Hurricane Peach Days, a peachy Southern Utah tradition

HURRICANE — Southern Utah’s heritage is being celebrated in Hurricane this weekend with the 15th annual Peach Days Friday and Saturday.

Brief history

It all started a couple of years after Hurricane was settled in 1896, first as a fruit festival which became the Alberta Days in 1911, and then Peach Days in 1915. The tradition disappeared for many years and returned in 1999. For more in depth history, visit the Peach Days 2013 Information Booklet included below.

Events

Peach Days come with dishes served hot, a rodeo, entertainment, a parade, Pioneer Corner, the 12K “Fun Run” and the peach cook-off, among other things.  Included within the day’s festivities are the Hurricane Canal Trek, quilt show and display booths of commercial and homemade goods for sale.

Saturday’s events start early with both the 12K Fun Run from the Hurricane Community Center  (registration 5:30 a.m., run at 6 a.m.), and Historic Hurricane Canal Pioneer Treks ranging from mild to strenuous (leaving Heritage Park at 6:30 a.m. will be a 4.5-mile moderate hike and a 5.7-mile strenuous hike;  leaving the Bowery Trailhead at 8 a.m. will be a one-quarter mile mild hike).

The morning then warms up with the Peach Days Parade, starting at Main Street and 400 South, at 9 a.m. (parade route  here) and the evening heats up with the Hurricane Rodeo at 7 p.m. at the Hurricane Arena, 200 West 750 North near the Hurricane Pool (Rodeo admission $3 per person, $15 per family; it’s a fundraiser for Hurricane High FFA), and ends with a Fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. (discharged near the Community Center, visible from most parts of town).

“Everyone is encouraged to attend and participate,” Jarolyn Stout, vice chairman of the executive board, said. “People have come from as far as out of the state to stop by.”

Stout said in the last 15 years Peach Days has been well attended and estimates 10,000 people will show up over Friday and Saturday.

“Pioneer corner is patterned after the Folk Life Festival that  Zion National Park used to have which dissolved,” Stout said. “Demonstrations and displays of pioneer skills which have been passed down through the generations – like candy making, horse shoeing, a blacksmithing, quilting, weaving, sewing and other skills – are displayed.”

The peach cook-off is something to look forward to. “Whatever great recipe people want to share is included in the contest which is judged,” Stout said on Tuesday. “There are over 30 entries as of today.”

Stout said in the past, mouth-watering dishes have included creations such as fish tacos with peach salsa, peach muffins and many other interesting recipes. Also present at the Pioneer Corner will be Dutch oven samples and scones.

The traditional displays will feature items of fine art, baked or bottled goods, garden and home arts and crafts which includes wood working, handiwork, paintings, crafts, bottled items and goods, home-baked treats, and floral arrangements along with home gardening projects. Enter your creation here.

Hurricane’s Peach Days has so much to offer with so much tradition that it fills a full booklet, offered here:

It takes many hands to put Peach Days together. David Stirland, the Chairman, Jarolyn Stout, Vice Chairman, and Vera Hirschi, Executive Board and a list of volunteers to help make Peach Days possible every year.

Event recap

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Email: sisaacson@stgnews.com

Twitter: @sarahisaacson1

Copyright St. George News,  StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., 2013, all rights reserved.

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