Holladay school festival invites all to enjoy the ‘magic of the season’Oct 04, 2021 12:26PM ● By Heather Lawrence
Vendor booths at Holladay’s Wasatch Harvest Festival in 2019 were staffed by local artisans. The fundraising event returns in person Oct. 16. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
Wasatch Charter School in Holladay is holding its annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 16. The festival is a favorite event for families, students and the community. Booths at the event will have products from local artisans and students.
“I’m so excited to be in charge of the festival this year. I think people are just excited about the fact that it’s a live event. People want to get out. It’s a nice time of year and when the weather cooperates, it’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday,” Lyn Spataro said.
Spataro is a Wasatch parent, and the fundraising committee chair on the governing board for the school.
The Harvest Festival is one of two major fundraising events the school does throughout the year. “It’s a good time for people even if they don’t have kids in the school. We’re anticipating more than 20 vendors of varying sorts that will sell all kinds of handmade local items.
“Some booths are run by students, and some are run by parents or people from the community,” Spataro said. Spataro’s husband Brady Ashburn will be there demonstrating and selling some of his hand-turned wooden bowls and baby toys.
“We have a photographer that day who can take individual or family portraits right there. Elizabeth Ashdown Photography focuses on making portraits lovely, simple and special. They’re ‘come as you are’ photographs, and perfect for our setting,” Spataro said.
Other vendors will offer tie-dye items, henna tattoos, jewelry, fresh honey, metal works, shawls, baby clothing, ponchos, health and beauty, handmade baskets and more.
“One of our favorite booths is the bake sale. This year we’ll have food from Aspen Mills, Ruby Snap, Three Cups, Biscotts and Carol’s Pastry Shop. We should also have at least one food truck. It’s really an all-day event that will be a fun time,” Spataro said.
Wasatch Charter School was founded in 2016. The Waldorf Method informs their curriculum and culture. One of the important parts of their culture is that students feel a connection to the school and an ownership in the things that are produced for the Harvest Festival.
“Our students are involved in the booths, the crafts and the math and business side of some of the activities that day,” Spataro said.
The school’s executive director Emily Merchant is happy the event will be in person again this year. Last year was a drive-thru event.
Due to COVID restrictions, the school did not hold the Harvest Festival as a live event in 2020. They announced at Back to School Night that it would be in person again this year, and they’ve gotten good feedback from people who are excited to attend.
“We are particularly excited this year to offer this outdoor event. It’s been designed around safe COVID-protocols after over a year of not gathering as a larger community," Merchant said.
“The Harvest Festival is a time for our school community to host the larger community in a celebration of the season. We acknowledge the autumn bounties, the cooler, shorter days and the blessings of friends and families at this annual gathering,” Merchant said.
Merchant originally set up the school as an option for her own children because she believed in the advantages of the Waldorf pedagogy.
This year’s event builds on past events, but Spataro said there are some new additions. New vendors, food trucks and games like a pumpkin carving contest were added.
“The pumpkin carving contest will be for anyone who comes, not just students. We’ll also have guessing games and crafts for kids. Our campus is so beautiful; we’re taking our natural environment and creativity and using that to fundraise,” Spataro said.
Wasatch Charter School is located on 1458 E. Murray-Holladay Blvd. The Harvest Festival is Saturday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The campus backs up on Big Cottonwood Creek Park, and has acres of open park-like land. The event is free to the public. Parking is limited, but parking options exist at the park next door or at businesses to the west.
“The event is free, but people can purchase activity wristbands up to a week in advance by going to www.wasatchfamilyfoundation.org/harvest-festival.html. There is a nominal fee for the activities. People can also make a donation to Wasatch Family Foundation,” Spataro said.
Merchant and Spataro said fundraising is important for their school. “Funds will go toward high quality programming, teacher enrichment, art, music and all the extras that our school uses. It’s high quality, but that also means it’s costly,” Spataro said.
“We hope our school family and our neighbors will join us for what is sort of a magical time. It’s a way for us to share with the wider community who we are and what we do. The Harvest Festival is all about us living our key values and connecting those to the season,” Spataro said.