Marmalade ‘gayborhood’ fest preserving its history

The Marmalade District of Salt Lake City has a rich and “fruity” 100-year-plus history. Named for the jarred commodity of imported pear and apricot trees planted by the early settlers, the small triangular area on the western end of Capitol Hill has also long been a LGBTQ-centric neighborhood. Once home to a city-run bathhouse and the Utah Pride Center, the Marmalade ‘currant’-ly houses JAM year around, an upscale gay nightclub known for its fabulous array of cocktails, DJs and good times; and more importantly, the area is home to QSaltLake‘s own Michael Aaron (the gayborhood-run bathhouse?).

The architecturally stunning neighborhood includes the newly built Marmalade Branch of the City Library. The modern, energy efficient 18,000 square foot building includes public Internet access and a cafe. The library is also a contributor to the 2nd annual Marmalade Jam Fest, an idea brought to fruition by the Capitol Hill Neighborhood Council. At its core, the event is to “highlight the neighborhood’s long and colorful history of fruit trees as well as the delicious products created from that fruit,” by holding a fruit preserves competition.

“[We] invite folks from the neighborhood and beyond to submit their favorite homemade jams, jellies and preserves, with special recognition for products made with neighborhood-grown fruit. This will be a friendly competition, with a panel of judges selected from around the city,” states the Facebook event page.

An entry form must be submitted for the competition and can be found on the Facebook event page or entrants may fill out the form at the Marmalade branch library. ***All entry forms must be submitted to the library by Sep 16. Rules and regulations apply.

“The prizes for the competition are still to be determined based on donations from neighborhood organizations. Last year we had beautiful decorative plates from Preservation Utah for top prizes,” said CHNC Engagement Committee Chair, Jack Winward, “We have winners in several categories of jams and jellies. Some will depend on the entries we get.”

The event will include local vendors and sponsors such as MountainWest Hard Cider, Redrock Brewery, Salt Lake Acting Company, and The Garage; as well live music, food trucks, a beer garden, and a 35-foot mobile greenhouse — educating on the endless opportunities for urban agriculture, the Fruit Share program, and how you can register your Marmalade fruit trees so others can benefit from the fruit you’re not harvesting. QSaltLake and the Matrons of Mayhem will also be there.

Marmalade Jam Fest will be held Saturday, Sep. 23, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Warm Springs Park, 840 N. 300 West. The event is free to the public, and coolers and dogs on leash are admitted. Interested sponsors, vendors and musicians should visit the Facebook event page at for the registration form.

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