There will be something of interest for every age at the 136th Grantsville Sociable on March 14 and the Children’s Sociable on March 12 at Grantsville High School.
Participants and patrons will range in age from 5-year-old entertainer Joseph Knickerbocker to the more than 250 honored guests ages 75 years and older.
One patron will be Ida Hoggan, who will celebrate her 101st birthday on March 5.
“Yes, I usually do go to the sociable every year,” she said. “I like meeting all my friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It just tickles me because I don’t get to see them too often. The program and the dinner are always good, and I like to go up and down the halls and look at the displays. I don’t usually stay for the dances.”
This year’s theme is “Grantsville, City of a Million Dreams,” and is based on the movie “The Greatest Showman,” which is about the feats of PT Barnum, founder of the world famous Barnum and Bailey Circus.
“Our program has a circus theme and we cover Grantsville’s dreams of the past and how they’ve come to fruition in the present in areas of education, home and family, religion, business and livelihood, recreation and entertainment,” said Macae Wanberg, program chairwoman.
“There is a musical number that goes with each one of these categories,” she said. “The whole show is set within the circus theme with a big opening circus number and big medley at the end.”
Top chairpeople for this year’s sociable are Darrin Rowberry and Shellie Eyre.
Rowberry grew up in Grantsville and he and his wife, Rachelle, lived in Lehi for seven years and Denver for five years. They moved to Grantsville about 10 years ago. Rowberry’s father, Kent, worked at Jay’s Service Station on Grantsville’s Main Street for nearly 58 years in the fuel transport business. Darrin works in the fuel industry as well.
“I remember my parents going and working on the food committee a few times back in the 70s, and once I was old enough, I went to sociables hit and miss,” Rowbery said.
“When we moved back to Grantsville, I told my wife if anyone asks us to help with the sociable, just tell them ‘no,’” he added. “We’ve been on the food committee twice and the equipment committee.”
Darrin met his wife when he attended Utah Tech College in Orem-Provo, which became USVC and now Utah Valley University.
“She was from Provo and going to BYU. She said she didn’t ever want to live in Grantsville,” Rowberry said. “After Denver, we wanted to get back to Utah and considered going back to Lehi, but it is so busy down there. Then I thought, ‘I think we’re moving to Grantsville’ so here we are.”
Eyre grew up in Salt Lake City and met her husband, Thane, at BYU.
“We lived in New Jersey and Texas and then came back to Tooele County when my husband got a job at EG&G,” she said. “We lived in Tooele for 10 years and then moved to Grantsville and have been here the last 13 years.
“We’ve probably been to six or seven sociables,” she added. “When we went to our first sociable, we loved it. We invited my parents to come out and they loved it and they have come out here every year since then. … I like dancing and the programs and food are always good.”
Eyre said she was surprised when asked to be one of the leaders for this year’s sociable.
“I knew it would be a lot of work,” she said. “When Teresa Walters asked me, I said, ‘Why me? I’m not even from here.’ Teresa said, ‘I wasn’t from here either.’”
Chairpersons last year were Walters and Stace Riding.
Dinner is always part of the sociable celebration, and this year should be extra special with 21-year-old Bronco Cloward in charge. He is majoring in family and consumer sciences education at BYU.
“When I was in elementary school, my parents were involved with the sociable and I was more interested in what was going on in the kitchen than anything else,” Cloward said.
While in high school, Cloward studied culinary arts for three years with Bruce Johnson at the Community Learning Center in Tooele and earned credit toward his college degree.
Cloward will work as a chef at a resort in Alaska this summer after a recommendation from Johnson.
“Shellie Eyre works with my dad at the junior high school and she asked my dad if I would be the head of the food committee for the sociable,” Cloward said.
“Everything will be homemade from scratch with fresh produce and using my own recipes,” he said. “It will be higher quality and be a lot different. It will be better than lunchroom food.”
Dinner will be served from 4-8 p.m.
Current and former Grantsville residents age 75 and older are honored guests at the sociable and attend for free. Invitations were sent out to more than 800 people ages 75 and older.
“The class of 1963, who were born in 1945, is having a class reunion,” said Janice Marriott, who is the committee member with Karma Dale in charge of honored guests. “World War II ended 75 years ago. We want to honor those who served in the military during World War II.”
Persons with information about World War II veterans are asked to call Marriott at 801-884-9766.
Honored guests will meet at noon in the GHS lunchroom, will be served lunch at 1 p.m. and go to the first program at 2:30 p.m. A second program will be held at 5 p.m.
GHS classes of 1961 and 1970 also plan class reunions during the sociable.
A car show will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The band Wild Country will provide music for the dance that starts at 7 p.m.
Other committee members include: Jay Larson, advertising; Paul and Courtney Cook, dance; Ada Goodworth, decorations; Stace Riding, donations/sponsors; Annette and Eric Johsnon, finance; Kayla Cameron, hospitality room; Suzanne and Kurt Fisher, serving; Jilia and Eddie Martin, tickets; and Brett Mills, car show.
Tickets for the event are on sale now at Soelberg’s in Grantsville and Stansbury Park, and at Grantsville City Hall, 429 E. Main St. Cost is $18 per person if purchased in advance or $20 at the door.
The high school is located at 155 E. Cherry Street.