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Tales from Utah Valley: Summer is coming – and so are community celebrations

By Laura Giles - Herald Correspondent | Jun 3, 2023

Courtesy Drew Armstrong

A lit strawberry on the mountain above Pleasant Grove is a sign that summer — and Strawberry Days — is here.

Eating strawberries and cream while listening to live music in a park, watching for people we know in the parade while listening to marching bands, strolling through the fairgrounds while taking in the sights and smells and good food, learning more about our history, experiencing exhaustion after a day at the carnival, a cool evening at the rodeo, connecting with old friends and neighbors and meeting a few new ones. These and many other experiences are ours each year as we visit and participate in our communities’ summer celebrations.

Volunteers who donate so much of their time — many working and planning throughout the year — are gearing up for city and county celebrations that will be happening all summer. In fact, before summer officially starts on June 21, many of our community celebrations and festivals will have already begun.

My own community of Pleasant Grove will kick off Strawberry Days on June 10. While this particular city celebration is in its 102nd year, a newer tradition that coincides with it is the giant lighted strawberry on the mountain. This year, local residents David and Tandi Hartle, who have created many lighted designs on “G” mountain, are holding a raffle to raise money for the lights for the strawberry design.

“We have been doing the large strawberry on ‘G’ Mountain for Strawberry Days over the last several years and many of the lights are getting old and are no longer working,” reads a recent Facebook post.

The Hartles are auctioning off a gently used mini-bike to raise money to replace the lights. By sending $20 on Venmo to @PGlights, anyone can be entered into the drawing. Also, donations can be made without being entered into the drawing, if desired. For more information, check out the Pleasant Grove Community Connection Facebook page.

Courtesy Drew Armstrong

A lit strawberry on the mountain above Pleasant Grove is a sign that summer — and Strawberry Days — is here.

Of course, Pleasant Grove isn’t the only city that holds a summer celebration. Provo’s Freedom Festival has already kicked off. Vineyard Days and Eagle Mountain’s Pony Express Days began this past week. The rest of the summer months are full of city celebrations and we can look forward to Utah County’s Fair, always a fun few days, in August.

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 also a great way to spend some time.

There is something enjoyable to be found at all of them and many of the activities are free. What else is free? Looking at a giant lighted strawberry on the side of a mountain. Happy Summer!

Volunteers make cups of strawberries and cream for customers during Strawberry Days in Pleasant Grove on Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

A vendor hands out a serving of strawberries and cream at the Pleasant Grove Strawberry Days carnival Friday, June 17, 2011.


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