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The City Journals

Blue Moon Festival Celebrates Local Artists for Fifth Year

Aug 22, 2016 03:05PM ● By Kelly Cannon

Local artisans show off their wares during the Blue Moon Festival. —Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Holladay City Hall Park was filled with residents, local artists and live music during the fifth annual Blue Moon Festival on Aug. 6. Hosted by the Holladay Arts Council, residents shopped for locally handmade items and enjoyed refreshments from food and beer trucks while music played live at the park’s gazebo.
The Blue Moon Festival started when the Holladay Arts Council wanted to have an arts and crafts fair. The first year it was held, it fell on a blue moon, giving the festival its name. There have been two or three subsequent festivals that have also occurred during the blue moon.
Margo Richards, the arts council coordinator, said the festival is a community gathering that is art based and art funded.
“We’re trying to bring in quality music and entertainment where people could come for free and have the same quality as if they went downtown,” Richards said. “We’re trying to bring the community together and have a good time. We try to offer those vendor spots for any artists or anyone who hand-makes the items they’re selling.”
The vendors at the festival included several artisans who make handmade jewelry, woodworks, soaps and clothing. Several other vendors sold food such as salsa and sausages.
The Holladay Arts Council partnered with Excellence in the Community to bring live music from Hot House West and Joshy Soul and the Cool to the festival. Richards said Excellence in the Community is a nonprofit who helps bring quality Utah talent to various venues.
“They try to elevate the level of the musicians that they’re bringing,” Richards said.
This year, the Holladay Arts Council extended the hours of the festival in order to reduce the number of patrons at the festival at a time in order to give residents the feel of a hometown event without having to fight the crowds.
“I think the music and the vendors were the highlight and then we bring out the food and drinks so people will stay longer,” Richards said. “We do the fireworks to kind of let them know it’s over and they can go home. It kind of ends with a bang.”
The biggest differences Richards observed about the festival from years past was since the festival is occurring during hotter times of the day, there was a wide assortment of cool refreshments and drinks, as well as no lines for beer or wine.
“We used to have very long lines for that and we added a second beer truck and that took care of that problem,” Richards said.
The festival would not be possible without the help of over 100 volunteers. Richards said most of the volunteers live within Holladay but some now live outside of the city who come back every year to help out.
Richards believes the reason the festival is so successful over the years is because the Holladay community loves getting together.
“It doesn’t seem to matter what you’re doing. They will come,” Richards said. “We just thought we’d elevate the quality of the music and support our local artists and musicians and food trucks, even.”
To learn more about the Holladay Arts Council, visit