What in heaven's name is going on down there in Davis County?
We leave you people alone for five minutes, and you somehow manage to get into more trouble than a puppy on a Persian rug.
I'm referring, of course, to the latest news regarding that annual celebration of all things agricultural, the Davis County Fair. This year's blue-ribbon bash is scheduled for Aug. 17-20, at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington, and normally I'm as excited as can be about the approaching celebration.
But this year? Meh.
What's got me so indifferent this time around? Just this: Earlier this month, fair coordinator Megan Hatch announced the chosen theme for the 2011 Davis County Fair, and frankly, I'm a little disappointed.
Hey, don't laugh. The choosing of the theme is the single most important decision facing a county fair board. The right theme can spell the difference between a killer fair that folks talk about for years to come (think Sevier County's "We've Got a Good Thing Growing!") and one that is dead on arrival (Utah County's yawn-inducing "Reconnect: Family, Fair, Fun").
Honestly, who wouldn't want to spend some serious happy time with a funnel cake and a frozen lemonade at one of these cleverly titled fairs:
* "Barn in the USA," 2010 Tanana Valley Fair (Alaska)
* "Dancing With the Steers," 2009 Johnson County Fair (Kansas)
* "Lettuce Entertain Ewe," 2009 Nez Perce County Fair (Idaho)
* "Pirates of the Carrots and Beans," 2011 Calaveras County Fair (California)
OK, so that last one's a little awkward. And sorta creepy. But my point is, everyone knows these things are supposed to be agriculture-intensive affairs, filled with prized pigs, pies, pumpkins and the like. And furthermore, it's pretty much an unwritten rule that county fairs should have rural-based themes that involve some sort of clever wordplay on farm animals and/or produce. Like, "Go Hog Wild!" Or, "Come Horse Around!" Or even, "Cultivating Acres of Mooooving Experiences!"
So then, what's the 2011 Davis County Fair theme? Wait for it ...
... "Viva Las Davis!" And not only that, but the fair logo incorporates the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign.
OK, so maybe I'm still just a little cranky because last week was Oprah's final show. But I just can't help thinking that this year's theme is not exactly the kind of image you want to be promoting at a county fair. Especially one in Davis County, Utah.
I mean, this is Davis County, people, where a woman was run out of town for doing yardwork in a bikini. Davis County, where an entire city decided nobody should play basketball on Monday nights. Davis County, where residents were apparently shocked to learn that, in many other parts of the country, bowling and beer actually go together like corn on the cob and dental floss.
So when you start talking about evoking images of Sin City in your county fair, you're just asking for trouble. And Ms. Hatch had to have known this, because on her blog post of May 11 (www.davisfair.org/blog.php), she wrote of the theme: "I had to fight hard for this one, guys, and I'm glad I did!"
All cleverness aside -- and admittedly, "Viva Las Davis" is a clever theme -- is this the message you want to send with your county fair? Think about the most wholesome, down-to-earth place you can imagine, a place where men in trucker ball caps stand proudly beside their ribbon-winning livestock, and women in gingham aprons compete for the county's best strawberry preserves. Now think of the most wicked, depraved spot on Earth, a place where scantily clad showgirls mingle with small-time hoodlums. Picture the typical county fair again, now Las Vegas again. Now the fair, now Vegas.
What's wrong with these images? With the possible exception of politicians and ethics, can you imagine two less-compatible ideals?
Why, it'd be like the folks up Morgan County way announcing that they've decided to theme their upcoming exhibition: "Come to the 2011 Sodom and Gomorgan County Fair!"
If you ask me, Davis County's moral compass has gotten all out of whack. And I'm just the guy to re-whack it. So here's what I expect from you county residents ...
I expect you to do what you do best, and get all bent out of shape over yet another example of society's moral decay. And then I expect you to call your county commissioners and request -- nay, demand -- that the county change the fair's theme to something less worldly and more, well, agriculturally appropriate.
Something like, "The 2011 Davis County Fair: Family Fun That's More Contagious Than the Equine Herpes Virus."
In related news ... Mark Saal's sources tell him that the Weber County Fair board has also chosen a theme. In light of recent Rapture predictions and the impending expiration of the Mayan calendar, officials say they'll go with the whimsical, yet chilling, "FARMAGEDDON!" Contact Saal at 801-625-4272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.