As the crowds have grown, Swiss Days has struggled to find balance between the spirit of community celebration and the reality of a world-class production. Some worry that the spirit of it has gotten lost somewhere along the way.
Finding that Balance
When asked whether the Swiss Days Executive Committee takes this balance into consideration, Chairman Randy Bradley responds, “All. The. Time.”
“There are some people who would love to take it back, make it smaller, make it more simple,” he explains. But making it smaller isn’t that simple. “If we were to try to take it back, I’m worried we would actually kill a large part of it.”
The committee’s solution? Stay the course. “We decided that we want to avoid making any changes that will make it grow. It’s about as big as it can get and we just want to keep it the same. I believe that naturally, if we do that, it will stop growing.”
The committee works hard to keep the event accessible for locals and encourages vendors from the Heber Valley. It’s also trying to keep food prices down. “Even when the cost of getting food to the event changes, we try to keep the prices for visitors the same,” Randy says. “We try to keep them as low as we can.”
In terms of preserving the Swiss theme, he says it’s pretty straightforward. “We have a really simple universal answer to anything that is too outlandish or too far from the theme: ‘No,’” he explains. “We want to keep the unique feel to Swiss Days.”
Keeping the Spirit Alive
That unique feel is what Randy calls “the spirit of Swiss Days.” CarolLee explains it as the spirit of coming together and working hard, of serving side by side with neighbors and being involved in the community. In that sense, the spirit of Swiss Days is just as alive as it was in 1947.
Though bigger and louder than its quaint beginnings, Swiss Days still has that spirit of service. What began as a harvest festival and farmers market, and gradually shifted into the celebration of Midway’s unique Swiss heritage, has evolved into a testament to the best tendencies of our community. These values are the things we should cling to because they’re what makes this event — and our valley — so special.
“Community unity,” Randy explains, “It bonds us together. It’s what Heber Valley is all about.”