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Blue Moon Festival provides the beats, eats for thousands of residents

Aug 28, 2017 05:45PM ● Published by Jana Klopsch

Fifteen-year-olds Bethany and Abbie pose for Natalie Allsup-Edwards as she hand draws the pair at her photo booth for the Blue Moon Festival. (Lexi Peery/City Journals)

Gallery: Blue Moon Festival [8 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Lexi Peery | l.peery@cityjournals.com

The sixth annual Blue Moon Festival was held at the Holladay City Hall Park on Aug. 5 with thousands of residents from Holladay and the surrounding area converging on the park. Be it the good weather, the popular food trucks, the cold beer, the unique booths or the energetic band — over 4,000 residents made their way to downtown Holladay, filtering through the park on the warm summer day, keeping the park lively well into the evening.

Walking into the festival, attendees passed a small wooden booth with a painted sign reading “Hand Drawn Photobooth.” Natalie Allsup-Edwards, the photo booth’s “camera,” sat crossed-legged behind the booth, sketching four different poses of those who stopped by.

“I was inspired by ‘The Flintstones.’ There’s an episode where they have a polaroid taken but instead it’s a bird inside of a box, and the bird pecks their image into a stone. I always grew up and loved them,” Allsup-Edwards said. “And when I was trying to figure out what to do artistically, I was like duh, ‘The Flintstones,’ and that’s how it all came together.”

Allsup-Edwards’ unique photo booth was just one of 36 artistic booths at the festival. From jewelry made from colorful stones and home-made soap to used books and intricate henna, the Blue Moon Festival had a booth any passerby could enjoy. 

Chris Kanapas, a member of the Holladay Arts Council and the volunteer coordinator for the festival, said before the festival he struggled to find enough volunteers to meet the city’s requirements. Thankfully, Kanapas said, they were able to get over 80 dedicated volunteers to help out. The work put in by the volunteers, as well as the warm weather, made this year especially successful, Kanapas said.

“Things like Dippin’ Dots and Hawaiian Shave Ice have been non-stop busy because of the weather,” Kanapas said while waiting for some Dippin’ Dots himself. “As a Holladay resident, my favorite part of the event has been intermingling with people from all over the community, and just getting to know more people.”

Linda Ashton, the chair of the festival and a member of the Holladay Arts Council, said in preparing for this year’s festival, the committee made few changes, since the festival has proven itself successful in previous years. With the addition of a kid’s playground at the park and more kid’s crafts than in previous years, the festival allowed for residents of all ages to find something to enjoy.

“(We wanted people to) come and bring picnic lunch and get to know each other as a community because that’s what we felt strongly about,” Ashton said. “It’s important to come together instead of being divisive. We wanted people to take away the labels and get in the open air.”

As the sun set, the Joe Muscolino Band, a band based in Salt Lake City, took the stage on the gazebo — which looked out over hundreds of listeners sitting on the grassy field. The band played their own renditions of popular tunes like “Africa” by Toto and Beyonce’s “Love on Top.” 

Near the gazebo, Deborah Stephens of Lehi and James Fielding of Sandy sat listening to the band. The two said they found out from Facebook about the event, despite not being Holladay residents. 

“We’ve liked to have seen more,” Stephens said about the shops. “But the band is great.”

Jenn Ramsey has made it out to the Blue Moon Festival for a couple years now, and the vendors that come to the festival just keep getting better, even though she wished to see more merchandise booths this year.

“The bands are always good, it’s kind of cheesy Utah stuff, but it’s OK,” Ramsey, a Holladay resident, said. “(The festival is) good, it gets the community out and people mingle. It’s good to see all the different cultures and subcultures mingling. Holladay is pretty diverse for Utah and the type of community it is. It’s definitely fun.”  

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