Harvest Fun at Midvale’s Traditional CelebrationAug 13, 2015 03:54PM ● By Bryan Scott
By Tori Jorgensen
Community members and friends are invited to the festivities around town Aug. 3-8 during this year’s annual Harvest Days celebration.
Harvest Days, one of Midvale’s oldest traditions, is intended to bring residents and others together in fellowship and fun. According to the Harvest Days website, this town tradition was started in 1938 by a local club, the Kiwanis. Since then, Harvest Days has expanded to a week-long event headed up by its own committee.
Jill Gillis, who has lived in Midvale her whole life, has seen many Harvest Days come and go. She said Midvale wouldn’t be the same without them.
“I remember going to Harvest Days as a kid,” she said. “Gosh, I remember we used to have a children’s parade and get our bikes decked out.”
Gillis said she now enjoys going to Harvest Days with her husband and children. She said her children’s favorite activity throughout the celebration is the 5K run, while her favorite part is the parade; the whole family enjoys going to watch the live entertainment.
The celebration will commence with neighborhood block parties Aug. 3-7. Later on in the week, there will be a Hall of Honors and Youth Ambassadors induction ceremony, as well as a safety fair/bingo night. Harvest Days will conclude on Saturday Aug. 8 after a full day of activities, including the Harvest Days Run, a flag-raising ceremony, Midvale Community Council’s “All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast,” the annual Harvest Days Parade, an arts competition, live entertainment at the amphitheater stage and a fireworks demonstration.
Because of the many activities offered, Lyndzi Elsmore, parade chair on the Harvest Days Committee, said the committee starts meeting in early spring to coordinate. Elsmore said the parade also has its own committee of 30 volunteers that helps with the staging, judging and registration.
Elsmore said the yearly parade is a display of what is going on in the city. She said the Hillcrest High School band, the City Council, the Boys and Girls Club, the Ruth Vine Tyler Library, the Copperview Recreation Center, Unified Police Department, Unified Fire Authority and Midvale Public Works are some of the returning groups to the Harvest Days Parade.
“A couple of my favorites for this year are the Classic Fun Center, who perform tricks and stunts on their roller skates, The Hillcrest Jazz Band and Shriners mini-bikes,” Elsmore said. “There will be clowns going through the crowds this year. We also have enhanced the sound systems at the announcing booths … These announcing booths will be reading a short bio as each entry passes. They tell jokes, fun facts about Midvale and narrate the parade as it passes.”
Ten of the participating groups will receive an award. The award committee will walk around 30 to 45 minutes prior to the parade starting time. If an entry is selected for one of the 10 award categories, their entry number will be recorded and they will receive a small plaque and a large blue ribbon to display as they enter the starting line of the parade route. Around 70-85 groups are involved in the parade.
Elsmore said that although the parade is her absolute favorite thing about Harvest Days, she also enjoys the concert and fireworks in the evening. Endless Summer and Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband will be performing this year on Aug. 8, starting at 5:30 p.m. and followed by fireworks. Elsmore said the concert is a great time to create traditions with friends and family and get to know neighbors in the community.
“I strongly believe that when communities come together to celebrate and have fun, it creates a sense of pride for your city,” she said. “Being a part of Harvest Days each year helps me fall in love with Midvale all over again.”