For 20 years, Lou Ballamis has owned Lou’s Barber Shop on Main Street in Payson with his wife, Cherie. The couple met at BYU (working at the barber shop, of course) and took the chance to buy the barber shop from the previous owner in 1996. Their business is the third barber shop in the same location, with the first hair mecca opening in 1947. The couple has worked side-by-side, no appointments necessary, everyday. When we met with Lou, he was recovering from hand surgery — from holding scissors everyday — so his wife was keeping the business running.
While beautifying the heads of Payson for two decades, Lou has become a fan of all things Payson (he previously lived in Goshen). Lou enjoys spending his personal and professional time close to home and close to his wife.
“Our shop has an old fashioned feel, but with all the latest styles,” he says. “We want it to be a place where men feel comfortable.”
It’s also a place that sits at the heart of Payson’s historic downtown — giving Lou extra incentive to support the community and the Chamber of Commerce, on which he serves as a member of the board.
“In addition to what it means for the LDS residents, the Payson Temple has spurred growth — both residential and commercial. It brings people to the community who might not come otherwise. Plus, it is beautiful and is already a landmark in the city.”
“I don’t know how many onions we grow around here anymore, but Onion Days (Sept. 2-5) is a highlight of the year. This year the hospital is bringing in Collin Raye for a free concert to kick off the event.”
“Payson is the gateway to the Mount Nebo Scenic Byway, which is beautiful and full of lots to do. We like to camp, so we enjoy Payson Lakes. You can walk to the lake from camp and play in the water. Motor boats aren’t allowed, so we bring a canoe. There are also lots of fun hikes.”
Get your kilt on
“The Payson Scottish Festival in July celebrates the Scottish heritage of many residents in our city. There are bagpipes, Scottish games, and some of the clans in town wear kilts. The parade is another chance for the city to come together and celebrate heritage.
“Peteetneet Museum and Cultural Arts Center is a fun place to learn about the history of our area. They have themed rooms available for meetings, and they feature art from local artists.”
Sounds of Sunday
“Every Sunday from the 4th of July until Labor Day, the city band plays in the beautiful Memorial Park downtown. Families go down and listen to traditional music. People bring treats to share with neighbors and just have fun.”
“The first Friday of August is always the Salmon Supper. They fly in fresh salmon, and for $16 you get a full meal highlighted by a huge piece of salmon grilled over fruitwood.”
For more than a hundred years, horse racing was alive and well at Payson Downs. However, after a vote in 2003, the city replaced the aging 38-acre facility with baseball and soccer fields, as well as other recreational functions.