20,000 people gathered in downtown Ogden on Sept. 22 to celebrate the Harvest Moon, the largest event in Northern Utah.
The Harvest Moon Celebration is a yearly event that takes place on Historic 25th Street, saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall.
The celebration started 17 years ago when a few local businesses joined together to create an event that would bring the community together and bring commerce to local businesses on 25th street.
Kym Buttschardt, co-owner of Roosters Brewing Company and the Union Grill, was one of the original business owners to be involved with the celebration.
In the beginning, Buttschardt said there were three main goals the local businesses had in mind when putting on the event.
“First, we wanted an event that drove commerce to local businesses on the street,” Buttschardt said. “Second, we wanted to showcase the beautiful historic street as a place to gather. We wanted an event that was clean and welcomed family-friendly activities for people of all ages.”
The first year of the event involved only a few businesses and attracted around 300 people. With each year that passes, the Harvest Moon Celebration attracts more businesses, and the crowd continues to grow.
The Harvest Moon Celebration is put on by a local nonprofit organization, the Ogden Downtown Alliance, who is committed to bringing the community together and helping local businesses succeed.
Danielle Collier, the marketing and communications coordinator for the Ogden Downtown Alliance, said the main goal of the organization is to “bring community vibrancy and economic vitality to Ogden.”
Not only is the celebration an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon, but it also gives local artists and smaller businesses a chance to showcase their work.
The Ogden Downtown Alliance works to incorporate new and creative artwork from local artists and artisans at each event. Many decorations at the Harvest Moon Celebration were handmade by local artists.
Along with outside bands and artists that are brought in to perform throughout the day, local artists are hired to perform.
“It gives these artists a chance to bring their platform to grow and be seen, and to get increased visibility,” Collier said.
The Harvest Moon Celebration also brings a significant amount of business to local shops. For most shops, it is the most successful day of the year.
Buttschardt said this year’s celebration was Roosters’ biggest day in its 24-year history.
“As a business owner here for almost 25 years, it’s a privilege, and it’s very special to have a business down there because it really is the heart of our community,” Buttschardt said.
Among the local businesses participating was a new business called Modern Elemental Ergon.
The business, which is part of the Local Artisan Collective, was started in January by welder Charity Judkins, with the help of Cally Rhoades, a local painter.
Rhoades said their goal is to take natural elements such as wood and metal and infuse them with industrial design.
“It’s always fun to see people’s reactions,” Rhoades said. “Everyone kind of looks at it through the eyes of a child seeing it for the first time.”
This was Modern Elemental Ergon’s first year at the Harvest Moon Festival. Rhoades said they had great success and look forward to returning next year.
“We wanted the citizens to have pride in their town with the original year, and just to see how the Ogden pride has grown since 2002 is very rewarding to me and the other founders of the event,” Buttschardt said.
That Ogden pride seemed to be running very strong, as the majority of the venders selling Ogden gear nearly sold out over the course of the day.
“It shows how this community comes together, and it makes living here really special,” Buttschardt said.