Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New Mural

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today, officially announcing a new mural on Main Street. The artwork is on the north side of the visitor center. It depicts many of the outdoor recreation opportunities available in the Heber Valley. This mural is only the first installment of many to come through the Heber City CAMS’ Art in Public Places Initiative. It is a collaborative effort between Heber City, the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Alliance for Main Street.

Tom Stone, Chairperson of CAMS, opened the ceremony. He said that 18 different artists submitted to create the mural. Artist Jason Quinn was eventually chosen to paint the first mural, setting the standard for those to follow. Stone discussed an ongoing question that Heber City has been asking: “Who are we?” Heber City has a rich history, which includes agriculture, pioneers, cowboys, swiss heritage, and many other potential identities. He suggested that the question the city could be asking instead is “who do we want to become?”

“Heber has things other cities would die for,” said Stone. “It is the coolest place to live ever.” He proposed that Heber be recognized as an outdoor sports destination and a place to gather. The mural depicts some of the many outdoor sports available here, including fishing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and others. Improving Main Street creates a ripple effect throughout the Heber Valley. “We want to make our best first impression,” Stone explained. “People want this,” he said, mentioning comments he has received about the firepit gatherings, food trucks, and Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.

The artist, Jason Quinn, a native of Heber City, was unable to attend. His comments were read, however, explaining how he desired to “generate emotion in the community.”

Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter then explained the purposes behind the initiative. It is hoped that creating this artwork on Main Street will bring tourism to downtown businesses, improve and enhance Main Street, and promote public gatherings. Mayor Potter then announced the next phase of the initiative, which will be a mural on the south wall of the bank building. Tom Stone will be sponsoring the mural. He will also be creating a gathering and eating space in that area. “Heber has no better cheerleader than Tom,” said Potter.

Stone cut the ribbon for the official ceremony. The group is now turning their focus to Phase Two of the initiative.

More information about the Community Alliance for Main Street is available at https://hebercitycams.org/.

 

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/.