A quarter-century of Swiss Days: Santa Clara celebrates 25 years of heritage

Swiss Days returns to Santa Clara for its 25th year, Santa Clara, Utah, Date not specified | Photo courtesy of Kathleen Nielson, St. George News

SANTA CLARA – Beginning Thursday and culminating Saturday, Santa Clara City will host its 25th annual Swiss Days celebration, offering the community a weekend full of events and activities.

Swiss Days was started in 1990 by five Santa Clara residents – Sherri Anderson, Vicki Laswell, Claudia West, Pam Graf and Clark Ence – who had a two-fold purpose for creating the event, Swiss Days Event Coordinator Kathleen Nielson said. One, they wanted a way to preserve the heritage of the Swiss members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who settled the area; two, they were trying to raise funds to renovate the old Relief Society building that sits along Santa Clara Drive, Nielson said.

This year, the five Swiss Days founders will act as grand marshals for the annual event, which started out small and has grown into a premier family event for the entire community, Nielson said.

Activities will begin Thursday evening and will include a flipper shoot – a competition involving homemade sling shots and marbles that, Nielson said, is quite hilarious; a mayor’s walk and a fundraising dinner to benefit Santa Clara firemen will also take place.

The fun will continue through the weekend with food and craft vendors, a 5K, parade, car show, performance by a master yodeler and much more.

Santa Clara Swiss Days complete schedule of events:


  • 5 p.m. Flipper Shoot
  • 5-7 p.m. Community dinner and fundraiser, “Santa Clara Firemen Cooking it Up”
  • 5-7 p.m. Entertainment provided by The Fabulous Honky Tonk Heroes
  • 6 p.m. Mayor’s walk and commentary, begins at Town Hall, 2603 Santa Clara Drive
  • 7 p.m. Swiss Days Opening Ceremony


  • 8 a.m. Santa Clara Kiwanis/Swiss Days Golf Tournament at Sunbrook
  • 2-7:30 p.m. Santa Clara Museum tours
  • 2-8 p.m. “25 Years of Swiss Days” exhibit, Town Hall Banquet Room
  • 2-8 p.m. Continuous entertainment
  • 2-9 p.m. Food and craft vendors
  • 4-6:30 p.m. Children’s pioneer activities at Heritage Square, 3020 Santa Clara Drive
  • 7:30 p.m. Swiss Miss and Mister introductions
  • 7:45 p.m. Baking contest and cow awards announced
  • 8-9:30 p.m. Free concert by Kerry Christensen, master yodeler, at Town Hall


  • 6:30 a.m. 5K run/walk warm-up
  • 7 a.m 5K run/walk
  • 7:30-9:30 a.m. Pancake breakfast, $3
  • 8 a.m.-4p.m. Red Rocks Car Show, Canyon View Park, 1400 Canyon View Drive
  • 9 a.m.-4p.m. Food and craft vendors
  • 9:30 a.m. Parade along Santa Clara Drive
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Children’s games
  • 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Continuous entertainment
  • 11 a.m.-3p.m. Children’s stage/ 25 Years of Swiss Days exhibit
  • 4 p.m. Close of Swiss Days 2014

“This is such a great event oriented to families,” Nielson said. “The parade is on a tree-lined street, we have fantastic food, the setting is beautiful and wherever you go people are very happy.”

Event details

  • When: Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 25-27, activity times vary, see schedule
  • Where: Activities are located throughout Santa Clara, see map
  • Cost: Free, varying fees for certain activities and vendors
  • Additional information: As parking is limited, patrons are encouraged to take an available shuttle or walk to the events


  • For more information about Swiss Days click here

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • koolaid September 23, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    There is about as much swiss heritage in Santa Clara as there is chinese in my blood. Call it for what it really is, another mormon pioneer event.

    • MickeyD September 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Congratulations Koolaid, nice to hear about your heritage. In your frequent comments you never mentioned before that you were Chinese. Zhùhè. Tǐng hǎo. The Ences, Freis, Toblers, Hafens, Gublers, Hirschis, Grafs, Rebers, Stahelis and Stuckis all say, Guten Tag.

      • KoolAid September 24, 2014 at 8:59 am

        Hitler also said Guten Tag. IMO, dictatorship (shut up and do as you’re told) seems a governmental element of some towns. BTW, not all Swiss speak German. Depending on which area of Switzerland people live, French or Italian is the primary language and English as a second or third language. Another portion of the Swiss population have their own dialect of Ladin or Tyrolian. – – – Bonjour! Buongiorno! Grutsi!

  • SSfreeze September 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Agreed. A visit to Santa Clara is like stepping back in time. If you do not live there the people look at you as if you were stealing their prize hog.

  • tight magic undies September 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Prize dogs are shot with arrows in Santucky.

  • Brad September 24, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Actually….Mayor Guy Bird was the major force behind starting Swiss Days. It was his idea to change May Days to Swiss Days to celebrate Santa Clara’s rich Swiss heritage. He was recognized as the Grand Marshal of Swiss Days a few years back for his role in the creation of Swiss Days.

  • Reality September 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Funny how all you folks come to southern utah now there a/c. None of your families had the ability, the drive, or courage to come to southern utah and start a community in 1860. If it was up to the lazy, and spineless heritage of you folks we would all still be in Europe. Except for Koolaid he would be in Africa, he so lucky whitey was brave enough to set sail round up his family bring them to America. If not they’d all be sitting around waiting for hand outs from tribesman Bracabooboo Oh Boobooumah

    • Koolaid September 26, 2014 at 10:05 am

      You want us outsiders to be more like those born and raised here, the ones shooting their relatives, robbing the banks, taking prescription drugs and doing inappropriate things to pets and livestock and the child bride thing? No thanks. Keep that heritage to yourself, no matter how worthy you think it makes you.

  • Cali Girl September 26, 2014 at 12:01 pm


  • Cali Girl September 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm


  • Hottaids September 26, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    WHATS up my home boy Koolaid wit the Aids. I heard you had passed away from food poisoning. … Thank goodness your still around to make stupid, racist, unforgiving, statements. If you check the last names of all the people that you’ve mentioned none of them or from original settlers. Never had problems here until you people came moving in. You know thinking about it , it’s probably worth it to have a few convicts in town, and my bank accounts full. I do make up for it though I send a lot I mean a lot of money to all the poor folk charities. And feed all the lazy, even send cash to the UNL. WHATS UP.
    Ed. ellipsis

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