Recycle Utah celebrates the season with Harvest Fest
It has been an exciting year for Recycle Utah, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. But the festivities are not over yet. Saturday, the Park City-based nonprofit is hosting its 6th annual Harvest Festival at the High Star Ranch in Kamas.
Since its inception, the festival, which highlights Summit and Wasatch county businesses, artisans and nonprofits, has steadily grown.
According to Recycle Utah Director Insa Riepen, when the first Harvest Fest was held in 2010, the group hoped to attract about 100 attendees. Three hundred showed up. Last year, they estimate, 1,500 people came throughout the day.
The number of vendors has also increased. In Year 1, there were 10 booths. This year there will be 35 sellers offering everything from pickles to alpaca wool – all locally sourced. There will also be 10 booths highlighting local nonprofit organizations.
The festival has been so successful that Riepen says about half of the vendors return year after year. Red Bicycle Bread, Artique and the Sunrise Ranch alpacas are among the small local businesses that have been participating from the outset. Riepen said other popular returnees will be selling birdhouses, bratwurst, crafts and, appropriately, unique items made from recycled materials. There will be new offerings as well, including Ritual Chocolate.
Among the most popular products is one that is available only once a year – the Park City Rotary Club’s apple pies. They are hoping to bake 50 the night before the event, Riepen says. Last year there were 34 and they were sold within an hour.
While browsing through the vendor booths and visiting the nonprofit organizations’ displays, visitors can buy lunch and listen to music. This year’s participating restaurants are Done to Your Taste Catering, Gateway Grill and the Road Island Diner. The afternoon music lineup includes Che’ Zuro, Honky Blue Tonky and the Take Five Jazz Trio.
The event, which is supported in part by Uinta Headwaters RC&D, a non-profit that helps communities guide projects that address natural resources and development issues, is free and open to the public but also serves as a fundraiser for Recycle Utah. The pies are part of that. There is also a small silent auction including, this year, an Epic Locals ski pass. The beer sales also contribute to the organization’s recycling and education efforts.
But mostly the day is about getting outside, gathering pumpkins, taking a hayride and listening to music. The High Star Ranch, located at the base of the Uinta Mountains, features rolling pastures and long distance vistas of the Wasatch range. The setting, along with the vendors, kids activities, music and food has become a popular end-of-summer celebration for families throughout the county.
Residents get first peek inside Dejoria Center
And this year there is something else to celebrate, too –the grand opening of the newly built DeJoria Center, a 10,000-square-foot multipurpose facility that includes a large high-end convention hall, meeting spaces, a 3,000-square-foot professional kitchen that will offer banquet services, two restaurants and a tavern.
"We can’t wait for people to come and see what we have done," said Kim Steed who, with her husband Heber, has been helping to manage the ranch for the last eight years.
Visitors’ attention will segue from the Harvest Fest to the DeJoria Center at 5 p.m. with entertainment programmed by Mountain Town Music. The Center is named for the international businessman John Paul DeJoria who, along with Park City developer Mark Fischer, is one of the principal partners in the High Star Ranch.
Tracy Mullen, who recently joined the team as director of sales and marketing, said the event will give Kamas Valley residents a chance to learn about what the facility has to offer.
According to Mullen, the project has enormous potential to bring a variety of events to the valley including corporate events, trade shows and product launches. The main arena has all the bells and whistles needed to present high end-events, she said. The main hall, for instance, is equipped with a sophisticated sound and lighting system and sealed loading bays that open directly behind the stage. The hall can seat 1,400 for a concert or can be configured for car and trade shows.
On Saturday the stage will feature three bands: Lash Larue, Andy Frasco and the UN, and Badfeather. Beer will be available for purchase.
Free transportation to the evening event between Kamas and Park City will be provided from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Shuttles will leave from The Yard on Kearns Boulevard in Park City.
According to Steed, the design of the center pays tribute the Kamas Valley’s agricultural heritage with locally quarried rock pillars, a fountain fueled by natural springs, and rolled-blue-steel detailing in the entryway that symbolizes the surrounding marsh grasses.
"We hope people will come to the Harvest Fest and stay," said Mullen.
Recycle’s Utah’s Harvest Festival opens at noon Saturday, Oct. 3 and continues through 5 p.m. The DeJoria Center opens at 5 p.m., and music will continue through 9 p.m.
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