When the dog days of summer roll in and the scent of fresh raspberries fill the air, there’s no better place to be than Garden City in Bear Lake.
In addition to luxurious cabin rentals and refreshing waters, Bear Lake is also home to the annual summer celebration known as the Bear Lake Raspberry Days festival.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Bear Lake Raspberry Days as a first-timer.
About Bear Lake Raspberry Days
- Location: Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, Utah
- Website: gardencityut.us/raspberrydays
- When: Every August
Bear Lake’s annual Raspberry Days is a three-day festival held during the first full weekend of August. The Raspberry Days festival celebrates not just the sweet, delicious raspberry that the region is known for but also symbolizes the community’s pride and unity and offers an opportunity for the whole community to come together.
Thanks to the fertile soil, elevation, and unique microclimate of Bear Lake, the Bear Lake region hosts the perfect conditions for raspberries to grow. The raspberry has been an essential element to the region’s economy for generations. To this day, the raspberry holds a special place in the heart of the Bear Lake community.
Today, the celebration of the raspberry in Bear Lake is a fun, family-friendly event that includes concerts, contests, and many other events that thousands flock to every year to partake in. For the most part, the festival takes place in Garden City, although the rodeo takes place in Laketown.
Raspberry Days 2023: What to Expect
The Raspberry Days Festival 2023 will include the same fun-filled atmosphere of previous years, with a few fun additions. The exact schedule of the Raspberry Days 2023 festival has yet to be released, but it will be released by July of 2023, so you can plan your weekend.
We do know that the festival takes place August 3rd-5th, 2023, and most of the Bear Lake Raspberry Days festivities take place at Heritage Park in the town of Garden City.
Bear Lake Raspberry Days Activities
Highlights of the annual event typically include a rodeo, a 5k fun run, a parade, a firework show, a variety of live performances, and of course, plenty of delicious raspberry-infused food and drinks. Stalls lining the streets overflow with everything raspberry – jams, pies, shakes, you name it. Vendors sell locally crafted goods and artwork, making for perfect souvenirs. You don’t want to miss it.
Here are the specific Bear Lake Raspberry Days Activities you have to look forward to!
The Main Festival and Fair
One of the most popular events of Raspberry Days is the Fair, which takes place at Heritage Park in Garden City.
The fair has games and rides for kids, booths of vendors selling both food and crafts, live music, and other fun events.
While you’re at the fair, be sure to grab a raspberry shake to sip on to really get into the Raspberry Days spirit.
The Raspberry Days Parade
One of the biggest draws of Raspberry Days is the vibrant parade that weaves its way down Main Street in Garden City. Participants of all ages put on a delightful show with colorful costumes, floats, antique cars, and performances.
Each year, the parade has a fun, new theme, which keeps it fresh and new for repeat Raspberry Days attendees.
Annual Pie Eating Contest
For anyone who really loves raspberries, you can check out the raspberry pie eating contest. Contestants race to finish their pie, spectators receive a special tee shirt with their entry fees, and winners of the pie-eating contest receive prizes.
The Raspberry Days pie eating contest never fails to amuse the crowd, and if you really love raspberries, you can even enter the contest yourself.
The Raspberry Days festival is anything but quiet. Throughout the entirety of the weekend, there are live concerts performing all day long.
Rodeo in Laketown
In true Western style, the Bear Lake Raspberry Days festival features a rodeo in Laketown. Cowboys and cowgirls showcase their skills in various events, adding a dash of adrenaline and culture to the Raspberry Days.
The Laketown Rodeo features broncos, bulls, and roping from expert rides. The rodeo also features calf and goat chasing for the kids and mutton bustin’.
5K Fun Run
If you’re someone who loves to stay active even while on vacation, you won’t regret participating in the Bear Lake Raspberry Days 5k fun run. Participants run, jog, or walk through the scenic surroundings of Bear Lake, turning the competition into a celebration of nature and health. If you love this lake and a fun run, return in June when the beloved Bear Lake Trifecta happens, traversing three states around the lake!
Another way to incorporate fun and exercise into the Raspberry Days festival is to participate in the free Zumba classes! You’ll move, dance, and exercise to the beat with the crowds at the festival under the instruction of an experienced Zumba instructor.
Feeling lucky? Relive the simple joy of a classic game of Bingo at Raspberry Days. Bingo during the Raspberry Days is a crowd favorite, and there are several prizes available for winners. Bingo games occur throughout the festival, so you’ll have a few different chances to join in on the fun.
The Bear Lake Raspberry Days festival puts a fun twist on traditional golfing with their famous Golf Scramble.
The Golf Scramble includes teams of 4, a shotgun start, a breakfast, 18 holes, and various prizes for contestants and winners.
The Golf Scramble takes place at the Bear Lake West Golf Course, about 4 miles north of Garden City.
Boat Light Parade and Fireworks
At the end of the Raspberry Days festival, the Bear Lake Yacht Club puts on the boat light parade, which features a parade of boats adorned with lights gliding from Blue Water Beach to the Bear Lake State Park Marina.
The boat light parade and festival conclude with a grand fireworks display lighting up the night sky, a fitting end to the celebration of raspberries, community, and summer fun. The best place to watch the firework show is Heritage Park.
Tips for First-Time Visitors
Don’t Miss the Parade
The parade is one of the most fun and engaging parts of the Bear Lake Raspberry Days, and is not to be missed. It usually kicks off the first evening of the festival.
The Raspberry Days festival is a cash-friendly event, and some of the stalls and food vendors may not take cards. You’ll especially need to bring cash if you want to go to the rodeo in Laketown.
Enjoy the Bear Lake Raspberry Days Festival
The Raspberry Days Festival perfectly encapsulates the beauty of summer, the Bear Lake community, and of course, tart, delicious raspberries.
When you rent a vacation home in Bear Lake, you’re in the perfect place to attend all of the Bear Lake Raspberry Days festivities, make some sweet summer memories, and enjoy the beauty of the lakeshore!
Featured Image Credit: Alena Haurylik