over the years, . "It highlights the county," she said.
The cost to attend the event is $10 per personal carload, to be paid at the Antelope Island causeway gate.
With the exception of buying food, drinks and other items from vendors, the kid's bouncy land and scaling the wall, all activities at the stampede are free.
Organizers encourage people to bring cash, because there is no phone service on the island for credit cards or credit/debit card readers.