A Pioneer Holiday At Lagoon

Frightmares has been an increasingly popular Halloween event at Lagoon for over 20 years now. But before Frightmares, Lagoon tried out a short Christmas event.

In November 1994, possibly for the first time ever, Lagoon opened its doors to the public for a post-season holiday celebration. The three-day Pioneer Holiday was basically a community event hosted at Lagoon, similar to the way the Davis County Fair had been held there in previous years. Pioneer Village was the center of activity for the event and no rides were operating. Visitors parked at the historic rock church on Main Street in Farmington, then walked down 300 North to enter a back gate into the park.

Debbie Bernhiesel, left, Olivia King, Liz Heartlin, Sarah Hale & Denise Hillyard plan Pioneer Holiday. Photo: Paul Barker, Deseret News

It was just a few days after Halloween, but the first of many heavy snowfalls during a record-setting November hit the day before the celebration.¹

The event started Thursday with a craft boutique and luncheon at the Davis Pavilion. Admission to the craft boutique was free. On Friday night and throughout the day on Saturday, admission to the activities in Pioneer Village was $2 per person or $10 per family.

Guests could stop at the Bakery and grab a hot scone with honey butter, blueberry muffin, cookie, Navajo taco or a funnel cake then explore a variety of activities while listening to the Victorian Carolers from Centerville. The activities included:

  • Taffy-pulling, Santa’s Post Office and crafts for kids
  • Indian storyteller Toker Timothy with his two wolves, Kodashaw & Trouble
  • Quilting bee in the old PVRR Train Station
  • Drawing for a Christmas quilt
  • Mountain man exhibits in a teepee
  • Spinning & weaving demonstrations
  • Holiday food booths

The craft boutique continued in the Davis Pavilion on Friday and Saturday where there was also a steady stream of live music provided by local performers. Here’s a schedule of the entertainment line-up:

Friday, 4 November 1994

  • 5:00pm-5:30pm – Christy Taylor, Miss Farmington
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm – Analisa Semadeni, former Miss Farmington
  • 6:00pm-7:00pm – High Priority (Smoot Family band) with High Desert
  • 7:00pm-8:00pm – Ron Behunin Band
  • 8:00pm-9:00pm – Farmington Chamber Ensemble

Saturday, 5 November 1994

  • 10:00am-10:30am – Mike & Angela Page
  • 10:30am-11:30am – Monte Williams & The Crazy Coyote Band
  • 11:30am-12:00pm – Ester Tingey, fiddler
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm – Mike Hansen, guitarist
  • 1:00pm-2:00pm – Ruth Gatrell Singers
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm – The Hay Day Cloggers
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm – Chamberlin Family and
  • 4:00pm-5:00pm – Cinnamon Creek Singers
  • 5:00pm-7:00pm – The Catalyst Band with Joey Hansen
  • 7:00pm-8:00pm – Cori Conners

If not for the success of Frightmares, which began the following year in 1995, the Christmas celebration may have returned and even expanded to include more events and – with the warmer weather in recent years – a few rides may have been opened, too.

It would be nineteen years until Pioneer Village was dressed up in Christmas decorations again, but it wasn’t for a public event. After Lagoon closed for the 2015 season, Pioneer Village became Christmas Land for a Hallmark Channel movie of the same name.

© 2015 Crown Media
© 2015 Crown Media

Did you attend the Pioneer Holiday event at Lagoon? Please share your memories by commenting below or send a message using the form on the Contact page.

LINKS

Pioneer Village

Pioneer Village stars in ‘Christmas Land’

Lagoon And The Fair, Part I: The Davis County Fair

NOTES

1. Click here to learn more about the snowy November of 1994.

SOURCES

Lagoon May Beat Record, Exceed 1 Million in ’94. Deseret News, 7 Sep 1994 – Davis Edition.

Boren, Karen. Celebrate ‘Pioneer Holiday’ at Lagoon. Deseret News, 3 Nov 1994.

Lagoon pioneer fest through Saturday. Deseret News, 3-4 Nov 1994.

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