As the vibrancy of Historic 25th Street has outgrown its capacity, it has spilled into the revitalization of Washington Blvd. If someone points you down “Ogden’s Main Drag,” they’re referring to Washington Blvd.
From the 1950s to the late 1980s…the pre-cell-phone and cheap gas glory days…teens found their friends on Friday and Saturday nights by driving up and down Washington Boulevard. “Cruising the ‘vard,” in local parlance. Earlier in they day, they had likely been shopping with their parents at the bounty of department stores and fine clothing outlets. Today, “cruising the ‘vard” could mean anything from competitive axe throwing at Social Axe to grabbing street tacos at any one of a half-dozen vendors (especially on Wednesdays when most offer two-for-one specials…aim for the cart around 26th and Washington for the best tacos…you’ll spot it by the long line and the live music on the grass in the shade during the summer).
While Washington Blvd. (“The Vard”) technically stretches from Washington Terrace on the south to North Ogden and Pleasant View on the north (approximately 10 miles) when locals refer to “The ‘Vard,” they’re typically talking about the section between 26th Street and about 20th Street. Here, you’ll find several bars, restaurants, shops, hotels, Weber State Downtown, and a variety of other businesses large and small.
Washington Blvd. is home to one of Utah’s grand hotels, The Bigelow. It also boasts one of the most beautifully maintained Egyptian Theaters in existence. Peery’s Egyptian Theater is the cultural epicenter for the city, regularly hosting concerts, theater productions, dance competitions and film festivals. Immediately adjacent is the Ogden-Eccles Conference Center and the attached Hampton Inn & Suites (in the beautifully restored and historic Eccles Building).
If you plan your visit to Ogden at the right time, you can catch one of the events along Washington Blvd. In late Spring, you may be one of thousands of runners in the Ogden Marathon as it hits the boulevard where it crosses the Ogden River. Around the middle-to-end of July, you’ll be able to see the Horse & Hitch Parade as well as the Pioneer Days Parade. If you’re in town around Thanksgiving Weekend, you can participate in the annual Santa Run or simply watch the Electric Light Parade as it brings Santa and Mrs. Claus through town for the lighting of more than 700,000 lights in Christmas Village on the Municipal Block.