Midway’s annual Swiss Days returns

Police officers high five onlookers as they head down the Swiss Days parade route on Main Street in Midway on Saturday, Sept. 4. (Sakina Steflik)

MIDWAY — This little town tucked away on the Wasatch Back wrapped up the second and final day of its 73rd annual celebration of Swiss Days on Saturday, Sept. 4. 

Midway locals and visitors came together to enjoy a myriad of events, beginning early Saturday morning with a 10K run and kids’ race. The rest of the day included a variety of performances, activities, food and vendors.

Whitney Jordan from Springville said this was her first time at Swiss Days. “I’ve never been here, so I decided to see what it was like. My sister really wanted to come, so I decided to tag along. She was the decider.”

Whitney’s sister, Casi Barnes, said she wanted to come to Swiss Days because of what she saw online. “All the posts on Instagram really got me, with all their shops and good food.”

Sisters Casi Barnes and Whitney Jordan pose for a photo with their children and dog after the Swiss Days parade in Midway. “I love parades because there’s all these things from the cars that you get to look at,” said Whitney’s daughter, Venna Jordan. (Sakina Steflik)

The parade down Main Street was a highlight of the morning as cars, horses, floats and performers migrated westward. Many children pushed to the front of the crowd holding plastic bags, eager to collect the treats, cookies and pastries thrown toward the onlookers.

“It was so much fun, and we got a lot of candy,” Lily Robertson from Mapleton said. “It’s just so exciting because so many people are here.”

Both Friday and Saturday involved the sprawling marketplace, where shoppers could check out different crafts and goods, from rebound book journals to wind chimes made of recycled goods. Visitors also indulged themselves in cultural foods including Swiss chicken, Swiss tacos, scones and lemon yodels. Guests could rest and enjoy multiple performances inside Midway’s city hall, such as the “William Tell” play, the Swiss Children’s Chorus, the Swiss Miss and Midway Swiss Handbell Ringers. 

The Swiss Miss Royalty performed multiple times during Swiss Days at Midway’s City Hall. (Sakina Steflik)

This year’s celebration granted Midway’s Swiss Miss Royalty the opportunity to finally perform for their community. Swiss Miss Sierra Nelson and her attendants, Aubrey Iverson, Reese Hawkins, Gracie Miller and Elsie Malinka were crowned two years ago, retaining their positions because of COVID-19. The girls dressed in flower crowns and traditional Swiss outfits to sing and dance for the crowd.

“I’ve lived here for a while and every year I see the Swiss Miss — they’re so pretty and cool. I just really wanted to do it. One year I finally tried out and three years later, I’m in the Swiss Miss,” Malinka said.

Miller said she felt like a “little celebrity.”

“Swiss Days is the big thing for these girls, and I love supporting what we have here. Midway is a really special community,” said Gracie’s mother, Christina Miller.

Another group that performed for Swiss Days festivities was the Midway Swiss Handbell Ringers. They not only performed traditional Swiss songs, but medleys of John Williams and classic Disney music. 

The Midway Swiss Handbell Ringers wave to guests from their parade float on Main Street. They performed multiple times over the course of Swiss Days at Midway’s Town Hall. (Sakina Steflik)

Cari Knapp, director of the Midway Swiss Handbell Ringers, said she is not happy if she isn’t doing something musical, and that most of the group members are really strong musicians and love being involved. 

“We’re so glad that we get to bring joy to people when we play the bells, because you can’t help but just smile and have fun. Everybody seems to enjoy it, so that’s just our way to be able to give back,” Knapp said. 

Ringer Katie Clegg said it’s really meaningful and exciting to celebrate the area’s heritage.

“It’s a part of what we do. It’s our tradition,” said another group member, Vicky Larsen.

For information on future Swiss Days events, readers can visit the Midway Swiss Days website.

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