Published September 14, 2023 | By Lynn Blamires, feature writer for My Local Utah
The 2023 Honey Harvest Festival has been set for Friday and Saturday, October 13th and 14th. The first Honey Harvest Festival was held in 2012 when owners of the J. Reuben Clark Historic Farm thought of fun events they could bring to the farm that would benefit the Grantsville community. One of those ideas was the honey harvest. This year marks the 9th annual celebration, and it has grown every year.
Festival Held in the Shadow of Deseret Peak
With the picturesque backdrop of old barns and hay fields at the historic farm, visitors of all ages can enjoy bee-related activities. To event organizer Laurie Hurst, a honey festival is a natural fit for Grantsville. “Grantsville lies in the shadow of Deseret Peak,” Hurst said. “Deseret comes from a word in the Book of Mormon that means ‘honeybee.”
Beekeeping Goes Back to 1883
The Clark Farm, located at 392 West Clark Street, is a great place to celebrate the local harvest of produce, crops, and honey. According to Hurst, beekeeping has been around in the Tooele Valley from the very early days. In 1883, Grantsville established its own beekeeping association. Harvest Lane Honey, a Grantsville company developed by Mindy and Jason Waite, ships beekeeping supplies all over the country, including many large chain stores. At trade shows, Waite’s’ Tooele County honey is sought after because it has an extra sweet flavor from the alfalfa grown in the area.
Hurst extols homegrown raw honey as having more flavor and richness than processed honey. “Some claim that honey has antibacterial properties and that it helps with allergies,” she said.
The Festival Is Famous for Its Variety of Honey
At the festival, one can expect to see a dazzling variety of honey. In the South, they have sourwood and tupelo honey, and in California, bees pollinate citrus groves, producing orange blossom honey. Other common varieties are buckwheat, clover, and dandelion honey. There’s even avocado honey. And, of course, there are many artificially flavored honeys too.
A Weekend Full of Fun Activities
Enjoy the world of honey tasting, a craft fair featuring Utah’s own vendors, local honey, beekeeping demonstrations, hands-on exhibits, games for the kids, pony and camel rides, wagon rides, bounce houses, a petting zoo, and honey contests.
The thing that stood out to me in this list of features was the camel rides. I have never ridden a camel so I asked Google what is like. This is what I learned: “… it is sort of like riding a rocking chair strapped to the top of a stepladder that’s being dragged across a gravel road. It’s a combination of rough and rolling, with the bonus that camels turn around and give you big goofy grins now and then.” Now how cool is that?
In order to provide the many activities included at the Honey Harvest Festival, a small entrance fee of $3 will be charged. Your admission will go towards the quality performances at the Fiddle Fest, honey sampling, lawn activities, continued improvement of the festival, and preservation of the historic farm. Thank you for supporting this fun, family-friendly festival.
The Sweet Fiddlin’ Fest Is All About Fun
While you wander through the Honey Harvest Festival, sit down and enjoy some of the finest fiddlin’ and pickin’ in the Beehive State. Sign up for open stage time at the festival, or join in the Friday night jam session. The Sweet Fiddlin’ Fest is all about fun, not only for the fiddlers but for those who enjoy the sweet sounds of a fiddle. It might be stomping your feet in time to a blue grass tempo or listening to the sweet by and by.
Honey Harvest Festival Details
This is one of the newer festivals in Utah and looks to be one of the more fun and unique ones to attend. For details, visit ClarkHistoricFarm.org.