The Ogden Christmas Village is a tradition older than many of the parents who bring their kids for cocoa and visits with Santa. The trials the village has gone through are unknown or long-forgotten for most. But for the Christmas Village committee, the restoration is a fairly recent victory.
A dozen or so years ago the village was in a state of disrepair. The village houses were being stored in a field near the Business Depot Ogden (BDO). The program was dismantled from the Municipal Gardens for a few years during the building of the Ogden City Amphitheater. It was temporarily re-mantled in alleyways along Historic 25th Street during the holiday season, then taken apart and returned to the lonely field after the first of the year.
Mayor Matthew Godfrey turned to Jo Pacham, a business owner and supporter of restoring 25th Street. He asked her to head the village restoration and to make the Christmas Village bigger, so it could return to the Municipal Gardens for the coming Christmas season. She agreed to take on the project—until she went to the BDO and saw the state of things. “It was just too big a project for me,” Jo says, “but when I told Mayor Godfrey I couldn’t, he just said ‘you’re already appointed and I won’t take it away.’”
Jo set to work, doing fundraising and utilizing her own staff to complete an additional 13 village houses alongside the repaired seven, for a total of 20 decorative houses that first year.
That was 12 years ago. The ‘Village’ has since become a community tradition. [Read the full story…]