Fiesta Days annual celebration returns to the Kamas Valley
For more than 50 years, Kamas Valley residents have flocked to Kamas City over Pioneer Day weekend for the annual Fiesta Days celebration. Pioneer Day recognizes the arrival of the first Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
Over the years, Fiesta Days has evolved from just a small gathering up at the Mirror Lake in the Uinta Mountains to the weeklong community celebration it resembles today, according to Diane Atkinson, Kamas City Council member and Fiesta Days volunteer.
The weeklong series of events and activities culminates this weekend with traditional events such as a rodeo, demolition derby and fireworks displays. The theme for this year’s Fiesta Days is “Proud of our heritage.”
“It’s just a great opportunity for everyone to come together and have fun,” Atkinson said. “In this busy world today, we often don’t take the time to visit with eachother. This is a time to renew friendships and see old acquaintances.”
Thursday, All West is sponsoring a free Kid’s Night to kick off the events at 5 p.m. It will feature bounce houses and other activities for kids before the rodeo. Atkinson said tickets are still available for the rodeo, sponsored by the Broken Heart Rodeo Company, to be held at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 for general admission and kids younger than 10 can attend for free.
Friday, the parade is scheduled to be held at 5 p.m. along Kamas City’s main street. It will start at City Hall and conclude at the Kamas City rodeo grounds. Nearly 50 entries have been accepted.
“We actually have really good participation throughout the valley. We have usually a couple of bands, most businesses participate and throw candy and goodies, the Forest Service and rescue squads also get involved,” said Tammy Georgi, a Fiesta Days volunteer helping to oversee the parade. “Heber, Francis and Oakley cities also have some entries. And with it being an election year, I’m sure there will be some candidates in there as well. We always have a really good turnout for it.”
Saturday, the kid’s parade is scheduled to be held at 10 a.m. Kristy Peterson said more than 400 kids usually participate.
“It’s a really simple event and they only go up two blocks and then down two blocks, but they absolutely love it,” Peterson said. “The kids love getting up there and waving at everyone. It’s a great, longstanding tradition.”
Another one of the more well-attended events is the Memories Auction at Kamas Park. For more than 10 years, organizers have sponsored the auction and donated 100 percent of the proceeds to Primary Children’s Medical Center. Most who help with the event have been personally affected by the hospital, said Cindy Butterfield. Last year, more than $20,000 was raised.
“Because of those connections, people want to come help out and are willing to spend money for a good cause,” Butterfield said. “It’s amazing to watch.”
The silent auction will start at 10:30 a.m. and the live auction will begin at 12:30 p.m. Butterfield said the items that will be sold have been donated by the community and will include handmade dolls, quits and signed footballs.
“We invite people from all over, not just the Kamas Valley, to attend. We would love to invite people from Park City and Coalville to come and check it out,” Butterfield said. “It is just really fun and one of my favorite events. Everyone can get involved, even if you only have $5 you can find something you can bid on.”
On Tuesday morning, Atkinson said everything was “finally coming together” for the upcoming events. Last week, the Horse Show was held.
“That went very well and the kids all had such a good time,” Atkinson said. “It’s so nice to put on the community-minded events. We want to give back to those who do a lot to make Kamas what it is and I’m just really looking forward to this weekend.”
Thursday, July 21
- 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. All West Kid’s Night
- 8 p.m. Rodeo sponsored by the Broken Heart Rodeo Company. General admission is $8 for adults and free for children younger than 10
- A fireworks display is scheduled, followed by a dance at the South Summit Bus Garage, 45 South 300 East. Admission to the dance, sponsored by Little League Football, is $5
Friday, July 22
- 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Daughters of Utah Pioneer Cabin, 100 West Center Street, will be open to the public
- 5 p.m. Parade
- 8 p.m. Bull Wars. General admission is $8
- A fireworks display is scheduled after Bull Wars, followed by a dance at the South Summit Bus Garage, 45 South 300 East. Admission to the dance, sponsored by Little League Football, is $5
Saturday, July 23
- 7 a.m. Fun Run
- 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Lion’s Club Scholarship Breakfast, Kamas City Park
- 9 a.m. Car Show, Kamas City Park
- 10 a.m. Kid’s Parade
- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lion’s club Trap Shooting Contest, Kamas Gun Club
- 11 a.m. Kid’s activities, Kamas Park Arena
- 11:30 a.m. Talent performance, presented by Body Motion
- 12:15 p.m. Princess presentation
- 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Memories Auction, Kamas City Park
- 2 p.m. Fiesta Bingo for juniors and seniors, Kamas City Park Building
- 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Daughters of Utah Pioneers Cabin, 100 West Center Street, will be open to the public
- 7 p.m. Sold-out Demolition Derby
- A fireworks display is scheduled after the demolition derby, followed by a dance at the South Summit Bus Garage, 45 South 300 East. Admission to the dance, sponsored by Little League Football, is $5
Sunday, July 24
- 7 p.m. Pioneer Day Program, South Summit High School Auditorium
For more information about registration and for the full schedule of the Fiesta Days activities, go to the Kamas City website at http://www.kamascity.net/. Because Pioneer Day falls on a Sunday this year, a day the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sets aside for worship, Salt Lake’s main Pioneer Day event, Days of 47 Parade, will take place in Salt Lake City on Monday.
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