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Summer is Coming

Our annual celebration of all things fun In the sun is here!

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COURTESY UTAH RENAISSANCE FAIRE
  • Courtesy Utah Renaissance Faire

The Maiden Fairs
... and some established ones, too.
By Scott Renshaw

Every year, the warm weather brings along with it a cornucopia of opportunities to experience concentrated doses of artistic expression. Whether it's bingeing theatrical productions, taking in the arts and crafts of various cultures or seeing work by dozens of visual artists, you can get a taste of almost everything somewhere this summer. Get out your calendars, and carve out some time to support local creators.

THEATER FESTS

Tuacahn: Fans of Disney musicals are bound to be in heaven, as Tuacahn's glorious red-rock amphitheater hosts both Disney's The Little Mermaid and the Disney songbook roundup Disney's When You Wish. But the musical memories don't stop there. The season also includes the beloved The Sound of Music and the multi-Tony Award-nominated The Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. A season package is the perfect way to enjoy some of the greatest tunes you've always loved. 1100 Tuacahn Drive, Ivins, May 24-Oct. 24, tuacahn.org

Utah Shakespeare Festival: Celebrate the Bard in Southern Utah, even as you immerse yourself in the great art of theater. This season's Shakespeare productions include the tragedy power-pairing of Macbeth and Hamlet, plus Twelfth Night and Henry VI, Parts II & III. You can get a bonus dose of Elizabethan-themed fun with the comedy The Book of Will, about friends of the recently deceased Shakespeare trying to preserve his writing legacy. Arthur Miller's The Price, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Every Brilliant Thing round out the season. 195 W. Center St., Cedar City, June 27-Oct. 12, bard.org

Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre: Make your way to Logan, and get a sense for the wide range of emotions that can be created by the pairing of music with theatrical performance. Family-friendly musical theater in the Broadway tradition includes Disney's Newsies and Mary Poppins, plus the classic West Side Story; for a sample of vintage opera, enjoy Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. There's even a couple of opera-themed plays in Terrence McNally's Master Class and William Luce's Bravo, Caruso. Make time for special events like silent films and the annual International Vocal Competition. Ellen Eccles Theater, 43 S. Main, Logan, July 5-Aug. 2, utahfestival.org

ARTS FESTIVALS

Moab Arts Festival: Memorial Day Weekend is a perfect time to revel in Moab's spectacular scenery, and enjoying art is just a bonus. Artist booths present painting, sculpture, woodworking, jewelry and more, while scheduled live performances include music from Quicksand Soup, Meander Cat and the Vitals, plus Grassroots Shakespeare doing Henry V and The Little Mermaid (not at the same time). Swanny Park, 400 N. 100 West, Moab, May 25-26, moabartsfestival.org

Queer Spectra Arts Festival: This inaugural event looks to showcase art from a wide variety of LGBTQ perspectives. Experience a 2D and 3D art gallery, live performances and installations, plus panels and discussions on topics related to the intersection between queer identity and art. Commonwealth Studios, 150 W. Commonwealth Ave., May 25, 1-10 p.m., queerspectra.com

Ogden Arts Festival: Ogden showcases local artists, plus plenty of family-friendly activities and live performances, at historic Union Station. Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave., June 8-9, ogdenartsfestival.com

Utah Arts Festival: No other single event brings together so many different kinds of creativity, with so many guests ready to enjoy it all. Visual arts booths fill two blocks of downtown SLC, with a schedule serving up dance, street theater, writing workshops, short films and dozens of musical acts. Headliners include New York-based ska band The Slackers, folk artist Christine Lavin and Colorado four-piece string band Head for the Hills. Library Square, 200 S. 400 East, June 20-23, uaf.org

Park City Kimball Arts Festival: By the time the dog days of August roll around, you'll be itching for an excuse to get out of the valley into the cooler mountain air. Park City's annual arts festival—supporting the Kimball Art Center—takes over Main Street, for a full weekend of booths showcasing local and national artists, wonderful food and live music performances. Historic Main Street, Park City, Aug. 2-4, parkcitykimballartsfestival.org

CULTURAL FESTIVALS

Living Traditions Festival: See p. 14.

Scandinavian Heritage Festival: If you've ever wondered about the history behind Utah's plethora of Hansens, Andersens and Jensens, Ephraim is the place. A full weekend of activities includes plenty of storytelling, live music, craft and food booths, family activities and a Friday night fireworks show. Various venues, Ephraim, May 24-25, scandinavianfestival.org

Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games: Scottish culture in Utah is on display during a weekend of bagpipe performance and highland dancing, but don't miss the athletic events that make this a real one-of-a-kind spectacle. In the ancient tradition of clan competitions, witness caber toss, hammer throw, stone toss and other feats of strength. Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, June 7-9, utahscots.org

Venezuela Festival: Celebrating the culture, traditions and history of Venezuela, this event includes food, arts-and-crafts, vendors and live music performances, with headliner Jerry Rivera, "El Baby de la Salsa." All that, plus the "Miss Venezuela 2019" pageant. Vincit Amor Event Center, 993 S. Bending River Road, June 26, noon-11 p.m., bit.ly/2vTd2G3

NACIP Powwow & Festival: While much of the state celebrates the arrival of white pioneers on July 24, Utah's indigenous populations celebrates those for whom this was the place for generations before 1847. Experience traditional singing and dancing, plus food, family activities and fireworks. Liberty Park, 600 E. 900 South, June 24

Rocky Mountain Elk Festival: The national convention of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation incorporates two events into this inaugural Park City showcase. While the Elk Camp is open to RMEF members with registration, the Elk Festival is a free event open to the public, full of unique activities like cooking demonstrations, archery challenge, a traveling conservation exhibit featuring some of largest bull elk from across North America, and even the World Elk Calling Championship featuring more than 100 competitors going for more than $14,000 in prizes. Canyons Village, Park City, July 11-14, rmef.org

Mega Peruvian Festival: The melding of Spanish and indigenous cultures—plus those of more recent immigrants—gets a grand party at Library Plaza, featuring folklore, original art, live music and plenty of amazing food. Library Plaza, 210 E. 400 South, July 26-27, 6-11 p.m., facebook.com/fiestas.delperu

Utah Renaissance Faire: Live your own olde tyme adventure with enough authentic flavor to make you wonder whether dragons are right around the corner. Wandering minstrels, mages and fire performers provide the atmosphere throughout the festival grounds, as well as live jousting exhibitions by the Knights of Mayhem, armored combat, an authentic Viking village, food vendors and live Celtic music. Plus, more family-friendly activities than you would ever find on a Game of Thrones episode. Thanksgiving Point Electric Park, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, Aug. 23-24, utahrenfaire.org

Greek Festival: For the 44th year, Utah's Greek community shares its wealth of cultural treasures with guests of all backgrounds, giving us all a chance to sample authentic food, experience traditional dance performances and tour the Hellenic Cultural Museum. 279 S. 300 West, Sept. 6-8, saltlakegreekfestival.com


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