While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave uncertainty for events throughout the Wasatch Back, Heber City may hold the first Market on Main event of the season in early July.
The annual summer event brings vendors and live music to Heber’s Main Street Park on Thursday evenings. An added emphasis and re-branding of the Heber Market on Main was squashed earlier this year by COVID-19 restrictions. Now Heber City Council is considering bringing the event back in some sort of modified format. Council member Rachel Kahler says the move is being considered as more citizens are asking for some type of community event.
“Obviously with COVID, we want to be careful with things, but there should be an opportunity for people to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather that we have in the summer,” Kahler explained. “So what the city is looking at—and with the approval of the Health Department—what we would like to do is move forward with the Market on Main July 9th and 16th. It will be a very scaled down version, there will not be any vendors, there’ll be minimal food vendors possibly some food trucks and then music. So, we would have to identify entrances and exits, get the information of people that are coming. So, it's tricky, but we just feel like we need to do something that gives our community something to look forward to this summer.”
Kahler says they have not yet received the okay from the county health department on the modified event. Whether the event happens or not will depend on that approval.
“That's why we’ve put these parameters in place,” Kahler continued. “We are identifying can we do an entrance? Can we do an exit with social distancing? You wouldn't think the economic driver is there, but it’s just getting people out. Maybe stopping through a fast food restaurant as they come through. Coming down to the downtown area does provide some stimulus into the local economy, and it just gives people a chance to take a deep breath. We’re hoping that they take a deep breath six feet apart.”
In separate but related news at last week's council meeting Mayor Kelleen Potter commented on the split she’s seen amongst Heber residents who do, and do not wear face masks. Local, state and national health agencies have encouraged residents to wear masks in public settings where social distancing is hard to maintain to prevent the spread of disease. Kahler says in her interactions with the community she’s seen about an even split between those who are following the guidelines and those who are not.
“You go into the grocery stores and I think some people are very mindful of spacing and keeping to themselves and wearing masks,” Kahler said. “Other people are saying, you know what, I just need to go back and live my life. In our family, my mother is currently going through chemotherapy. So, we are very mindful of her immune system, we’re keeping our distance, we’re wearing masks and washing as much as we can. But I do recognize that there are people that just psychologically need to move forward and get back to work.”
Wasatch County is in the yellow low-risk phase of the governor’s phased guidelines plan. The third death due to COVID-19 in Wasatch County was reported on Friday.