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Sugar House Journal

Sugar House holds its first Big Backyard Bash at Fairmont Park

Sep 23, 2019 14h16 ● By Spencer Belnap

Neighbors, families and friends visit artist and vendor booths at the inaugural Sugar House Backyard Bash. (Spencer W. Belnap/City Journals)

By Spencer W. Belnap | [email protected]

Over the past couple of years, the Sugar House Community Council had consistently received feedback from residents who desire a big event in the neighborhood again. With the Sugar House Park Fourth of July fireworks show and arts festival no longer being held, residents wanted something to happen this year. The council decided to throw a big party of sorts at Fairmont Park called the Sugar House Big Backyard Bash. The inaugural gathering occurred on Saturday, Aug. 31, and brought the neighborhood together for a fun-filled summer afternoon.

From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on that sunny day, there was live music, artist and vendor booths, games, food trucks and a beer garden. People from around Sugar House and the surrounding areas filled the northeast pocket of the park. Playgrounds were that much more crowded, and the Fairmont Aquatic Center was busy with swimmers looking to cool off. Many walked from their homes, some parked nearby, and others took advantage of the free fare on the TRAX S-Line to get there. 

“We live next door and walked over,” Aubrey Scarborough said. She and her fiancé grabbed some food and beers and perched themselves on the lawn to listen to local music. “We really enjoy these fun things happening in the park and usually try to go to each one,” she said.  

It was Labor Day weekend and what is typically the end marker of summer for families. Many children were at the park that day, playing games courtesy of Beehive Sports and fishing at the pond on the east end. 

One of the booths that attracted many visitors was the Community Council’s timeline history of Sugar House. Members of the council’s arts and culture committee assembled photos and historical summaries from the late 19th century to the present day. This spurred fond memories and stories from those that had grown up in Sugar House.

“This is a project we can display and continue to build on over time,” council member and main organizer of the event, Dayna McKee said. “Sugar House is a fiercely loved and fawned over neighborhood. Those who have been here hold their history dear. What we learn from the timeline is that the neighborhood has always evolved and changed.” 

Sugar House continues to grow and change. With new events like the Big Backyard Bash, the community shows a strong commitment to listening to residents, both old and new alike. 

“I suspect small, manageable increases in vendors and activities is likely in the future,” McKee said. “The hope is that the event will evolve over time. Now that we have some experience and data, we’ll be better prepared to approach people and businesses to ask for participation and support.”