2023 Summer Guide Arts & Cultural Festivals Calendar | Guides | Salt Lake City Weekly

2023 Summer Guide Arts & Cultural Festivals Calendar 

Plan your summer weekends with a full list of food, art, entertainment and education

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  • Cover design by Derek Carlisle

The past couple of relatively mild spring weeks, arriving after the endless winter of 2022-2023, have felt almost like a cruel tease. We all kept waiting for yet another blizzard, no matter how improbable it was as the calendar crept into May; being paralyzed by meteorological mayhem had just become par for the course.

Ah, but now it finally feels safe to acknowledge: Summer is here. All those things we dreamed of doing while shoveling driveways, or stuck in crawling traffic, or cleaning our salty undercarriages? They're now available to us. And we should appreciate the chance to do every last one of them.

City Weekly's annual Summer Guide offers you a chance to plan your seasonal calendar of outings and entertainments. Which arts and cultural festivals will you experience? Do you have a favorite band coming to town for a summer concert in one of our glorious venues? Are there nearby places you want to check out for great outdoor activities, or farmers' markets? Which of our City Weekly-sponsored events will you join us for? Maybe you even want to try something brand-new, like foraging for mushrooms in our moisture-soaked mountains. All of this and more awaits you.

So seize the opportunities presented to you by a Utah summer, and don't be left regretting the things you didn't do. Those memories will be all the sweeter once the first snowflake drops in the fall.

Scott Renshaw
Arts & Entertainment editor

Living Traditions Festival - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Living Traditions Festival

Summer Arts & Cultural Festivals Calendar
Plan your summer weekends with a full list of food, art, entertainment and education.
By Scott Renshaw & Erin Moore

Living Traditions Festival: In addition to the annual excitement of food, dancing and music that Living Traditions Festival offers to Utahns, this year, attendees can explore panels and workshops to learn more about how to actively engage with the diversity in our state. Learn—for one example—about the importance of passing down tradition, then head to a lesson on making Mexican paper flowers. May 19-21, Washington Square & Library Square, 200 E. 400 South, SLC,
saltlakearts.org/ livingtraditionspresents/festival

Festival of the Americas: Learn more about and engage with Native American culture, music, art and dancing, plus much more at this festival that also raises money for Native American scholarships in Utah. At this Southwestern fest in the St. George area, you'll not only get acquainted with Paiute royalty, but with youth performances on flute and drums, plus jazz from the D'DAT Jazz Trio. May 19-21, Kayenta Art Village & Center for the Arts, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins,

Queer Spectra Arts Festival: Learn more about what forms queer artistic expression can take in an arts-focused space that highlights creators from different backgrounds and cultures within the queer realm. May 20-21, Publik Space, 975 S. West Temple, SLC,

Orem Chinese Food & Cultural Fair: Treat yourself to a day of all-you-can-eat foods from the vastness that is Chinese culture, plus entertainment and activities that also plug into Chinese traditions. And don't forget to stick around for an iconic dragon dance! May 27, City Center Park, 300 E. Center St., Orem,

Utah Pride Festival: This year's theme of "Unapologetic" feels particularly fitting in Utah's climate of legislative and individual actions meant to make LGBTQIA+ people feel denigrated and less-than. Events for the four-day Utah "Pr!de" festival begin Thursday, June 1, with the Utah Pr!de Live party at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, followed by the Friday, June 2, March & Rally to the State Capitol and opening concert including Icona Pop, Trixie Mattel and Anabel Englund. Festival events on June 3-4 take place at the City & County Building, 450 S. 300 East, SLC, with the traditional parade on Sunday morning June 4 at 10 a.m. Visit the website for tickets and information. June 1-4, various SLC locations,

Utah Asian Festival - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Utah Asian Festival

Utah Asian Festival: The 46th annual installment of an event that traditionally hosts around 20,000 visitors returns to the Utah State Fairpark for a celebration of all the diverse cultures that make up Utah's Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Events include music and dance, martial arts exhibitions, and a wide range of food options, plus vendors selling traditional crafts and merchandise. Download a free festival ticket that includes Trax transportation to and from the event. June 3, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, SLC,

Ogden Arts Festival: Ogden's own wonderful regional event showcases visual artists, plus plenty of live music performances, festival buskers and other entertainment. You can even sign up for the Plein Air Quick Draw competition taking place on the first day of the festival. June 10-11, Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave., Ogden,

Utah Shakespeare Festival - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Utah Shakespeare Festival

Utah Shakespeare Festival: For more than 50 years, Cedar City has hosted a summer season of Shakespeare, other classic plays and new works. Headlining the season are Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Timon of Athens, plus A Raisin in the Sun, Jane Austen's Emma: The Musical and The Play That Goes Wrong. Play seminars and orientations help supplement the shows themselves, creating a full theatrical experience. June 21 – Oct. 7, various Cedar City venues,

Utah Arts Festival: After many years as a four-day event, the state's biggest showcase of local, regional and national artists has consolidated into three packed days. In addition to the festival marketplace of visual artist booths, UAF features music headliners, dance and other performing arts, spoken word, the Fear No Film short film festival and plenty of food from some of the state's most popular vendors. June 23-25, Library Square, 200 E. 400 South, SLC, uaf.org

Also in June: Holi Festival of Colors (June 3, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Krishna Temple, 965 E. 3370 South, SLC, festivalofcolorsusa.com); Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games (June 16-18, Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, SLC, utahscots.org); Juneteenth Freedom Day (June 17-18, Ogden Amphitheater, 343 E. 25th St., Ogden, facebook.com/juneteenthutah)

Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre: There are plenty of good reasons to spend a summer weekend hanging around in Logan, but one of the best is the annual showcase of some of the theater world's greatest combinations of song and story. The 2023 season—again under the leadership of founder/frequent leading man Michael Ballam—includes Oliver!, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and Wagner's Lohengrin, plus the unique combo of the Aida interpretations from both Verdi and Tim Rice & Elton John. Plus special one-night-only events, including the annual vocal competition. July 5–Aug. 5, various venues, Logan,

Utah Foster Care - Chalk Art Festival - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival

Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival: After a long tradition of showcasing amazing chalk artists to support the work of Utah Foster Care, this event makes a move to Thanksgiving Point's Electric Park. Work on the original pieces begins Friday, with judging and awards ceremony on Saturday. Visitors can also get a chance to learn a little about the process with beginner and amateur chalk-art classes. July 20–22, Thanksgiving Point Electric Park, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi,

Native American Celebration in the Park: As an annual counterpoint to the festivities celebrating white settlers arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, this celebration of local and regional First Nations culture offers a great opportunity to experience traditional dance and music, with Farmington, New Mexico-based Blue Medicine Well as 2023's official host drum group. Authentic food and other entertainment is usually on the docket as well, along with a closing fireworks show. July 24, Liberty Park, 600 E. 1100 South, SLC,

Also in July: Days of '47 (July 14–24, various venues, SLC, daysof47.com); MegaPeruvian Festival (July 28–29, Library Square, 200 E. 400 South, SLC,

Springville - World Folkfest - MCKELL PARK
  • Mckell Park
  • Springville World Folkfest

Springville World Folkfest: There's no excuse to not make it to this family friendly, five-night extravaganza of folk dance. Get on your feet for the Aug. 1 all-ages community street dance at the Springville Museum of Art (126 E. 400 South, Springville). Or, soak up folk arts from 10 countries on Aug. 2-5—whether you're there for the dancing, the music, digging into foreign foods or just wandering among novelty booths. Aug. 1-5, Arts Park, 700 S. 1300 East, Springville,

Park City Kimball Arts Festival: Venture up to Main Street in Park City the first weekend in August to peruse/purchase the work of more than 200 juror-selected artists from 28 states and three countries. Kids can enjoy art, too, at a creation station just for them. Plus, hear music curated by Mountain Town Music and indulge in snacks and beverages to keep you cool. Aug. 4-6, Historic Main Street, Park City,

Ogden Pride: Utah Pride parties aren't only in SLC, and they aren't just in June. Head to Ogden for a weekend of late summer, inclusive Pride celebrations, first by way of a youth talent show and dance, then with a fundraiser featuring local musicians, all rounded out by a big festival on the final day. Aug. 4-6, Ogden Amphitheater, 343 E. 25th Street, Ogden,

Indian Utah Food Fair: This fair in the heart of Liberty Park in Salt Lake is more than just a food fair, it's a full-blown taste of Indian culture at-large. Come for the fragrant smells (and corresponding flavors) from the dozens of Indian food trucks and stands, stay for a lovely afternoon or early evening on the lawn watching dancers, singers and other performances. Aug. 5, Liberty Park, 600 E. 900 South, SLC,

Timpanogos Storytelling Festival: Among the oldest of human creative forms, the art of storytelling gets its 34th annual showcase, with a lineup of more than a dozen gifted raconteurs from around the country making the trip to Utah, including Alton Chung's tales of Hawai'i and Adam Booth's narratives of Appalachia. For those unable to attend in person, an online component will be available beginning in mid-October. Sept. 7–9, Thanksgiving Point Ashton Gardens and Show Barn, 3900 Garden Drive, Lehi,

Salt Lake City - Greek Festival - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Salt Lake CityGreek Festival

Salt Lake City Greek Festival: The largest Greek festival west of the Mississippi celebrates its 47th year with a well-loved lineup of traditional dance groups, musical entertainment and plenty of delicious food, plus guided tours of the cathedral and Greek Cultural Museum. Sept. 8–10, Holy Trinity Cathedral, 279 S. 300 West, SLC,

FanX Salt Lake Comic & Pop Culture Convention: One of the state's biggest annual events, this celebration of popular culture—comic books, movies, TV, games and more— showcases a variety of panel discussions in addition to its lineup of celebrity guests. The 2023 talent roster so far includes Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek), John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lord of the Rings), and reunions of cast members from Back to the Future (Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd and Thomas Wilson) and Scream (Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard and Jamie Kennedy). Sept. 21–23, Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 S. West Temple, SLC,

Also in September: Midway Swiss Days (Sept. 1-2, various locations, Midway, midwayswissdays.org); Brazilian Festival (Sept. 9, University Place, 575 E. University Parkway, Orem, utahbrazilianfestival.com)

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