GARLAND – By Cari Doutre – March 5, 2020
Garland City Mayor Todd Miller cleared the air on March 4, and informed the community that Wheat and Beet Days is here to stay – at least for a little while longer.
“As long as I’m mayor, we will always have Wheat and Beet Days,” Miller stated after the Garland City Council meeting on Wednesday night.
Miller, members of the Garland City Council and Wheat and Beet Days committee members, had a meeting before the council’s work session to start planning the yearly event. It also gave Miller an opportunity to assure the community that Garland City is not cancelling the celebration this year after the topic was brought up at a previous city council meeting.
During the Feb. 19, 2020, Garland City Council meeting, members of the council discussed at length what weekend would be best to host Wheat and Beet Days in 2020.
Conflicting events in the community such as high school athletic camps, scout camps, fire department convention and others were making it hard for them to settle on a date.
After much discussion the topic of cancelling Wheat and Beet Days all together was brought up. Council members discussed a few different options that night but no decisions were made - leaving this year’s plans still up in the air.
But it didn’t take long for Garland City to decide the future of Wheat and Beet Days, or at least for 2020. This year’s Wheat and Beet Days celebration will be held July 10-11, 2020.
This will also be the 90th year Garland has held Wheat and Beet Days.
“July 10-11, worked well for the city parks and recreation for All-Star games, avoided many youth conflicts and gave us the chance to reconnect with Miss Bear River Valley,” Miller said.
In 2019 the city moved Wheat and Beet Days to June 28-29, five weeks early. Instead of holding the event the first weekend in August as tradition has had it, the city decided it was time for a change.
The decision to move Wheat and Beet Days earlier in the summer had a simple reasoning behind it - to get more participation and better attendance.
And according to Miller, it worked too.
“The numbers show that 2019 was the best Wheat and Beet Days financially in the past five years,” he said. “The cooler weather and earlier timing was credited to a better mood for the celebration.”
“We committed to count attendance at the parade and park and to give this timing a two-year trial,” Miller added about the Wheat and Beet Days change up in 2019.
While some parts of Wheat and Beet Days has changed and evolved throughout the years, many of the traditions of Garland City’s annual celebration remains the same.
One of those traditions includes Garland’s annual Wheelon Award presentation. This award recognizes individuals that have made a long-time and positive impact in Garland City and in the community.
Saturday morning starts with a fun run, breakfast is served by the Garland Public Library and one of the most popular activities during Wheat and Beet Days, a parade.
The annual firefighters water fight on Saturday afternoon cools down kids, and firefighters, of all ages while vendor and food booths are set up at the Garland City park throughout the day.
The most well-attended Wheat and Beet Days traditions are Saturday night’s movie and concert in the park and ends with a fireworks show marking the end of the celebration for that year.
More events have been added to Wheat and Beet Days in the past few years including a Dutch oven cook-off, a Lil’ Miss and Lil’ Mr. children’s pageant, a 4-H pet show and the PAWS for Applause dog agility trials competition - just to name a few.
In 2019 Garland City stepped it up a notch and challenged Tremonton City to a friendly, yet still competitive, softball game. In last year’s first annual game Garland City beat Tremonton City.
The decision to hold Wheat and Beet Days July 10-11 in 2020 also means two consecutive weekends of summer celebrations and fun in the Bear River Valley.
“It is also positioned nicely one week after July 4th celebrations,” Miller added.