Harvest Moon Celebration honors passing of summer, coming of fall in Ogden

Harvest Moon Celebration honors passing of summer, coming of fall in Ogden

So long, summer. Hello, fall.

The annual Harvest Moon Celebration takes place this weekend in downtown Ogden, bringing with it what organizers call Northern Utah’s biggest event of the year.

Haille Van Patten, assistant communications coordinator for the Ogden Downtown Alliance, says the event — now in its 18th year — draws roughly 30,000 people annually to Historic 25th Street.

“It’s our big celebration, saying goodbye to summer and welcoming fall in true Ogden fashion,” Van Patten said.

The Harvest Moon Celebration begins at noon Saturday, Sept. 21 on Historic 25th Street between Wall and Grant avenues. The event continues until 8 p.m. that day. Admission is free.

The yearly event offers both family-friendly and adult activities, as well as live music, artisan exhibits, and plenty of food and drink.

This year’s festival will include an antique tractor display, pumpkin-decorating, and nearly two dozen children’s activities.

Local magician Elias “Lefty” Caress will be featured at the event, as well as the Locally Twisted balloon artists. A climbing course will be hosted by the Army National Guard, plaster fossil casting will be offered by Eccles Dinosaur Park, and Dartside will be setting up a dart-tag activity course.

Children’s activities will be offered until 5 p.m. For the grownups, a beer garden will feature local brews from the likes of Roosters and UTOG. Restaurants and vendors will also offer a variety of food for sale.

Social Axe Throwing will host the second Harvest Moon Axe Throwing Competition. Free axe-throwing will be available for ages 13 and up until 5 p.m.; a tournament will start at 5:30 p.m. for 50 contestants who pre-register during the afternoon.

There’s also an arm-wrestling competition.

Festival-goers can get their photograph taken with a 250-pound jack-o’-lantern, grown by Jim Seamons and carved by local artist Adam Smith.

The festival’s main stage will feature local musicians, dancers and more throughout the day. A community stage will feature local up-and-coming talent from noon to 5 p.m.

Other attractions will include a “living statue” called The Oracle, and a white 2019 Hyundai Tucson on hand for attendees to adorn with washable paint.

Oh, and for fans of the Amy Poehler sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” Van Patten says the Harvest Moon Celebration will feature a photo booth with a very special guest — an adorable miniature pony after the manner of Li’l Sebastian.

Leading up to this year’s celebration, NUHOPE’s Suicide Awareness Walk and Ceremony will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Ogden Amphitheater, 343 Historic 25th St.

Van Patten said the annual Harvest Moon Celebration has become a “highly anticipated” event in Ogden.

“It’s been going on so long here that the community really looks forward to it,” she said. “The fall season is such a nostalgic time, and it highlights the best that Ogden has to offer.”

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