"Lamb Day 1944" Photo courtesy of Gene Jacobson
Once known as Wool City and “The Richest Little City Per Capita in the U.S.”, Fountain Green boasted 100,000 head of sheep.
But the little town saw hard times during the depression with lamb selling at 4 cents per pound and wool at 10 cents. Sheepmen had to pay freight and ride with their livestock to Denver to make delivery. It made sense to promote local consumption and the annual celebration was born. Each wool-grower donated a lamb to be barbecued and for many years lamb sandwiches were distributed free.
The first Lamb Day was held on August 23, 1930. The celebration consisted of singing, speeches, boxing, a watermelon bust and barbecued lamb sandwiches that were distributed to almost 800 people. The night ended with an open air dance that was said to be the "largest and best dance of the summer". (The Times News, Nephi 28 August, 1930)
The local LDS ward managed the celebration in the 1940s to finance a new ward chapel. When that was accomplished, the celebration was turned back over to the city until 1968 when a volunteer committee of four took over. The Lamb Day Committee has continued to oversee the celebration with proceeds helping to fund many city improvements.
Nephi Times News 28 August 1930