Sans prediction, Sunset Sam Winterfest is a success
By JENNILYN E. WILLIAMS
SUNSET - Hot chili, hot chocolate, doughnuts, face painting, and art projects. It was all there at this year's Sunset Sam's Winterfest.
Perhaps the only thing missing was a prediction - from the guinea pig named Sam.
Linda Watts has attended the event annually for the last five years. "It's a fun tradition, and it breaks up the monotony of January," Watts said.
"It's our first year attending Sunset Sam's Winterfest," said Keri Lewis, who brought her three kids, ages 5 years through 7 months old. We have lived in Sunset for five years, and in the past, we have been driving home, and seen people over here, and thought, 'Oh well, we missed it.' But this year we put it on the calendar, because we didn't want to miss it again. We are having a great time." .
"I have been to all of the Sunset Sam's, except for the first two. In the beginning, it was just a small group. I enjoy judging the chili cook off, there is some pretty good chili," said Sunset Police Chief Ken Eborn.
"Being with friends and family is my favorite part of Sunset Sam's Winterfest," said Sara Feik, who brought her four children. Her oldest, a member of the youth council was helping by painting faces. Her 11-year-old son Noah, took third place and People's choice award in the chili cook off.
The other winners of the chili cookoff were Sandy Bybee, 2nd place, and Christina Arbogast, who took first place.
"Sunset Sam" the guinea pig was in attendance, but he did not make a prediction this year.
Event organizer Joe Maylin wanted to focus on the Winterfest, but not be limited to having the event on Groundhog Day. He wants to keep the tradition alive and still have a guinea pig in attendance, more as a mascot, so people can remember the tradition.
The Winterfest grew from an event started almost 20 years ago when Brent Andrews lost his 6-year-old son Jeremy, the youngest of six children, to a bicycle accident.
"I started this tradition because we lost our little Jeremy in a bicycle accident just north of our house. The girl who hit him didn't even have a driver's license, or any insurance," Andrews said.
"I started this event for my kids, so they would have something to take their minds off the loss of their youngest brother. I went on an LDS Mission to Pennsylvania, where Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog makes a prediction for a longer winter, or an early spring, on Groundhog day," Andrews said.
"We started keeping track and figured out that our predictions were accurate more often than those of Punxatwaney Phil," said Neil Koker, a retired Fire Chief from Sunset.
"When Brent Andrews was on the City Council a few years ago, they worked out a deal for the city to take over the event."Koker said.
"Last year, the city expanded it to a Winterfest," said Beverly McFarlane, Mayor of Sunset.
"Last year we added the chili cook off, had snow painting and some other snow activities, but this year, since there is no snow, we have sidewalk chalk, and poster making," McFarlane said. "We are hoping to expand it more each year," McFarlane said.
Brent Andrew's daughter Heather, and granddaughter Kayla (Heather's daughter) came along and brought their guinea pig Rosie, who played the part of "Sunset Sam" for the afternoon.
"I heard that they weren't going to have a guinea pig at all, last year, so I brought mine, so we could keep the tradition alive. I plan to bring my guinea pig every year," said Heather Andrews.
Sunset City Municipal Election
Sunset City will be voting for three 4-year Council terms.
The filing dates for Declaration of Candidacy are June 1 through June 8, 2015 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Each person seeking to become a candidate must file in person with the City Recorder no later than 5:00 p.m. Monday, June 8, 2015.
A candidate for an elective position must be a citizen of the United States, a registered voter at the time of filing and have resided in the City of Sunset for the 12 consecutive months immediately before the date of Election. Any person who has been convicted of a felony, treason or a crime against the elective franchise may not hold any office in the State of Utah until their right to hold office is restored.
The City Offices do not open until 9:00 a.m., however if you wish to file a Declaration of Candidacy between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., please contact Recorder Susan Hale at 801-614-9103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunset Sam's Winterfest
Sunset Sam's Winterfest will be held on Monday, February 2nd at 4:30 p.m. here at the city offices.
We will have snow painting and a chili cook off. If you'd like to participate in the chili cook off, entry forms can be obtained at the city offices or you can contact Joe at 801-614-9105.
The Youth Council will also be hosting a food drive at this time as well: bring a can(s) of food and get your face painted for free.
Come out and enjoy some hot cocoa and doughnuts!
Happy New Year!
Christmas tree pickup will be on Wednesday, January 7th. Please have your trees out at the curb Tuesday night for pickup Wednesday morning.