Throwback Thursday: The First Annual Ogden Arts Festival in 1982

Thursday , June 09, 2016 - 5:30 AM

ANDREAS RIVERA, Standard-Examiner Staff

This story is part of the Standard-Examiner’s Throwback Thursday series, where each Thursday, we explore our archives to bring you interesting articles from the past. These articles will range from the quirky to the historic. Have an idea for a Throwback Thursday article? Let us know!

With the Ogden Arts Festival upon us, why not visit its humble beginnings? The yearly event began in 1982 on the same day President Ronald Reagan visited Northern Utah, and even though it got off to a rocky (or rainy) start, the tradition continues on.

First arts festival scheduled

May 15, 1982

By CRAIG HUNTLEY, Standard-Examiner staff

Ogden is about to hold its first arts festival.

Organizers are hoping that 20,000 will visit the festival, which will take place on 25th Street between Washington and Lincoln for a two-day event, Sept. 10-11.

“We hope this can become an annual affair,” said Sandy Havas, general chairman, who compared the event with the annual Park City art festival and Utah Art Fair in Salt Lake City.

If Ogden’s festival resembles the other events, there will be a variety of artists’ works on display, from traditional oil and watercolor paintings to unusual weavings, sculpture and pottery.

Festival organizers have raised $4,000 for the event, getting support from city and state sources.

Dampened arts festival moves to Union Station

Sept. 10, 1982

By ROBIN TIBBITS and CRAIG HUNTLEY, Standard-Examiner staff

Early morning thunderstorms blanketed Northern Utah today, soaking hundreds of people waiting since 5 a.m. to see President Reagan and forcing the first Ogden Arts Festival to take shelter in the Union Station.

Volunteers provided warm drinks and umbrellas for crowds hoping to join in the noon festivities honoring Reagan after drenching rains blanketed the region. Spirits were high in spite of the cold, drizzly weather, and muddy parking lots and runny noses were the only lasting results of the downpour.

The approaching cold front, bringing more rain to valleys and a chance of snow to higher elevations, did not douse Brigham City’s Peach Days, but Sandy Havas, chairman of the Ogden Arts Festival committee, said the decision to move the art fair from Ogden’s municipal park to the Union Station was made by 8:30 this morning.

With some speedy help from Ogden City Parks Department crews, the many display boards for artists were quickly moved out of the rain and under the canopy area on the west side of the station.

Mrs. Havas said 57 artists are registered to display their art work during the festival which runs through tomorrow evening. On display are watercolors, oils, carved eggs and kites.

The YWCA Food Fair, a part of the festival, is located in the stations’s Grand Lobby. An Ogden YWCA spokeswoman said that 31 groups with food booths have registered to take part. Ethnic specialties being offered include Korean, East Indian, Polynesian, Greek, Italian Chinese, Norwegian and Mexican as well as such American staples as hot dogs, popcorn and corn on the cob.

Live entertainment arranged for the festival will be performed at scheduled times in the Union station. Additional programs scheduled at the Weber County Library, 2464 Jefferson, will proceed as planned.

Hopefully this year’s Ogden Arts Festival will be a bit sunnier. You can enjoy it this weekend at the Ogden Amphitheater. 

Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or Follow him on Facebook or Twitter at @SE_Andreas.

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