Pleasant Grove Main Street: heritage, strawberries, and community

Pleasant Grove Main Street: heritage, strawberries, and community

Parades, Carnivals and a variety of other events are annual traditions for citizens of Pleasant Grove.

 

Gathering in their Main Street and Historic Downtown Park, at 200 S. Main Street, there are two yearly events that highlight the history of the town, cultural background, and coming together as a community: the Heritage Festival and Strawberry Days.

 

“This is where everything has been happening since the beginning of our town,” said Historic Commission Chairwoman Beth Olsen.

 

According to Olsen, many of the city’s historic locations are in danger of irreplaceable damage or being completely removed, including the Historic Downtown Park.

 

“The city thinks that by placing businesses in this location there will be more chance for economic growth,” Olsen said.

 

Olsen has had her hands full meeting with state officials for help protecting the city’s history.

 

“These sites are on the state’s Historic Landmark list,” Olsen said.“In particular, this park gives spacious character –fitting the city’s name.”

 

In 1850 Brigham Young asked for help to claim land and establish towns for the expanding population, and a small group agreed. While on the expedition, after camping the night just outside of Lehi and American Fork, one of these groups awoke surrounded by plenty of trees good for timber and rich soil for farming.

 

Every year since the first Heritage Festival, the city has held a celebration for these settlers and their diverse cultural backgrounds.

 

“We celebrate because of their decisions, their diversity, their sacrifices and for this beautiful location, which the city is named after,” Olsen said.

 

In 1921, according to Olsen, to help with economic growth, the city wanted to hold a farmer’s market. Farmers planned to bring and sell their crops, but no one expected the mass amounts of strawberries that were harvested, and they have held Strawberry Days ever since.

 

“Strawberries were the most prevalent produce that year. Many vendors were giving them out for free,” Olsen said. “This still continues.”

 

Farmers here have been so proud of their strawberries, that, according to Olsen, one year while the Queen of England visited Washington D.C. they decided she should have a taste. They sent her a case of strawberries to enjoy while visiting the nations capital.

 

“They felt that since people were coming from all over for these things then the berries might be good enough for her,” Olsen said.

 

The Historic Downtown Park has, for the past five years, also been holding the Promenade. This year’s Promenade has been Thursdays 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. and ended Sept. 29.

 

Participating vendors included local boutiques, food distributors, various craft workers and live music. The only difference between this farmer-market-style event and others is it is set up to have a date night feeling, hence the name Promenade.

 

“The last few years it has been a huge success,” Olsen said. “It really brings the community together.”

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