It’s as close to a citywide holiday as it gets in Brigham City.
The city’s annual Peach Days celebration is this weekend, and Box Elder Chamber of Commerce executive director Monica Holdaway says folks think of it as a sort of unofficial holiday.
“My favorite part is it’s considered a Brigham City holiday,” Holdaway said. “There’s a different feeling in the air that week. People say ‘Happy Peach Days’ to each other — they say it to me. And a lot of people who left the community come back to celebrate, so it’s like a homecoming.”
Holdaway says it helps that Peach Days is held so late in the year — after Labor Day and a time when most other summer celebrations and activities are already in the rearview mirror — so, basically, it’s a weekend all to their own.
“We’re pretty much the last event — besides the Utah State Fair,” she said.
Although Peach Days includes a couple of smaller community events earlier in the week, the “two days that tourists care about” will be Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6-7, according to Holdaway.
“I’ve had people drive up for peach cobbler on Thursday, only to find they’re not serving it until Friday and Saturday,” she said. “They’re pretty unhappy about that.”
Vendor booths will open at 10 a.m. both days on Main Street in downtown Brigham, and the accompanying carnival starts at 5 p.m. Friday. The Peach Days kickoff parade follows at 6 p.m. Friday, with the Peach Days Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The event will feature more than 200 vendors — including about 35 food vendors — with loads of peach-based foods for sale.
Among the items available for sale will be peach doughnuts, peach fritters (“Those are one of my favorites,” Holdaway confessed), peach ice cream and smoothies, fresh peach pies, fruit parfaits with peaches, peaches and cream, churros with peaches and cream, funnel cakes topped with peaches, peach cobbler — and someone is even doing deep-fried peaches.
“Yeah, you can gain weight at Peach Days,” Holdaway warned. “It’s not all healthy.”
And while you can even buy individual peaches to eat right there on the spot at Peach Days, Holdaway says they don’t offer bulk peaches in baskets. For those, organizers send folks to the fruit stands along U.S. Highway 89 outside the city.
“People assume we should have a big farmers market at Peach Days,” Holdaway said. “The reason we don’t have bushels of peaches is because our Famous Fruitway sells them, and it’s one of their busiest days of the year. We don’t want to take away from their business.”
And if all that isn’t enough peaches for you, local restaurants can fill in the gaps. Peach City offers peach ice cream, Idle Isle Cafe sells peach tarts, and Maddox Ranch House is famous for its peach pie, according to Holdaway.
Other activities and events at Peach Days will be a Harley-Davidson motorcycle show, and a car show — what Holdaway calls one of the largest free car shows in the western U.S.
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the cinematic pop group GENTRI will present a free concert.
Also making a comeback this year are the Peach Days window displays in downtown businesses along Main Street.
“I grew up here in Brigham City, and that’s something we’d go to later at night when it was quiet — the window displays in businesses,” Holdaway said. “It went away for awhile, but now it’s back.”
Holdaway said Friday won’t be nearly as busy, so for those who want to avoid the crowds, that would be a good option.
“But Saturday’s the day everything is going on,” she said.
The city’s firemen’s association will host a breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday, and a 5K and 10K race is also scheduled that morning. There’s also a softball tournament, and a melodrama offered by the Fine Arts Center.
And, as in past years, at 7 p.m. Friday the city’s politicians come out for the annual lip-synch battle.
“They get really into it,” Holdaway said. “Because they win a very, very coveted bag of peach licorice.”
Parking can be a challenge; free UTA shuttles run between the festival and the Utah State University Brigham City Campus, 989 S. Main St., from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. both days.
Holdaway said Peach Days has been held every year since 1904, although for two years during World War II organizers renamed it War Bond Days in support of the war effort.
For more information, visit boxelderchamber.com or call 435-723-3931.