Not only are they famous for their raspberry shakes, but Bear Lake is also known for its annual Raspberry Days festival. The little city with a population of 3,000 will host an expected 30,000 visitor for activities that begin Wednesday night, August 4th with the Little Miss Berry Princess contest. Since 1984, Raspberry Days has grown from a simple craft fair to a three day event of entertainment, a parade, rodeos, dances, fireworks, fun runs, and more. Cheree Lutz is the Committee Chair for the event. She says the festival means good things for Garden City. “It’s just become a huge draw for the valley,” Lutz says. “There are people who book next year while they’re here this year and the town is completely booked. There’s not a room in town which is great for local businesses.”Everyone is preparing for the big event. She says local restaurants are running double shifts, and churches are providing more Sunday services. “It’s stressful for everybody cause it’s probably more people than our city can handle but it’s super fun. It gets everybody out and everybody involved.” One of the biggest draws is the craft fair which runs Thursday to Saturday. Tracing its roots back to a handful of local crafters selling their wares, this year will feature 130 vendors. Everything for sale is hand-made and crafted. Because of the event’s popularity, the festival committee split the craft fair into two different locations. “We have a venue up at city offices and they are the local people that get to be indoors and have air conditioning,” Lutz explains. “They don’t have the expense of the craft fair too because it’s kind of where our roots are and we thought we needed to give them a leg up, so to speak.” Out-of-town vendors will set up shop in the LDS church parking lot on 50th South and 1st West.Another prominent event of Raspberry Days is the Raspberry Days Parade. This will take place Thursday, August 5th, at 6 pm on Bear Lake Boulevard.This year, the planning committee has focused on improving the entertainment for Raspberry Days. Friday and Saturday will feature dance teams, cheerleaders, a hypnotist, fiddling groups, and guitarists. All will lead up to the “big event.” “We have T minus 5 coming and they’re really big,” says Lutz. “They’re a five man accapella group they’re based out of Utah and they’ll be here Saturday night.”This is a fun event for the whole family, Lutz says, but asks the four-legged furry members stay home. For a schedule of the Raspberry Days activities visit www.gardencityut.us
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