‘Hometown Pioneer Day Celebration’ to feature Operation Underground Railroad founder

Composite image of Staheli Family Farm image with inset promotional photo of Tim Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad | Staheli Family Farm photo by Ryann Richardson, inset photo courtesy of Utah Business Revival, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — The Utah Business Revival, along with several area small businesses and in partnership with Staheli Family Farm, will be hosting the “Hometown Pioneer Day Celebration” on Friday featuring several events and activities, as well as special guest speaker Tim Ballard of Operation Underground Railroad.

The event will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday at Staheli Family Farm in Washington City and will continue until 10 p.m. Included at the event will be a “pop-up style” shopping experience, kids games and bounce houses, farm attractions, live music and food vendors.

The family-friendly event has a dual purpose: to create a hometown celebration of Utah’s heritage and to help support small businesses and vendors in the area.

Sherrie Staheli, who operates Staheli Family Farm, told St. George News that she just felt like she needed to do something for the community to help them celebrate the state’s pioneer history.

“I said, ‘Let’s just have a good old-fashioned Pioneer Day celebration,'” she said.

Flyer for the “Hometown Pioneer Day Celebration.” | Image courtesy of Utah Business Revival | Click to enlarge

Staheli said she was approached by Eric Moutsos, founder of the Utah Business Revival, who asked if she would be interested in the idea of allowing businesses to have booths at the event.

The Utah Business Revival was founded at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to try and help small businesses in Utah who faced shut-downs and economic uncertainty, Moutsos said.

The group has been organizing events, both private and public, across the state, including recently organizing the Collin Raye concert held in Cedar City.

Staheli said she would be happy to have the businesses be part of the event. She described the upcoming experience as “a little pop-up outdoor mall.”

Staheli said a lot of the vendors rely on income from events that are not happening anymore due to COVID-19, and she hopes that guests will come out and support them.

The celebration will be highlighted by a special appearance from Ballard, who will educate guests about Operation Underground Railroad and their efforts to stop human trafficking.

Ballard will speak for approximately 45 minutes near the end of the event.

Promotional photo for Tim Ballard, CEO and founder of Operation Underground Railroad, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Utah Business Revival, St. George News

As the state of Utah is set to celebrate the arrival of the pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley, Moutsos said the lessons taught by the state’s early settlers are just as prevalent today.

“We have our freedoms here (in Utah) because the pioneers took a bold stand to do what they had to do to take care of their families in times of crisis,” he said. “The pioneers knew what they had to do in order to live their lives, and they are an example to us of how we can live during very trying times.”

Because of the size of Staheli Family Farm, Moutsos said it will be easy for people to maintain social distancing. Masks are not required for attendance.

Staheli said she hopes that people can lay aside their politics when they come through the gate and enjoy celebrating as a community.

Admission and several attractions are free, but business and vendor prices will vary. Donations will be accepted at the gate to help mitigate costs for organizers who are all volunteering their time, energy and assets.

Event details

  • What: Hometown Pioneer Day Celebration.
  • When: Friday, July 24, 5-10 p.m.
  • Where: Staheli Family Farm, 3400 S. Washington Fields Road, Washington City.
  • Cost: Admission is free but donations will be accepted. Vendor costs vary.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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