Tales from Utah Valley: Community celebrations heating up summer
Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald
It’s not technically summer for a few more days, but summer community celebrations are already beginning to welcome our favorite season. At a time when many people are feeling worn down by bad news, such as recent mass shootings and lingering effects of a pandemic, the frivolity of community celebrations can be a welcome relief.
Last week, Vineyard Days kicked off with a Family Fun Day, interactive rides, fireworks show and a helicopter landing. Last week was also Eagle Mountain’s Pony Express Days with fireworks, a parade and more. Orem’s Summerfest — always a sign that summer is really beginning — also kicked off last week.
Pleasant Grove’s Strawberry Days will begin on Saturday and run through June 19. The week is always full of a variety of activities so that there is, literally, something for everyone. This year’s theme is “Home is Where the ‘G’ Is.”
The weeklong festivities always start off with a Firemen’s Breakfast and a Car Show and Cruise. Both of those events will be held on Saturday. The Car Show and Cruise is an annual event that the Pleasant Grove Police Department’s Honorary Colonels put on as a way to fundraise for the department’s K-9 unit. Classic cars, a helicopter landing and even a S.W.A.T tactical vehicle will be on hand to see, as well as food trucks and a silent auction. The event is free. Donations to help fund the city’s K-9 unit can be made at the registration table. The Car Show is held at Shannon Field, 220 S. State, and runs from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Something new this year is the Strawberry Days Service Bingo. When a Bingo of service opportunities is completed, the participant gets a treat and is entered into a lottery to possibly win a grand prize at the end of Strawberry Days. Some of the service opportunities on the Bingo card include cleaning up one mile of the Murdock Canal Trail, buying a drink for someone and sincerely complimenting five different people. Bingo cards can be picked up at the city’s library.
Celia Tobin, Daily Herald file photo
There are a plethora of other Strawberry Days activities as well as many other communities’ summer events happening over the next few weeks — Provo’s Freedom Festival, Lehi’s Round Up, American Fork’s Steel Days, Spanish Fork Fiesta Days, Highland Fling, Santaquin Orchard Days, Salem Days, Payson Onion Days and, of course, the Utah County Fair.
Parades, rodeos, family parties in parks, live entertainment, food, city histories and fireworks are just some of the ways that we can come together, connect with neighbors, meet new people, learn about the places we live and just have fun. Be sure to check out your community’s Facebook page or website to find out where and when the excitement will happen. Going to a neighboring community’s festivities is always fun as well. Happy Summer!