Gathering Places.

Let’s Go Downtown.

If you’ve driven by the old Tabernacle building in the past few months, you might have noticed and wondered about the construction work going on. Improvements, updates, and development are hotly debated subjects among Heber Valley residents, and understandably so. Progress will always be met with both support and opposition. Every resident living in the Heber Valley cherishes the small-town atmosphere, clean air, and family-friendly, world-class activities. In recent years, we have seen substantial growth, leaving many valley dwellers wondering how much longer we can hold onto the beloved small-town feeling and way of life.

Downtown Heber has always been bustling, and it gets busier each year, to the point where many residents avoid it due to the heavy traffic. City leaders have taken notice and are striving to make positive changes. Working together, they are exploring projects to find the best possible solutions to manage downtown growth and redevelopment. Their efforts demonstrate that downtown is worth preserving and investing in. Both county and municipal government are guiding the process, with many strategic initiatives aimed at making downtown Heber City a welcoming place for residents and visitors to gather and enjoy throughout the year.

The Wasatch Stake Tabernacle, now home to Heber City offices, has a rich and storied history. Standing since 1889, it was constructed by early settlers and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stone by stone, using sandstone quarried from the Lake Creek area. The construction was largely funded by generous monetary contributions from countless families in the valley.

So, what updates and changes are coming to the Tabernacle? The iconic steeple, which has suffered wear and tear and damage from persistent feathered friends and weather, has been repaired. These repairs began before Christmas and were finalized in April. After years of silence, the steeple’s music was restored a couple of years ago, delighting holiday music lovers within a half-mile radius.

We have already seen enhancements to our Main Street park including the current construction of the new band shell and 200 South permanent road closure for pedestrians. We’ve enjoyed the annual downtown events such as the Heber Market on Main (June-August), the Red, White and Blue Festival (July), Heber Halloween Fest (October), and Old Fashioned Christmas (December). Many of us have stopped in for a bite at the food trucks while warming up by the fire pits. Now, the old will meet the new with the addition of a playful hardscape water feature next to the Tabernacle, available for enjoyment starting this summer. This space is anticipated to become a family favorite, nestled under towering trees with plenty of space for picnics and relaxation. A re-dedication of the Tabernacle is scheduled for June 8th.

Heber City is experiencing growing pains, with more changes undoubtedly on the horizon. While we might not embrace every scheduled improvement in our beautiful valley, we can unite as a community to celebrate our cherished gathering places and holiday traditions. Let’s raise awareness and hope with our collective voices, stay informed about what’s to come, and continue to enjoy the present in our quaint jewel of the Wasatch back.