Historic Swiss Days Parade Wagon, Santa Clara, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of City of Santa Clara, St. George News
CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Now in its 32nd year, Santa Clara’s annual Swiss Days festival is a hometown celebration filled with history and fun for the whole family. This year’s event is scheduled for September 22-24 and offers a jam-packed schedule of activities not to be missed.
“We look forward to another great Swiss days this year and invites you to join us for this special celebration where history and family fun come together,” said event coordinator Lainee Frei.
The festival kicks off Thursday night with a community dinner and performances from the Lawn Darts beginning at 5 p.m. The opening ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m. and will include traditional Swiss dancing, maypole weaving and appearances by royalty from the city of Santa Clara.
The town hall is the place to be on Friday and Saturday. Activities include merchandise and food vendors, continuous entertainment under the big tent, inflatable attractions, shooting contest, pancake breakfast, puppet show, bingo and more. The The Santa Clara History Museum will also be open.
Hands-on pioneer activities for children will be offered at Heritage Square from 3-5 p.m. on Friday. Southern Utah native and crowd favorite Eric Dodge will headline the free concert at City Hall at 7 p.m.
New this year are booths showcasing the founding families of Santa Clara. The kiosks will be staffed by volunteers familiar with the history and genealogy of the region who can help festival-goers trace their roots to see if they have any pioneers in their family tree.
The Saturday morning 5K is fun for all ages and strollers are welcome. The route begins at City Hall and loops around historic downtown Santa Clara before ending on Vineyard Drive. Prizes will be awarded to the male and female winners in the open and masters divisions as well as the top three finishers in each age group. Participants can Register online for $18 (until September 10, then price increases to $28) until September 19 or in person at City Hall until September 23.
From the Jacob Hamblin House to City Hall, thousands of smiling faces – and the unique and ever-popular Swiss Days cows – will line Santa Clara Drive at 9:30 a.m. for a packed parade that pays homage to history and to the sustainability of Santa Clara. small town charm.
“A lot of people come for the parade and stay for the activities,” Frei said, adding that Swiss Days typically hosts around 10,000 participants over the three-day event.
After the parade, see classic and custom vehicles from across the region at the Red Rocks Car Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Canyon View Park. With parking limited in downtown Santa Clara, the city will provide a free shuttle to take Snow Canyon High school festival-goers to the park as well as the City Hall Event Center.
Santa Clara celebrated the first Swiss Days in 1990 as a tribute to the city’s heritage. Swiss pioneers, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, early settled in Santa Clara in 1861. They cultivated the land and it became the fruit and vegetable garden for all of Washington County.
“The event has grown as the city has grown,” said event coordinator Brooke Ence. “While it celebrates our pioneering heritage, you don’t have to be from Santa Clara to be a part of it. It really is a party for the community.
See a full calendar of events on the Santa Clara city website.
- What: Swiss Days of Santa Clara.
- When: Thursday to Saturday, September 22 to 24, all day.
- Where: Santa Clara City Hall, 2603 Santa Clara Drive, Santa Clara.
- Tickets: Free.
- Resources: Website.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
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