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“Souper” inauguration for the Soup Town United Order Heritage celebration

“The idea for the Soup Town started when Mayor Bob [Caruso] was the Mayor about four years ago,” began eminently esteemed retired Valley Elementary School teacher, Marianne Leigh. “But he suggested that right in the middle of the Veterans [Memorial] Wall process, and I told him he had to wait. So, I thought he had forgotten, but he hit me up last fall when we had the Car Show in Mount Carmel. So I said, ‘Ah, I’ll think about it.’”

Photos by Jerry Melrose (left to right):

  • The Frosty Bunch, first-place $150 winners in the inaugural Soup Town Open Class Lawn Mower Race are (l-r): Anthony Frost, Shane Frost, Sean Frost and David Johnson. The Dirt Bike Fab finished in second-place earning $125 for their efforts. Photos by Jerry Melrose.

  • Grayden Cox, first-place winner of the Stock Class in the Lawn Mower Race, with trophy and $100 prize-money. “I woke-up and, like, ‘O, shoot, it’s the Lawn Mower Race today!’ We found my mower and hurried and took it to the (Fab Ratz) shop, and we fixed the governor, or kind of. It got stuck three times: almost got blown-up! So, then, we got it to go good, and pushed it up the rollback, and then came back here, and I won.” Cooper and Corbin Lake took the $75 prize for second-place.

  • Gordon Williams, proprietor of Zion Mountain Blacksmith School near the East Zion Gate says of his day at the Soup Town event, “Well, mostly, we made things for kids all day: hummingbirds, little magicians, and snakes, and flowers and things like that. Basically, the kids kept me busy all day making things for them.”

  • The Sand Stone Strings violin quartet under the direction of their teacher, Nancy Guymon, on piano performing a medley of folk tunes, including the debut of the “Soup Town Song” to the delight of diners in the North Events Center. They are (l-r): Amelia Staples, Elleyna Nelson, Charity Cox and Marion Williams.

  • Caroleen and Roger Chamberlain surrounded by a display of his works, including one array memorializing the Pioneer Hand Cart Trek across the Prairie. He notes: “The first things I did that are on the table was in 2002. That was in the Olympics. I went to the ‘This Is The Place Monument’ in Salt Lake, and was asked to do a demonstration of carving there. Then, I found out that I had a great-grandfather on my mother’s side, a great-grandfather on my father’s side, and an aunt and uncle that have carvings in the Chase Heritage House in the museum of folklore carvings. It must’ve been a generational talent!”

“So, we brought it up to the new mayor (His Honor, Lyle Goulding), and he said, ‘Ah, well, let’s think about!’ So, we started with the committee of three and then we had a committee of four: Emalene Lake, and then Shane Frost and Joseph Sorensen, although they didn’t want to have anything to do with the Soup Town part of it. They wanted to put on the lawn mower race. So, they did the Lawn Mower Race, and Emalene and I did the rest of it. She did the PR part, and I passed around to see if people would help me with the booths. And we had great people in the community that were willing to help come up with the booths and participate with that part of it. And Mayor Bob wanted this year to be strictly booths that depicted the United Order history of the valley. So, that’s what we decided and stuck with just the history of the origin of our heritage.



“Even though the summer is King, we moved it to March, and now it’s the third Saturday in April because of the weather, which I’m kind of glad we did because of the snowstorms. So, it’ll be the third Saturday of every year. And next year it will be more vendors where Caroleen and Roger Chamberlain surrounded by a display of his works, including one array memorializing the Pioneer Hand Cart Trek across the Prairie. He notes: “The first things I did that are on the table was in 2002. That was in the Olympics. I went to the ‘This Is The Place Monument’ in Salt Lake, and was asked to do a demonstration of carving there. Then, I found out that I had a great-grandfather on my mother’s side, a great-grandfather on my father’s side, and an aunt and uncle that have carvings in the Chase Heritage House in the museum of folklore carvings. It must’ve been a generational talent!” people can come and buy things, but this year everything was free. So, we had a great turnout, a lot of people came! And great volunteers! I think people appreciate it. They learned a little bit about Orderville and the United Order, and little bit about our heritage.”


From the initial seed money of $500, Marianne mentioned upon inquiry, that she personally matched that and beyond. She says next year, she’ll ask for more. As for the significance of the ‘Soup Town’ moniker, she adds, “The Soup Town connection? In the United Order, they all ate in the dining room. Soup was a big part of that; and so, we kind of carried on with that. We got the nickname of ‘Soup Town’ and I just think that people associate Orderville with Soup Town. So, we have ‘Soup Town United Order Heritage’ from here on out.”

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