QUANDARY: You’re awfully thirsty.
THE FIX: Drink something. Unfortunately, the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, in its infinite wisdom, banned those sugary “alco-pops” from grocery stores—which means that, instead of being stocked with delicious and wholesome imported beers, much of the valuable shelf space at state liquor stores will be occupied by Keystone Light mixed with Kool-Aid. So drinking options may be somewhat limited this year—but remember, it’s For The Children, and now you won’t have to fight some Republican legislator’s drunken daughter for the last beer, so it all evens out.
QUANDARY: Your last attempt at outdoor grilling left you eyebrow-less and ashamed.
THE FIX: Come learn from the best at Snowbird’s Grill on the Hill BBQ championship. For the grilling novice, this is a grand opportunity to bow before many a barbecue sensei and watch as they finesse barbecued brisket, pork shoulder, ribs and chicken. Pit masters from across the country will be participating in this Kansas City BBQ Society qualifying championship grilling, not only for fame and finger-licking good BBQ, but also for a share of $10,000 in cash and prizes. The weekend event also hosts live music, a market and a beer garden, but it’s the grilled carnivore’s fare that draws the crowds. Who knows, maybe you’ll pick up some techniques enabling you to return next year as pit-master supreme, waving your spatula in the air and breathing in the sweet, savory smoke of success.
Snowbird Renaissance Center, Little Cottonwood Canyon, June 19-21, SnowbirdRC.org
QUANDARY: You will only attend one concert this summer, and it must be performed on the solstice by a bisexual punk folksinger.
THE FIX: No problemo: Ani DiFranco will usher in summer at a special solstice benefit for the Utah Arts Festival at Library Square. Be there and let this righteous babe’s glittering smile and powerful musical poetry light up the shortest night of the year.
Ani DiFranco, Library Square Amphitheater Stage, 300 E. 400 South, Saturday, June 21, 8 p.m. UAF.org
QUANDARY: Despite being an urban hipster/coffee-shop intellectual, you have a secret desire to watch destruction.
THE FIX: Ditch your cardigan and beret and head to one of Utah’s smashingly awesome demolition derbies. OK, we understand that you are very refined and have a subscription to Harper’s and you once went to the opera. You’re all grown up … congratulations. We also understand that you were once a child and, boy or girl, you probably thought it was the coolest thing ever when you saw something blow up, smash into something or otherwise be demolished. Well, this summer, you can release your inner-destruction-loving-4-year-old self at many crash-a-licious derbies. Check out the Utah link at the national Demolition Derby Drivers Association Website for a list of options. First coming up is the “Stirrin’ Dirt” derby on June 21 closing out Bluffdale’s Town Days celebration, the same night as Tooele’s derby. The Fourth of July is always a good time for fender-ripping derby action, so check out Ogden’s Hot Rock N’ Fourth derby. Or, for more of a road trip, consider the famed Independence Day derby in Delta. Nothing screams U.S.A. like derby destruction!
Demolition Derby Drivers Association WeCrash.com
QUANDARY: Modern amusements parks are too safe and turning your kids into pansies.n
THE FIX: Park City Mountain Resort has gone to great lengths to make its summer attractions as family-friendly as possible. The new Alpine Coaster and ZipRider are fun and all, but they don’t have the same threatening mystique as the tried-and-true Alpine Slide. In oh-my-God-how-can-this-not-be-closed-down fashion, riders maneuver heavy sleds down a luge-like slide more than 20 years old; skilled drivers are rewarded with a frantic (albeit short) ride while the reckless may be thrown off the track (personal experience speaking here). It’s also one of the only rides where you have to brake for wild critters, whose blood often lines the tracks … at least we hope it’s critter blood.
QUANDARY: You like to watch live sporting events, but only if you can lie down like you do when you’re watching ESPN at home.
THE FIX: Grab a blanket and $7 and head out to Franklin Covey Field and lie down on the grass berm above the outfield as you watch the Salt Lake Bees, the AAA team for the Angels. You can work on your tan during the afternoon games or watch the sunset and feel the breeze when they play at night. Added bonus: Unlike the regular seats at sporting events, a blanket on the berm allows you to snuggle up with your spouse, partner, significant other or whomever you happen to be shacking up with that weekend.
Franklin Covey Field, at the corner of West Temple & 1300 South, SLBees.com
QUANDARY: Your trip to Argentina fell through and you haven’t seen Hitchcock’s The Birds.n
THE FIX: Tracy Aviary’s Destination Argentina! The next best thing (kind of) to Buenos Aires will transport you to the exotic world of Argentine backyard birds, with monk parakeets, guira cuckoos and red-necked parakeets stealing center stage. If the eerie caws, howls and hoots don’t scare the bejesus out of you, and the scent of hot, matted feathers doesn’t induce waves of nausea, the experience might ease the pain of a lost South American getaway (where it is winter). Plus, grills abound outside the sanctuary throughout Liberty Park so you can throw your version of an authentic Argentine barbecue after the tour.