Will social events happen this year in Midvale?Mar 30, 2021 10:30AM ● By Erin Dixon
Midvale officials discussed the possibility of hosting Harvest Days again this year, and how events like the parade, seen here in 2017, could be held. (File photo Julie Slama/City Journals)
By Erin Dixon | [email protected]
Will Midvale host Harvest Days this year? In a city council meeting in March, Laura Magness, communications officer for Midvale, discussed the possibility of hosting Harvest Days and other city events, as well as allowing other groups to host within the city.
Harvest Days is an annual city tradition, but was canceled in 2020 because of the health and safety rules put in place by Salt Lake County.
“We felt the very, very strict guidelines that the state had were too difficult for our staff...and for our event hosts to follow up with,” Magness said.
But this year, “the state has relaxed on some of these guidelines,” Magness said.
While the county health and safety guidelines are less strict, there are still some events residents will need to forgo. Dancing and wrestling are out, but goat yoga and bounce houses are in.
“Safety requirements include signage reminding people to keep within their own groups, eat only at designated areas, and have multiple hand washing/sanitizing stations,” Magness said.
To help with social distancing, vendor tents would need to be put several feet apart rather than right next to each other.
“We need to limit vendors. Last Harvest Days I think there were 100 vendors, so I would recommend limiting it to 40, maybe 50, so we can spread it out,” Magness said.
If there is a parade, it may look different this year.
“We have to ensure social distancing. We don’t have it in the budget to update [our float] this year,” Magness said.
“I’m not sure if it’s going to be difficult to recruit parade participants. Some cities are doing a reverse float, kind of like we did for the Halloween trunk-or-treat along Bingham Junction Boulevard where we could park, people can drive by,” Magness said.
Councilmember Bryant Brown is hopeful in the future. “I don’t mind doing things like Harvest Days,” he said.
“My question is enforcement,” Brown said. “I personally think the rule that you can’t walk and drink is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. Let’s say someone isn’t following that. Who gets in trouble for it, the individual or the host?”
“The host that is sponsoring the event. If you’re not abiding by the rules you can’t host an event for a whole year,” Magness said.
“I think it’s going to be a lot looser when it comes up. If we have several million people vaccinated it should loosen some of these,” Brown said. “I want it back.”
Over 150 locals who are part of the Facebook group called Midvale Residents said they would attend Harvest Days if it was open again this year.
“I missed it so much last year. The whole event. The activities for the kids, the vendors, just the entire experience,” Stephanie Jackson-Foster said.
Less than five residents said no, or were at least hesitant.
“If everybody’s been vaccinated I would go,” Rick Epperson said.
“I think it would all depend on the case counts and vaccine percentages. In a normal year, 100% yes, this year, I dunno,” Heidi Lins said.
Hosting other city events such as block parties and movies in the park, as well as allowing other groups to host events within the city is still in discussion. The city is leaning toward “yes” on all of these.
“If they meet the requirements we ought to do it,” Councilmember Paul Glover said. “I think we need to let life get back to normal.”