OGDEN — What’s big and hairy and oh-so-fun?
The Wasatch Yeti Bash, bringing with it more arts, entertainment and fun than you can shake a long winter’s beard at.
The fourth annual event hits town this weekend, setting up shop from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, in and around Ogden’s Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave. Admission is free.
Sydnie Furton, director of marketing and communications for Visit Ogden, said the Yeti Bash was designed to fill a hole in Ogden’s year-round activities.
“Ogden is a really eventful place from Ogden Restaurant Week in mid-April to Christmas Village at the end of the year,” Furton said. “But it’s pretty quiet in the first quarter, so we saw this as an opportunity to do a winter festival.”
Furton said Visit Ogden used to do an event called Ski Week. The idea was encourage apres-ski activities in downtown Ogden and get shops to stay open later into the evening. However, she says Ski Week didn’t really catch on, so they got to thinking, “How do we narrow it down?”
In thinking about their target demographics, Visit Ogden came up with “art enthusiasts and those who are passionate about outdoor recreation,” according to Furton. “So Yet Bash was created with a winter arts market inside, and a snow-sports component outside.”
That was 2016. Last year, Furton says they decided to add a beard competition, and spectators went, well, ape over it.
“We had 90 people compete last year; it was a lot of fun,” Furton said. “So this year we’ve changed up the bash a bit. There will still be a winter art market inside, but outside we won’t do the snow-sports activity. Outside we’ll be focused on the beard competition.”
Entering the beard competition costs $10 in advance, $15 at the event. Beards are judged in nine categories.
“It’s a ton of fun,” Furton said. “Even if you’re not competing in the beard competition, come and sport a beard you made.”
And Furton said it’s fun to see people embracing the yeti theme at the event.
“There will be multiple yetis on site,” she said. “We’ll have four smaller costumes, then a big yeti costume. This one guy custom-built his own yeti costume that will be there and it is insane, professional and robust.”
The festival will include an interactive winter arts market featuring creative booths, face-painting, glass-blowing and “things for all ages in the realm of art,” according to Furton. There’s also a beard-making station, where visitors can create their own beards out of things like paper, yarn and gems.
Social Axe Throwing will have its mobile axe trailer on hand for folks to try out the sport. There will also be “yeti yoga,” a 20-minute free yoga session outside on the plaza.
A deejay will be providing music, and the Ogden Fire Department will man multiple firepits/s’mores stations out front.
There will be a deejay, the Ogden Fire Department will man firepits and s’mores stations, and The Daily Rise will be selling treats to warm bodies.
The Yeti Bash is being held in conjunction with the city’s monthly First Friday Art Stroll, and Furton says this Friday will mark the very first Ogden Food Truck Rally. On the first Friday evening of every month for the rest of the year, five food trucks will be stationed at Union Station in what Furton calls a nice addition to the First Friday Art Stroll.
And bonus! Furton says the whole area will be a beer garden, with various craft brews available for sale.
“And Roosters is even doing a yeti beer for the event,” she said.
In conjunction with Friday night’s Wasatch Yeti Bash, the Sweaty Yeti Fat Bike Race will takes place on Saturday at the south gate of North Fork Park, 4150 E. 5950 North, Liberty. Events include the 10-kilometer Beginning & Junior Yeti race, the 20-kilometer Amateur & High School Yeti race, and the 30-kilometer Pro Yeti race. The day also includes a sports expo, music, snowshoeing, family activities and more.