Notoriously Eventful: 16 Events You Can’t Miss in Ogden!
Any day spent in and around Ogden is a day well spent, offering plenty of things to see and do. However, if you find yourself in the area during any of the events highlighted here, you’ve done something right in life, and you’re clearly on the receiving end of some good Karma. Welcome to the most notoriously eventful place in Utah!
The Ogden Farmers Market extends the length of Historic 25th Street from Wall Ave. to Washington Blvd. every Saturday morning from late June through late September. In addition to farm-fresh produce, locally roasted coffee and baked goods, the market offers a myriad of locally produced arts and crafts, live local musicians and activities for kids. More details are available at farmersmarketogden.com
First Friday Art Stroll
On the first Friday of every month, area art galleries and retailers extend their hours and invite the public to experience new exhibits while many of the city’s restaurants and bars feature local singer/songwriter sessions. It’s the night when locals “get their art on.” Ogden’s Arts Advisory Committee members lead both guided and “misguided” tours. The latter lacks pretentiousness, offers plenty of laughs and typically ends in a pub crawl after the galleries dim the lights. Information on exhibits and tours is available at ogdencityarts.org
If you’re familiar with the “Nashville Sound,” the “Austin Sound,” the “Muscle Shoals Sound,” or the “Bakersfield Sound,” you’re a discerning music fan. But did you know there is an “Ogden Sound?” It has grown from the blending of musical styles that have crossed paths here as far back as the early railroad days. From the legendary 97-year-old Joe McQueen who used to sit in with Count Basie and Duke Ellington during their stopovers to 14-year-old songwriting prodigy, Sammy Brue, who is currently touring the country when he’s not in the studios of Nashville and Muscle Shoals, Ogden knows a thing or two about music.
In addition to the live music pouring out of the bars and restaurants around town all year long, Ogden has a few must-see music events every summer.
Twilight Concert Series
The Twilight Series is Ogden’s newest addition to its vibrant music scene, bringing cutting-edge artists to the heart of downtown every Thursday in June at the Ogden Amphitheater. Each show features three bands for a nominal $5 ticket price. Line-up and ticketing information is available at ogdentwilight.com.
The Ogden Music Festival
Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music (OFOAM) organizes this festival every year...typically the first weekend in June...at Fort Buenaventura. The three-day event brings top-tier talent from around the country, and music fans from around the nation follow. Camping is available in the shade-covered, historic park along the banks of the Weber River, where fireside jam sessions abound. Festival, camping and ticket information can be found at ofoam.org.
Blues, Brews & BBQs
Every Sunday from mid-June through mid-October, Snowbasin presents its Blues, Brews & BBQs free concert series at the base of the resort just outside the opulent Earl’s Lodge. Enjoy scenic gondola rides, hiking, biking and mountain-top dining before visiting the beer garden and settling in to listen to top regional and national touring acts. For a schedule of performances, visit snowbasin.com.
The week leading up to July 24 is known as Pioneer Days in Ogden. During that week, even the most hardcore hipsters dust off the cowboy hat in the back of the closet and ditch the skinny jeans and opt for Wranglers. It’s a week of concerts, fireworks, parades and, of course, a top-5 PRCA rodeo. Complete event information is available at ogdenpioneerdays.com
Ogden Valley Ballon & Artist Festival
The third weekend in August brings balloon pilots, artists, musicians and tens of thousands of attendees to Eden Park in scenic Ogden Valley. The morning and evening skies are dotted with dozens of hot air balloons as families peruse locally made arts and crafts to a soundtrack supplied by area bands. Take a tethered balloon ride, grab some grub and settle in for the nighttime balloon glow. More information is available at ogdenvalleyballoonfestival.com
Ogden is a regular stop on a lot of championship circuits and has hosted several USA Cycling National Championships, stages of the Tour of Utah and more. In addition to such traveling events, Ogden is home to several of its own annual competitions.
Since its inception in 2001, the Ogden Marathon has grown to be one of the most popular marathons anywhere in the U.S. This Boston qualifier was voted “one of the Top Ten Marathons in the World” and “one of the best courses in America for first-time marathon runners” by Runners World. Billed as “Utah’s Spring Run-off,” this world-class event typically takes place around the third weekend in May and includes full and half-marathon distances as well as a 5k and Kids K race. Complete information can be found at getoutandlive.org.
Rocky Mountain Wakesurf Open
As Pineview water temperatures reach their peak in mid-August, All-Action Sports hosts a Silver Star stop on the World Series of Wakesurfing. This spectator-friendly event hosts athletes from grom all the way to professional and is the perfect way to beat the summer heat. Check out all-actionsports.com for more information.
XTERRA USA Championships
While this event could pull up stakes and relocate, it would seem that more than a decade’s worth of XTERRA Championships in Ogden prove that both organizers and athletes love to call Ogden home. The USA Championships take place at Pineview Reservoir and nearby Snowbasin Resort every September. Visit xterraplanet.com for complete race details and a schedule of events.
This mid-September Boston marathon qualifier runs through the stunning autumn colors from the top of the Monte Cristo mountain range to the picturesque pioneer town of Huntsville. The race includes full and half-marathon distances, 10k and 5k races as well as a free, children’s fun run. Registration information and course details can be found at hunsvilleutahmarathon.com.
25th STREET FESTIVALS
Historic 25th Street is the soul of Ogden and the events it hosts throughout the summer are its heartbeat.
The Ogden Amphitheater features a variety of programming virtually every day of the week, including Monday Night Movies, Tuesday Tunes at Noon and a myriad of both free and ticketed concerts and theater productions. A current schedule of amphitheater events can be found at ogdenamphitheater.com.
Historic 25th Street Car Show
Historic 25th Street has been around longer than the automobile, which means that at some point, pretty much every model of car in existence has driven along “Two-Bit Street.” The Historic 25th Street Car Show is your opportunity to see them all gathered at once. Motorcycles, hot rods, classic cars and more line the street from Wall Ave. to Washington Blvd. on the first Friday in June.
Ogden Arts Festival
Ogden enjoys a vibrant arts culture, and throughout the second weekend in June, it is on full display at the Ogden Arts Festival. In addition to exhibits from local and regional artists, plein air painters can be seen capturing Ogden’s iconic architecture, live musicians perform along the street, and activities for kids abound. Complete details can be found at ogdenartsfestival.com.
Harvest Moon Festival
When Ogden’s mountains are enjoying their most vibrant autumn colors, the annual Harvest Moon Festival is how locals toast the end of summer and invite the upcoming ski season. This one-day event...typically the last Saturday in September...has become one of the city’s biggest parties full of live music, outdoor dining, beer gardens, bike racing, kids activities and more. Visit historic25.com to learn more.
Whether or not you believe the stories about all the friendly ghosts that haunt 25th Street, you’ll see plenty of goblins and ghouls along the street during the annual Witchstock Festival in late October. The event kicks off with a witches tea party at the Ogden Amphitheater, then a “zombie crawl” with some of the most intense costumes and make-up goes up and down 25th and it all ends up with the “Monster Bash” back at the amphitheater where everyone dances the night away. A full schedule of events can be found at historic25.com