After an unwanted break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Samaria Days is finally back in the valley, with a series of busy and entertaining events. This year’s Samaria Days featured entertainment by local musicians Intermountain America, a movie night, games for children, a chicken hunt and a large active auction to raise funds for Samaria projects. . Samaria’s first celebration was held in 1968 to commemorate the centennial of the city, at one time the largest in Oneida County. The modern version of the Samaria Days festival was first held in 1998 on the occasion of the city’s 130th anniversary. Since then, the celebration has generally taken place on an annual basis, despite recent exceptions. The many people present expressed their belief that it was great to finally have the celebration back.
Official Samaria Day celebrations began with the traditional Queen’s Pageant. Ten young women competed for the crown, taking part in several ‘farm-related’ competitions including hammering nails, sewing on a button, carrying water from bucket to bucket, stacking dice into hay bales , as well as fancier activities like shooting a cup on the table with a water gun.
The girls were scored after each of the events, and at the end the points were added up to see which girl would come out on top.
Azure Ashby was crowned queen of Samaria Days 2022, Addie Waldron was the first attendant and Sam Waldron was the second attendant. The Queen and attendants were on hand throughout the festival to lend their support to the events that followed. Friday’s event ended with a twilight film showing and a pleasant drop in temperature.
Saturday morning started with a fun run, scheduled early to beat the heat. (Results at the end of the story.)
Saturday’s weather ended up remaining perfect for the event, with cloud cover for most of the morning and afternoon providing some relief from the sun. However, it was not cool enough to prevent the children present from enjoying various water games or away from the playground equipment at Samaria Park.
Grandpa Bell’s Medicine Show was on hand to supply real fake snake oil bottles to the crowd after a convincing job of peddling the miracle product. As the pitch says: “My Grandfather Bell’s snake oil cures dropsy, bladder trouble, foot rot, despair, liver trouble, rheumatism, gangrene, laryngitis, teeth and gums, falling teeth, worms, baldness, euphoria, gas, ingrown nails, cross eye, hemorrhoids, salmonella, liver crawling, cramps, colitis, bad breath, neuralgia, sore toothache, earache, deafness, snakebite, constipation, diarrhea, teething pain – if it doesn’t kill you, it will cure you, for only five dollars!” The bottles sold out quickly, with the strong disclaimer not to drink the concoction under any circumstances.
The medicine fair led to the auction, which was probably the busiest event of the weekend, with dozens of people bidding on a wide variety of items donated to support Samaria Heritage Square and related causes. From high bid items such as handmade quilts from the Oneida Quilters Guild and decorative rock donated by Hess Pumice to baked goods donated by a number of bakers, the auction has brought in a good hit and featured several entertaining bidding wars. Lynn Livingston served as auctioneer, with help from the Queen and assistants from Samaria Days.
Afternoon entertainment was provided by Intermountain America, a local bluegrass and roots rock band, with additional support from a number of young musicians.
The traditional chicken hunt took place later in the afternoon, much to the delight of all but the chickens.
“The Samaria Days are a time to bring people together to enjoy the tours and participate in the activities,” said Luke Waldron, between going back and forth from one activity to another during the morning. “It’s about family, friendships and memories being made.”
Marie Waldron, President of Samaria Days, said: “Samaria Days is a group of teenage girls running to fill buckets of water trying to win the coveted queen crown. It’s the sweet taste of a hot s’more and cute little sticky faces and hands. It’s biting popcorn at the movies. It’s the wonderful smell of delicious burgers sizzling on the grill. He crosses the finish line with a Blue Goose clutched in the hand of a small child. It is the triumph of those who ran to survive. It’s the steady cadence of the auctioneer’s voice as the numbers fly through the air. They are delicious cookies, brownies and candies. It is the laughter and the broad smiles of the children who compete and win prizes. Its people donate time, services and goods. It’s a lot of hard work, but most important; these are wonderful memories that will last a lifetime!”
After the COVID cancellations of recent years, the importance of community events such as Samaria Days was on full display as attendees lingered throughout the afternoon soaking up the gathering. friendly.
The results for the one mile event were: Aezlyn Summers (7:55), Addie Waldron (8:38) Cassidy Shrenk (9:11), Aleah Summers (9:24) Alivia Waldron (9:39 ), McCall Summers (12:14), Jayden Price (12:20), Austin Shrenk (13:21), Johnny Shrenk (13:29), George Price (13:38), Trevor Price (13:38), Easton Valentine (14:02), Alivia Seamons (16:58) Declan Summers (20:25) Alyssa Seamons (21:39) Nathan Price (21:40), Alicia Seamons (21:42) Jessica Price (21:43 ), Samantha Waldron (22:06), Dylan Waldron (22:06), Marie Waldron (22:06), GeAnna Roe (22:06) Holly Llewelyn (22:06) Lexi Valentine (22:06).
Results for the 5K event: Brycen Talbot (21:39) Hadley Summers (24:42), Elgieh Mathews (25:06), Bobbi Summers (25:06), Blaiz Wright (33:36) Lisa Wright (33: 37 ), Courtney Olsen (1:14:37), Derek Olsen (1:14:45), Aurora Olsen (1:14:50), Forrest Olsen (1:14:55), August Olsen (1:14: 57).