Author’s Note: I originally wrote this as a Tooele County Concerned Citizens Facebook note but it didn’t appear on the page timeline, so I decided to cache it on my blog, too.
Last night, as my husband and I cruised home to Grantsville from Reba’s concert which ended another Country Explosion evening at Deseret Peak, I felt proud of what our county has accomplished with this event.
To put this in perspective…I was just in Nashville last month. Tagged along with my husband who was attending a conference at the same time as Nashville was putting on the CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival.At Deseret Peak, I came mainly to keep my husband company. His treat, funnel cake, date night – what’s not to like? We picked a spot on the lawn, spread out our blanket. Watched Rodney Atkins and Gary Allan perform pre-Reba. And it felt like deja vu.
Well, okay, Tooele County’s a few degrees hotter than Nashville. And has no riverfront. Also not as extensive of a tourist infrastructure as downtown Nashville, where you can hoof it a block or two down to a restaurant for an overpriced meal instead of an overpriced hotdog from a booth.
But the boots, the hats, visitors having a good ol’ time while broiling well-done under the sun, the booth of cowgirl hats one “needs” to complete her outfit, free sponsor shirts my husband had to restrain me from getting (“You don’t even wear them!” Note: For the record, I wear my Chevy one!), the sass…they were all there. DP even has a similar charity auction to raise money for our very own Children’s Justice Center.
So maybe it’s not entirely fair to compare the two events, but no worries. Tooele County came off looking pretty dang good. Whereas traditionally, Tooele County is like the hick relative of other Utah cities, this weekend, we are the cowgirl princess.
Maybe it was Reba’s music. Anything she touches turns to gold. At 59, she looks and sounds amazing. She’s not just a singer, but she’s been in movies, her own sitcom, and at least one play. I say Reba for Prez in 2016!
Maybe it was seeing the trailers and RV’s laid out neatly like a temporary subdivision and people coexisting fairly happily.
Maybe it was having the troopers guiding the traffic and pedestrian flow on the highway afterwards so we only had to walk to the parking lot, collect our truck, and zip on down to our house like we normally do. My initial apprehension of hours of sitting in an idling truck disappeared into the cool night air. “No congestion,” we heard a trooper tell someone else, “that’s how we roll.”
I don’t pretend to claim that I know how these events work. Who gets paid what. How the county profits. But I hope the event’s success is a harbinger of better and bigger things to come. With tonight’s glorious sunset and its foreground of open space for miles and miles, it couldn’t have been a more beautiful setting. Apparently, not only locals like me were impressed. On the way to our truck, I overheard someone already planning to bring their trailer next year.
Kudos to the county for having the chutzpah to host CE at DP. Given more street cred and time, we may well be Reba-lutionalizing our rep!
P.S. Since writing this I have learned that Country Explosion has not gone as smoothly all four days as I’ve experienced. All I will say is, there will be growing pains. Hopefully the county will learn and improve upon this if there is a next time.