Swiss Days 2020 Canceled

Midway Boosters announced Saturday they will cancel Swiss Days this year.

The club’s announcement on its website said their decision was due to COVID-19 and came “under direction of the Wasatch Health Department.”

Swiss Days has been an annual tradition in Midway since the 1940’s.  According to the state tourism website, visitutah.com, the festival is the second-largest in Utah after Pioneer Day, and 100,000 people come to Midway every September for the event.  The festival began as a harvest celebration, then turned into an event that honors the Swiss pioneers who settled in the Heber Valley.  Swiss Days is a two-day event that features a parade, a 10k race, arts and crafts booths, food and entertainment.

Midway Boosters is a nonprofit organization that puts on Swiss Days and uses the funds raised from the festival for community projects, such as open space initiatives, remodeling the historic Midway Town Hall, and even buying a portable defibrillator for the Wasatch County first responders to help save the lives of heart attack and stroke victims.

This year Swiss Days was scheduled for September 4th and 5th.

As of Saturday, in Wasatch County there have been 156 confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Seven people have been hospitalized and one person in the county has died from the virus.

Read the original story at KPCW.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/.