Utahns celebrate heritage during Swiss Days

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MIDWAY, Utah (ABC4 News) –  Swiss Days is celebrating 72 years with a weekend full of food, live music and handmade crafts from a variety of vendors.

People are coming from all over to enjoy the weekend’s festivities, and some locals say it’s a way of preserving culture and heritage.

Listening to music with his sister and friend, Lile Gertsch says he’s grown up in midway and has been coming to Swiss Days his whole life and this is an opportunity to think back on where his ancestors came from.

“I’m proud of my heritage,” Gertsch says. “I like the Swiss ethic. They’re neat and clean, hardworking.”

Volunteering as a cashier at the Navajo taco food booth, Lisa Kohler Orme says she too comes from Swiss ancestry.

“I think that the thing I’m most proud of my Swiss heritage is that strong, hard work, good ethic, and close-knit,” Kohler Orme says. “That Swiss heritage keeps people together and I think that’s very special.”

Coming together as a community is important to many midway residents as it too, is another way to share their heritage with the world.

Not too far from Swiss Days, Lisa’s brother, Grant Kohler, is working at the family business.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese is where the Kohler’s great-grandfather began his business years ago.

 “Our great-grandparents immigrated from Switzerland and we are really proud of that Swiss heritage that we have,” Kohler says.

Kohler says he loves that he’s able to take his family’s heritage of cheese making and incorporate it in his way of life – and in turn, benefit others.

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