Midway’s First Annual Volksmarch

Press Release

After our fabulous Swiss Days event, don’t put away your lederhosen and dirndl dresses just yet! You’ll want them for the First Annual Midway Volksmarch for trails and open space on September 21. The pastoral Swiss themed village of Midway, Utah which was voted best small Utah city in 2017, is under tremendous development pressure. The rural preservation non-profit Pure Midway and Midway Historic Preservation Committee want to give Utahns an opportunity to preserve their favorite small town by fundraising for trails, historic preservation and open spaces. They thought a Volksmarch, a European themed community walk, would be just the thing to raise awareness of growth pressures while creating a fun, healthy tradition for Utah families.

The Midway Volksmarch will be a non-competitive community walk along a designated 5k or 10k route that passes historic homes and barns. The walk will feature signage explaining the area’s history and will take walkers to the top of sacred Memorial Hill. It will be followed by a festive party in the Midway Town Square with food, music and games. Participants will receive a collectible Volksmarch medallion called a ‘stocknagel’ for their walking sticks.

Each year, the Volksmarch will honor a Midway resident who embraces the town’s rural heritage. This year’s Volksmarch will honor painter, Robert Duncan, whose idyllic Midway scenes are celebrated nationwide. Robert Duncan has created a beautiful print of his Midway painting ‘Anniken and the Cows’ for the event. Funds raised from the sale of this print, Patricia Smith’s Volksmarch poster, walking sticks and other items will be donated to benefit trails, open space and rural preservation.

The First Annual Volksmarch for trails and open space will be held on Saturday September 21 starting at the Midway Town Square by the Midway Ice Rink. Participants can walk anytime between 9:00 am and noon. The party in Town Square afterward will end at 2:00. European clothing is optional, but make sure to wear walking shoes. Bring your walking stick or buy one at the event. We have to ask that dogs stay home please. Preregistration is highly encouraged as numbers may be limited. To pre-register, for questions, or to purchase Robert Duncan prints or walking sticks please visit http://puremidway.org . Bring your friends and family and start a new tradition with the Midway Volksmarch!

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.