Back together: Butlerville Days and community musical return this JulyJun 07, 2021 12:17PM ● By Josh Wood
Cottonwood Heights will celebrate the return of Butlerville Days with some “Good Ol’ Family Fun.” (Photo courtesy Ann Eatchel)
By Joshua Wood | [email protected]
Cottonwood Heights has approved plans to proceed with Butlerville Days and live performances of the community musical, “Matilda” in July. The events mark a resumption of in-person community events after their cancellation last year. Both are still subject to the potential of postponement should the pandemic worsen, but organizers have moved forward with plans for a return to live community events.
“I’m excited, overwhelmed but excited,” said Cottonwood Heights Culture Manager Ann Eatchel. “The volunteers and public are excited. I’ve gotten a lot of calls from people about it.”
Organizers have planned measures to help make the events safer for residents. For instance, “Matilda the Musical” has a double cast. The eight performances will be split evenly between the two casts to ensure that every part will have two fully-rehearsed cast members, and to reduce risk of COVID exposure for cast members during rehearsals. Cast members have alternated live rehearsals with virtual participation via Zoom.
“The whole thing has been amazing,” Eatchel said. “We don’t want anything to happen to anybody. We want to be safe.”
“Matilda” will run from July 9-17 at the Cottonwood Heights Theatre in Butler Middle School.
Butlerville Days will also include a number of safety measures. There will be no bouncy houses, carnival, or Ferris wheel to reduce the potential for COVID infections. “We’re constantly thinking about safety,” Eatchel said.
Events will also be spread out over a week from July 19-24 with a rolling car show starting the week on Monday, July 19. Food will be available for purchase from local vendors from July 22-24. July 23 will also feature live music and a movie in the park at dusk. The pickleball tournament will run from July 14-23.
The celebrations will culminate with the traditional parade, classic car show, and fireworks show on July 24. That final day will also feature live music leading up to the fireworks show.
To celebrate the return of Butlerville Days, the organizing committee decided upon the theme “Good Ol’ Family Fun.” Old-fashioned games like three-legged races and water balloon toss will harken back to the old Butlerville Days. “We thought, what would they have had back then, what would they have done,” Eatchel said. “So we’re going to do a lot of different things we haven’t done recently.”
With the recent approval to go ahead with Butlerville Days, the organizing committee got a later start to get the festivities together. Despite the stress of moving at a faster pace than usual, festival planners are relieved that annual traditions will return.
“It’s nice to have something for the residents,” Eatchel said.