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Crowds Pack Midway for Major Events

Pure Midway

The tradition-heavy city of Midway is hopping at this time of year. Last weekend, officials estimate at least 100,000 people came to town for Swiss Days and the sheepdog contest. The weekend of September 18, the city hosts another European-themed gathering. 

Midway Mayor Celeste Johnson doesn’t know yet if this year’s Swiss Days broke previous attendance records.

But she says she’s pretty sure the turnout was impressive, and vendors reported strong sales.

“I only talked to a few vendors on Saturday afternoon, and they did all say it was a good year. I spoke to one vendor who said it was their biggest year by double. Friday, it took off a little bit slow, but by Saturday it was crazy busy.”

The festival is the second largest in Utah after Pioneer Day, with 100,000 or more people visiting Midway every September. It began as a harvest celebration, then evolved to also honor the Swiss pioneers who settled in the Heber Valley.

Also last weekend, the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Classic brought the world’s top working sheepdogs to perform for crowds of many thousands.

Next up for the city is the third annual Volksmarch on Saturday, September 18. European communities in Midway founded the event as a walking fundraiser to benefit local open spaces. The routes are 5k and 10k distances, and are non-competitive.

“Volksmarsch” in German means “people’s march.” It’s a type of event that’s growing in popularity worldwide, as well as in Midway, Mayor Johnson says.

“They kind of use Town Square as a central gathering place, they have bounce-house activities for kids, face painting. They also have booths set up that help people know more about trails and open space.”

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 18th.

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