If summer is for adventuring, fall brings us home again. And Harvest Moon Celebration is Ogden’s homecoming! The place we reunite, delighted to be back in hoodies meandering our favorite two city blocks with a local brew in hand. Held on the Saturday before the Fall Equinox, and between the last summer Farmers Market Ogden and the first Fall Market by Farmers Market Ogden, the annual celebration marks the transition from summer to fall. It’s the pinnacle event of the year, a community grounding ritual, and the culmination of every farmers market, music festival and art stroll of the season packed into one grand bash.
It started in 2002 with a team of committed Historic 25th Street small business owners who pulled it together with a lot of love and hard work. In those early years, Heidi Harwood (Brewskis/City Club owner) says they could have been spied crawling through the upstairs window of Rooster’s where they’d stand on the rooftop to watch their beloved event happening on the streets below. For many years, it was a volunteer effort led by Kym Buttschardt (Roosters, Union Grill Owner), Heidi Harwood (Brewkis/City Club Owner), Sara Toliver (Visit Ogden), Jo Packham (Urban Studio), Todd Ferrario (Weber County Parks and Rec), Ryan Christiansen, and other key players, Kallee Genta (State Farm Insurance) and Tina Yu (Tona).
The city had shut down the annual Ogden Street Festivals of the 80s and 90s that drew crowds of 60,000 people but that had become more of a drunken brawl and a drain on city resources. But it left a void - there were no real events left for the community. Heidi Harwood says, “Harvest Moon was our answer to bringing the community back downtown for a more intimate experience.”
“We probably had 300 people come the first year and we considered it a big success! We closed a portion of the street in the middle of the 200 block for the event and pulled a trailer out for the stage,” Kym recalls, and gives a very big shout out to Heidi, referring to her as the “mom of 25th Street,” for the time she dedicated over the years to keep the celebration going.
It’s been growing like a wildflower ever since.
Ogden Downtown Alliance (ODA) now hosts the 18-year-old celebratory event that brings 25,000 community members to 25th Street to gather for a day to play, dine, and shop — the most unified and inclusive celebration of the year. When ODA took it over they wanted to make sure it was inclusive of the downtown districts at large as well as cultivating the downtown corridor, something the organization focuses largely on. Vendors and business from other districts were invited to participate. “Although it was hard to let go for several of us, it was a huge relief when the Alliance took it over because the event had gotten so big, and was run by volunteer business owners who did not have the bandwidth or the vision to do it any more,” says Kym. Heidi is still involved every year, housing the volunteers and staging on ground floor of City Club, and helping get bartenders ready. “I support my ODA posse any way I can!”
“The Harvest Moon Celebration is a vibrant celebration of local businesses and culture that seeks to provide free community activities for children, highlight local nonprofit organizations, and provide access to local art and music. Harvest Moon serves as a barometer of culture and inclusion efforts within downtown Ogden while serving as a signature piece for the Historic 25th Street Business District.” -Ogden Downtown Alliance
Heidi says some of her best memories have been on 25th Street at Harvest Moon, and gets teary-eyed remembering years’ past. “Local artists like Brad Wheeler and Dan Weldon teaching harmonica to kids, Lukas Nelson with his big, old party tour bus pulled up behind the stage on the street, Officer Ron Gardiner on his trick horse Sundance, Dwayne Doopsie and Matt Moon on stage...and Imagine (the Beatles band) that rocked the entire crowd no matter the age —one-one of the most loved bands to ever grace the stage!”
Let’s make new memories at the 18th Annual Harvest Moon Celebration! Dine at your favorite 25th Street restaurant— it’s a great time to invest in your local artists and local businesses. Free arts and crafts, games and fun for kids galore! They’ll marvel at the big colorful Great Basin Tractors on display, tackle the gigantic climbing wall and take a stab at axe throwing (ages 13+)— all free before five. For grown-ups, a full beer garden and music lineup all night! Send the kids home with a babysitter at 5:00, and stay for the adult fun. Be sure to sign up for the 2nd annual Social Axe Tournament. First, 2nd, and 3rd place to win a custom trophy axe!
This event is held in conjunction with NUHOPE Suicide Awareness Walk, which kick-starts the day’s events at Ogden Amphitheater. A wonderful opportunity to support suicide awareness. For details visit, nuhopeutah.org
HARVEST MOON CELEBRATION presented by Ogden Downtown Alliance
Date: September 21st
Location: Historic 25th Street
Beer Garden: 100 & 200 blocks
Free admission, service animals only
ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT
• Located at Amphitheater
• Registration/Check-in 8:30-10am
• Program & Walk 10-11:30am
• Info Booths 11:30-Noon
Register at nuhopeutah.org
-Giant Pumpkin carved by local artist Adam Smith
-Hand Drawn Photo Booth
-Great Basin Antique Tractors and Gibson Green Acres pumpkin patch displays
-Magician Elias “Lefty” Caress
-Locally Twisted balloon artists
-Plaster Fossil Casting by George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park
- Wooden Moon Phases art project by Local Artisan Collective
-Dartside activity course
-Create Your Own Pumpkin activity by Eccles Art Center
-and many more from all of our amazing organizations and vendors!
Free until 5:00, ages 13+
-Tournament starts at 5:30
-Axe Throwing Competition is back for its second year!
-50 pre-registered participants will compete
-Custom Trophy Axes gifted to the 1st , 2nd , and 3rd place title holders
LIVE MUSIC AND CULTURAL PERFORMANCES
Main & Community Stages, all day
-Ogden Taiko Drummers
Caleb & Canvas
-Endless Indulgence Retro Wear Fashion Show
-Utah Irish Dance Co
Follow @OgdenDowntown on Facebook and Instagram or visit ogdendowntown.com for more information.