Local bloggers keep community posted on events

(Source: Bryan Smith) The Ogden High School Choir performs at the Only in Ogden Store and Gallery last week as part of the Northern Utah Fashion Expo.

Social media is making it easier for members of the Ogden community to come together for events.

Bloggers such as the Indie Ogden staff post weekly calendar updates to keep the public brushed up on local happenings. Only in Ogden also uses social media to create event awareness and bring the community together. This past November, Only in Ogden set up a store downtown, which is also used as a venue to host events.

Only in Ogden founder Bryan Smith works with several local organizations and is on many local boards, including Ogden-Weber Pathways and the Ogden City Arts Committee.

“Now I’ve got this store and it’s kind of a magnet,” Smith said. “It’s like every day something new is happening . . . That’s kind of one of the reasons I created that space. It wasn’t so much for a store, but to be the hub of all this activity.”

These activities include meetings for large yearly events like the three-day Ogden Music Festival, held at the beginning and end of the summer for approximately 3,000 guests. The store recently hosted 100 representatives from nonprofit organizations for Love Utah, Give Utah.

Smith said the community has been receptive and appreciative of Only in Ogden and that he’s received much positive feedback.

“This weekend we have a big event that’s going to be pretty crazy, actually,” Smith said. “We have a 24-hour pottery marathon. That starts on Friday and is part of the First Friday Art Stroll. We’re creating bowls that will be donated to the Empty Bowls Project, which is a fundraiser for the homeless shelter that’s being made in Ogden.”

Indie Ogden owner Mikaela Shafer spends most her days tracking and writing about these kinds of events.

“The website has all of our articles and information,” Shafer said. “On Facebook, I post local events to keep reminding people about what is happening. Then, on our Twitter, we post local deals and stuff, so each one has different information.”

Shafer said she is looking forward to many local events in the near future.

“I’d really love to see people at the Oasis Community Garden,” she said. “It’s coming up the spring kickoff is April 12. There’s going to be a workshop and gardening, and free seeds to kind of introduce the community to gardening . . . There will be all kinds of classes during the summer. All the classes are free.”

Another upcoming community event is Ogden Restaurant Week. Aimee Edwards, the media contact for the event, said 16 different downtown restaurants will be participating this year. Each restaurant will offer a two-course lunch and three-course dinner items for $8 and $15 to allow the community to get a taste of the town at a discount.

“Last year was the first year. This year we have menus up on the website they are almost complete,” Edwards said. “You can go and look at the menus and see what each participating restaurant is offering.” 

Smith said the Only in Ogden website has a new calendar system that is more user-friendly.

“The calendar system is really interesting because it’s a shared calendar system that goes into multiple cities and regions, and it also has filters for different categories,” Smith said. “Instead of me trying to maintain it, it’s maintained by lots of people. . . . You can filter out 100 miles from Ogden for music events. It will also show you who’s playing in Salt Lake, Park City or wherever you want to focus in.”

Only in Ogden also has a monthly newsletter, which users can sign up for on its website. Smith said the newsletter is becoming the most informative way to learn about upcoming events in the area.