Swiss Days 2018: Survived!

I had heard of Midway’s annual Swiss Days celebration when I lived in Salt Lake City after graduating from BYU and was intrigued because I served a mission en Suisse but never attended. Little did I know it would become such a huge part of my life.

This is the second year Jamie and I have been booth managers for the largest food booth at the festival: The Swiss Tacos. Last year was our apprentice year, this year, we were in charge and next year, we will be the consulting couple. And then after that, we will be able to enjoy Swiss Day in much smaller stints. All the meetings leading up to it, the week of set-up and then two 14-hour days are enough to do anyone in.

But overall, we loved it! Well, the kids and I love it; Jamie only kinda tolerates it. Large crowds and chaos aren’t really his thing. They’re not mine either but this year, I caught a glimpse of why Swiss Days is so beloved as I saw an entire town come together and many generations reunite to volunteer because it is tradition.

When I was 12, I started working at my mom’s restaurant and I love seeing my family work in the booth….

Hadley was awesome slinging dough while Bode was a great “runner” and threw the dough in the sizzling oil vats

Booth manager extraordinaire

Our youth were assigned to garbage duty and had a great time hanging off the kubotas….

How I love the Swiss Days Parade! To be clear, I hate big-city parades with their fancy floats and lack of candy. I grew up attending the Canada Day parade in Raymond and loved the small-town feel with friends and neighbors. This year, the kids tossed out candy for our friend Mimi’s “float,” Love 4 Mia in honor or her sweet daughter who passed away. They’re all about giving back to the community and it was an honor to be a part of it.

Polly and Hadley leading the charge

It was fun to see our neighbor’s Thai exchange student throwing out candy with Bode and the kids

Some other things I want to remember:

  • 80-year-old Clarence insisting upon being the tomato slicer each morning. He was elbow-deep in tomato guts when I asked if he wanted an apron and I got roped into tying it on him..and giving him a back rub.
  • The Swiss Days Committee asked if they could bring some volunteers from the Half-way House to our booth. They were really hard workers and I’m so grateful for how loving and accepting the other volunteers were of them.
  • Clean-up duty on Monday is pretty thankless except for all of the leftover treats and drinks. There was a huuuuge spread this year.
  • On Sunday, the owners of Dairy Keen opened up their restaurant for the booth managers and other key volunteers for a private dinner. It’s super fun to have a behind-the-scenes glimpse and to have so many people pitching in to take orders and cook up the food. Peach cobbler shakes for the win!

What a gift it is to be part of a small town that exudes charm and true community…and I’m glad I have an entire year to recover from it all.

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