Kamas’ Fiesta Days is a community celebration
Back in June 1938, a group of Kamas residents organized the first Fiesta Days, a celebration of community. In 1950, the city decided to change the date to correspond with Pioneer Day, July 24, and it has stuck ever since, said Kamas Mayor Lew Marchant
"Fiesta Days is a way for us to commemorate Pioneer Day and it’s a time for everyone to come together and enjoy each other’s company and celebrate," Marchant said during an interview with The Park Record. "We have wonderful people who live in this valley and step up to help in all aspects of this celebration."
Fiesta Days events start Friday with a horse show at the Summit County Rodeo Grounds and then continues with other activities throughout the next two weekends. (See accompanying schedule).
"It’s the same basic schedule we’ve had in the past," Marchant said. "We don’t want to mess with a winner."
Some of the activities include a melodrama performance called "Revengers" at the South Summit Middle School auditorium on July 21, two parades on July 24, and fireworks on July 23, 24 and 25.
In addition, Fiesta Days events features rodeos, dances, a Lions Club scholarship breakfast, talent performances and kids activities.
However, the activity that has been most memorable for many Kamas residents in the past few years is the Memories Auction on Saturday, July 25.
"The auction raises money for Primary Children’s Hospital and we started it maybe 12 to 15 years ago," Marchant said. "The first year we started it, I kind of held my breath, and thought it would be awesome if we could come up with a few thousand dollars. That first year, we hit $21,000."
Since then, the auction has raised between $18,000 to $23,000 for the hospital each year.
"It’s amazing to me that we have so many people who want to first of all donate items for the auction and then come with their money to bid on other items," Marchant said. "Everyone still laughs at me when they see the picture of me buying a $100 loaf of bread."
The auction is a great opportunity for people to support an organization that has touched so many lives.
"You don’t have to ask too many people before you find someone who has had a relative or close friend who has had the great advantage of the great hospital," Marchant said. "It’s the greatest thing ever to see everyone come together to bid on stupid items and pay outlandish prices. It’s just unbelievable."
A silent auction will precede the live auction that day.
"The auction has gotten so big with people donating things that there isn’t enough time to cover everything in the official auction, so we put items on tables that people can bid on,’ Marchant said. "It’s like the regular auction but silent, because people will write down a bid and then someone else will bid for it and then others will circle around and rebid. People are so great and generous in the Kamas Valley."
Then there’s the demolition derby that will be held later in the evening.
"That’s our big draw and it sells out every year," Marchant said. "We wish we had double the seating capacity we have because we know we could still sell it out, but we don’t know where we would put the people."
For the past 77 years, Fiesta Days has been a Kamas tradition, and it takes a lot of volunteer work to keep it running, Marchant said.
"I want to thank the volunteers from both from our City Council and everybody else who is willing to help," he said. "We couldn’t make this thing go without help because it’s so big."
For more information about Fiesta Days, visit http://www.kamascity.net.
Summit County gardeners can purchase local-climate friendly plants and seeds to grow this season