City Guide 2024 | City Guide | Salt Lake City Weekly

City Guide 2024 

City Weekly's 19th annual celebration of all things SLC

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Get your pickleball game on - at The Picklr. - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Get your pickleball game on at The Picklr.


Singles Looking to Mingle
How to find friends and maybe your true love in the City of Salt.
By Carolyn Campbell

Whether you're looking for friendship or a significant other, the recipe for meeting people is easy (or is it?)—summon your confidence and head out there.

If you haven't found "the one" yet, you're not alone. The number of singletons is growing, and being single in Utah is no longer as socially awkward as it once was. Nationally, the U.S. single population has grown steadily in relation to the married population. Here in Utah, a similar trend emerges. Utah grew from being 36% single in 1980 to 40% single in 2000 to 44% single today.

The tips that follow are geared more toward straight dating but LGBTQIA folks may find it helpful for finding friends. There are additional resources for LGBTQIA that can be found within this guide.

Age 20-34: The world's your oyster
You're in your prime, but you may feel the clock ticking. In Utah, the median age for a woman's first marriage is 24.5, and for men, it's 26.2, the youngest in the nation.

How to meet that potential partner, though, is still the question. The 20s have it easier since many are still taking college classes, joining campus clubs and pursuing extracurricular passions—all great ways to connect with others who share your outlook.

Group activities—such as Campus Rec-hosted camping trips and adventures, fitness and yoga classes, campus intramural leagues, city adult leagues and social sports leagues—all bring active people together. So do first jobs, internships, service projects for church or community, volunteering on political campaigns and working on street teams for festivals and nonprofits.

There's also our lively music and arts community with its house parties, live concerts, raves, music jams, dance classes, slam poetry events and, of course, nightclubbing. Maybe a buzzy coffee shop like Publik Coffee Roasters (975 S. West Temple, SLC, 801-355-3161) will bring a chance encounter. Scroll through's Rallies and Resources page to find a cause to support and make some friends along the way. Comedy nights and escape rooms are also mirthful places for potential connection.

If you'd rather be matched by dating apps, try Hinge if you're looking for a more respectful, deeper dive, Tinder if you seek something casual, and women might try Bumble (since women make the first move). FYI, Match still has the most marriages to show for it. And if you 30-somethings are still looking for a friend or a match, then pretend you're in your 20s and start again.

Competitive cornhole, anyone? Since 2011, two friends—and more every year—have converged to play casual co-ed recreational sports through the Beehive Sport and Social Club (2212 S. West Temple, Ste. 104, SLC, 801-558-9194, This club is open to anyone wanting to expand their circle of friends and play sports for fun. Register for kickball, flag football, soccer, sand volleyball and other leagues—including a winter darts league.

Age 35-59: In search of like minds
At this age, a good many Utahns have been there, done that, in terms of finding a partner. If it has worked out, great; but if not, you might be more interested in cultivating good friendships until a keeper catches your eye again. But, how do more mature folks get back into circulation when bar-hopping and flag football may be a thing of the past?

Well, OK, a brewery crawl may be more your speed, and Salt Lake has you covered there. As for physical exercise? Relationship counselor Kristin Sokol says her clients are all playing pickleball, a game that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. While outdoor courts can be found all over town, Utah is now home to six franchises of The Picklr (, an indoor climate-controlled pickleball club, featuring indoor courts, leagues, tournaments and more. "There's a lot of activity, it's easy to play, and you don't have to be in peak condition," Sokol says. "You can play fast and furious or move slow," she adds. There is even a national book titled Pickleball Dating, says Sokol.

Get in the know
Social media apps can put things on your radar. organizes groups and lists their upcoming events, Reddit r/SaltLakeCity keeps it real and provides local crowd-sourced advice, Facebook has local singles groups you can follow or join along with an event/activities calendar. Instagram/TikTok are homes to local influencers who can let you know when and where good things are happening. Sokol says several of her clients use Eventbrite as a hub. "If you want to have a trivia night, country swing or assemble a 5,000-piece puzzle, you can post it on Eventbrite," she says.

Be a joiner
If you're a business-oriented person, get active with a local chamber of commerce in your community. If nonprofits are more your thing, Google one that resonates with you and check out their volunteer opportunities. If you have expertise to lend, offer to serve on a nonprofit board. Consider volunteering for a charity golf event. If you're religious, or trying to be, you know that every church needs volunteers.

Sokol says that putting things into a calendar is crucial. "If you come home tired after a long day at work, you are much more likely to go out if you already have things on the calendar," she says.

Salt Lake seniors get their groove on - at county-operated senior centers. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Salt Lake seniors get their groove on at county-operated senior centers.

Age 60-75, and beyond: Let's get together
For some who are over 60, the desire to meet the "one" may have faded, but they're living their best life (with a coterie of friends and family, that is, like in Grace and Frankie). In retirement, they'll find a bestie who likes to travel or hit the bingo circuit. And they may still check their dating profiles on, OurTime or eHarmony just to see if there are any new faces.

Many single seniors still date, but casually, because not all are looking to get married. Some couples might move in together with no strings attached to share expenses and enjoy life together.

The more youthful seniors might shrug if you suggest they visit a senior center. But it isn't a bad idea. According to Afton January, communications and PR manager for Salt Lake County Aging Services, Salt Lake County's 15 senior centers are "the best places for seniors to meet other people and socialize."

Not only that, but they're one of few places offering a "free" lunch. "Everyone can eat here, January says, "children, grownups and elderly grownups." For those over 60, lunches are free (but a $4 donation is suggested). For those under 60, the lunch costs $9.09.)

Centers host activities for the 60-plus folks, January says, including fitness and health classes, skill-building classes such as knitting and archery and "write your life story" classes. You can also learn about and have support for matters that seniors are dealing with, such as being widowed or dealing with chronic health conditions.

Seniors who are less inclined to get out of the house can still interact with the center virtually. "These classes are self-directed. You might have a craft kit delivered, or we will send you the art supplies," January says. To see the senior center class catalog and read the Senior Scoop newsletter, visit

At whatever age you find yourself single, when it comes to socializing and finding new friends, try getting out of your comfort zone and go where people are active and involved. Be careful with dating apps, though. There may be Plenty of Fish, but there are also plenty of fakes. Good luck!



Damn These Heels 2023 | The Damn These Heels film festival has a new name in 2024: It’s now the Utah Queer Film Festival - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Damn These Heels 2023 | The Damn These Heels film festival has a new name in 2024: It’s now the Utah Queer Film Festival

Diverse Universe
It's a wonderful day in Salt Lake's gayborhood.
By Cat Palmer

Salt Lake City may be known worldwide as the headquarters of the conservative Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But the city is also home to a vibrant LGBTQ+ population. And may we just say: We are here, we are queer and we're not going anywhere.

But for how we got here, let's do a quick recap of recent history. Up until 2013, our local LGBTQ+ community struggled to find its place in the Utah sun. But hell froze over on Dec. 20, 2013, when city and county clerks in Utah began issuing marriage licenses to LGBTQ+ couples after U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Utah led the way for gay marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized it nationwide in 2015.

In 2016, American LGBTQ+ magazine The Advocate ranked Salt Lake City one of America's 10 queerest cities (we have more gay folks per capita than Los Angeles). We know there's room for improvement, but we also know we are a pretty fabulous gay town.

Also in 2016, a road segment on 900 South spanning 1½ miles east to west was named Harvey Milk Boulevard in honor of California's first openly gay elected public official, who was assassinated in 1978. Along this road, specifically at 265 East on the side of Vintage Drift thrift shop—which is proudly queer-owned—a mural created by local muralist Josh Scheuerman is dedicated to Harvey Milk.

Interestingly, the 9th & 9th area was among the first "gayborhoods" of Salt Lake City, but nowadays, you'll find that most areas of Salt Lake City proper are gay-friendly, from the Avenues to Marmalade, Rose Park and Sugar House.

In 2021, Salt Lake City earned the maximum score possible (100 out of 100) on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, which looks at how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are of LGBTQ+ people who live and work in the city.

In 2023, the Utah Arts Festival brought in non-binary pansexual Appalachian rock star, Adeem the Artist, and Utah got a little cooler that day.

While I would personally love to see more queer, trans and nonbinary spaces in our capital city, we still have plenty to offer. What follows is a sampling. You'll find even more resources at

Film Festival
First up is our annual international LGBTQ+ film festival. Formerly known as Damn These Heels, Utah Queer Film Festival will host in-person screenings Oct. 25-27, 2024, at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 W. 300 South, SLC, and virtual screenings from Oct. 27-Nov 3. Established in 2003, the festival is Utah's premier LGBTQ+ film festival, celebrating diversity and inclusion through the powerful medium of cinema and showcasing LGBTQ+ stories, talents, and perspectives. (By way of disclosure: I have participated on the programming committee for six years, and I am excited to announce I will be their programming director for 2024. I can attest to the quality and diversity of films we screen.) Save the date for the Halloqween extravaganza!

A blast from the past: From 1979-1984, Abby Maestas owned and operated 20 Rue Jacob, which brought together some of the best-known thinkers of that time to share their ideas and creative pursuits (their space is now Moochie's sandwich shop.)

Nothing filled that gap in our community until Under the Umbrella Bookstore (511 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-922-0923, opened its doors in November 2021. This "queer little bookstore" shares and celebrates queer books written by queer authors and offers a safe, sober and accessible space for LGBTQ+ people to gather. Join their online book club or the many groups that use the space such as the Queer Stitch Club!

Another queer-owned bookstore to check out for its sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres is Legendarium (349 E. 900 South, SLC, 385-222-7788,

Did you know?
Speaking of queer history: Connell O'Donovan ( is a local gay historian of all things queer in SLC. His content provides insights into intriguing backstories. For example, Brigham Morris Young (1854-1931) was the son of the Latter-day Saint prophet Brigham Young and wife No. 18, Margaret Pierce. His drag name was Madam Pattirini and he would stun crowds with his performances. Curtis Jensen and O'Donovan first published the photo of Madam Pattirini in a queer 'zine here in 1991.

Human Stories With Jill Hazard Rowe goes in-depth with some of the most inspiring and touching stories from people in our community. There is something for everyone to learn as we come together to celebrate our shared humanity. (Available on all platforms.)

Encircle (331 S. 600 East, SLC—and also locations in Provo, Heber and St. George— is empowering LGBTQ+ youth and families statewide through community and connection. Encircle has after-school services for youth ages 12-17 and services for young adults up to age 25. They envision a world where LGBTQ+ youth know they are loved, love themselves and have hope for a bright future.

Burning Sissy Valley (IG @burningsissyvalley): "We are proud to transgress gender norms, we are proud of our ancestral roots! We will continue to resist!" This group is for QTPOC, and we love that this exists!

F.A.M. ( Friends, Allies and Mentors is a collective of Utah educators passionate about LGBTQ+ inclusive schools.

Project Rainbow ( empowers and uplifts LGBTQ+ individuals throughout Utah by fostering visibility, promoting inclusivity and providing crucial support through our community fund. Each flag that is supported by our neighbors symbolizes community, safety and investment back into our larger community.

Arts, Entertainment and Nightlife
Dance the night away: Milk+ (49 E. Harvey Milk Blvd. [900 South], SLC, 801-935-4424,

Other gay bars in town:
Club Try-Angles (251 Harvey Milk Blvd. [900 South], SLC, 801-364-3203,

The Locker Room sports bar and queer-owned (1063 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-463-9393, @thelockerroomslc)

Why Kiki (69 W. 100 South, SLC, 801-641-6115,

Karamba gay Latin nights (1051 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-696-0639, @krazynights)

Club Verse (609 S. State, SLC, 970-986-7279,

DYKED! (a pop-up)

Drag shows at Metro Music Hall (615 W. 100 South, SLC, 385-528-0952,

Save the date: May 17-18, 2024, for the Queer Spectra Arts Festival (Sorenson Unity Center, 1383 S. 900 West, SLC, This is a group of queer artists based in Salt Lake City working together to cultivate a safe space for artists who self-identify as LGBTQ+ to showcase their works and engage audiences in conversation regarding art and queer identity.

Crowdsourced Comedy ( SLC's LGBTQ+ and Black-woman-owned comedy troupe with various shows and workshops.

Pride Festivals
Yes, SLC has one of the biggest Pride festivals in the nation, and our city will have two in June 2024: Utah Pride Festival and Parade (Washington and Library Square Park, will take place June 1-2, and Salt Lake City Pride (The Gateway, is slated for June 27-30. Other Utah cities celebrating Pride: Ogden, Provo, Logan, Davis County, Moab, Southern Utah, Pride Without Police and Helper. We have no shortage of wanting to celebrate that love is love, and we are visible!

Jason CoZmo not only performs but produces Salt Lake’s Viva La Diva. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Jason CoZmo not only performs but produces Salt Lake’s Viva La Diva.

Saucy Fun
Join the excitement and laughs at celebrity impersonator drag show The Viva La Diva Show (Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, SLC, 385-528-0952,, Talented drag queens bring saucy irreverent fun paying tribute to Freddie Mercury, Dolly Parton, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler and other celebs.
—By Kass Wood



The beat goes on for Tally Evans, center, - and Mike Feldman, right, who make up - the musical duo Two Old Guys. - DEREK CARLISLE
  • Derek Carlisle
  • The beat goes on for Tally Evans, center, and Mike Feldman, right, who make up the musical duo Two Old Guys.

Old SaltS
Social, active and on the go—SLC seniors just wanna have fuh-un.
By Babs De Lay

Despite the worrisome thoughts that Social Security may run out in 10 years and that health care will cost more than ever, boomers in general are managing to have some fun as they retire. In fact, with the state's epic outdoor recreation offerings, many think Utah is an ideal place to retire. When I quizzed my senior friends on Facebook as to how they occupy their time (boomers use Facebook more than any other platform), I received a plethora of answers as to what they're up to. I followed up with a few friends in person, and here's what they said:

Pickleball! The tennis-ping pong hybrid game has become so popular in Salt Lake City that boomers and fans of the sport are pressuring local parks and rec managers to convert unused tennis courts into smaller pickleball courts. As of 2023, Salt Lake City oversees 14 public (free) pickleball courts on the city's east side (located at 11th Avenue Park, the 5th Avenue and C Street courts and Fairmont Park). So, the city now wants to expand pickleball courts out west, converting four tennis courts of Glendale Park into six pickleball courts. Plus, there's now funding for two courts in Poplar Grove Park, two at Fairpark Fire Station and about eight at Rosewood Park. Clubs with indoor courts are also cropping up locally and nationwide offering memberships, lessons and tournaments. Also note that many Salt Lake County's senior centers have pickleball courts.

Facebook friend Barbara and others said that in addition to listening to NPR, reading the paper and doing puzzles, they love going to local theater productions. Members of the group Utah Theater Lovers ( see shows at Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Hale Centre Theatre, Eccles and Capitol theaters and dozens of other venues. (See the arts calendar listings in the following pages for dates/locations of shows.)

M. Scott says, "I don't paint the town anymore, but I do hit the town to see the paintings." Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, held monthly on the third Friday (except in December, when it's on the first Friday), remains a big draw for seniors. Galleries are open after hours for the public to meet and greet artists while browsing their work at shows in downtown, Sugar House and other parts of the city.

Music was mentioned by a lot of folks, whether they are actively playing an instrument at home, getting together to jam in a band or going to concerts with friends. There's usually free music to be enjoyed at local pubs or at community concerts. Ray said that he hosts the Blues Jam at the Green Pig Pub every Monday (31 E. 400 South, SLC, 801-532-7441,

Michael Feldman of Feldman's Deli (2005 E. 2700 South, SLC, 801-906-0369, and fellow boomer Tally Evans play in a duo called Two Old Guys ( Feldman is from New Jersey and Evans is from Price, and they have a mutual background in country rock, blues and '70s rock /folk. As guitar collectors, they met and started jamming together, then began playing around town. Feldman's Deli periodically has a show called Old Jews Telling Jokes (check for dates on Two Old Guys Facebook page). Lou, of the "Old Coots Giving Advice" fame where he and Feldman and others used to hold court at the Downtown Farmer's Market, is the master of ceremonies at the Two Old Guys show. Expect ballads, bawdy music and drinkin' songs!

Joni said she retired seven years ago and that her first stop was the Sandy Senior Center (9310 S. 1300 East, Sandy, 385-468-3410, where she facilitates a twice-monthly current events discussion. "You can bet your bottom dollar that seniors aren't afraid of a little lovely political talk," she says. "Also, we have a monthly freethinker discussion group, two book clubs, hiking, dancing and a weekly Shakespeare reading group. Life in retirement is busy!"

click to enlarge The U of U Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers diverse classes for seniors, such as this one about the history of the printing press. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • The U of U Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers diverse classes for seniors, such as this one about the history of the printing press.

Pamela and friends are huge fans of the U of U's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute ( Here, you'll be able to sign up for classes, lectures and special activities taught by distinguished emeritus faculty, scholars and community experts. If you're 50+, it's $40 to be a member, and that fee gets you into the Natural History Museum of Utah and the U of U Museum of Fine Arts. Find a class on volcanoes, art history, beginning ukulele, fitness with Vivo for seniors, classic guitar, dissent and the Supreme Court, end-of-life planning and everyday mindfulness, just to name just a few. Pamela herself teaches a six-week course: Meditation for Skeptics. Many chimed in, saying you have to keep learning to stay on this side of the dirt!

Book clubs: Keep reading! Susan is 80 years old (beyond boomer age), but alert and smart as a whip, speaking several languages, teaching and serving in leadership positions in her church. She swims every morning and belongs to five book clubs. Recently, she packed up to move to a new home and counted 263 boxes of books that were to be relocated in her new place. (

Hike: Alicia swears by her mantra: "Motion is the lotion! Seniors need to keep moving: hiking, skiing of any kind, gardening and travel when you can." The King's English Bookshop (1511 S. 1500 East, SLC, 801-484-9100, and other local bookstores sell guides to local hiking trails, she says, or you can pick up guides at your local library. "It might blow your mind with the variety of outings our state has to offer! And I'm not just talkin' the Big 5."

Golf: Most of my fellow boomer friends play golf. Utah has amazing courses—gorgeous ones in Southern Utah and all along the Wasatch Front. Plus, 18 holes and a cart are cheap as hell compared to places like California. Snowbirds can play in the winter in the southern part of the state and then move north during the summer to enjoy our courses up here. I play every week from spring to fall at Bonneville (just above Hogle Zoo) in a women's league and get to play team play with others where we travel around to various courses along the Wasatch Front. Check out the Utah Golf Association for info on courses (

Volunteer: Several folks—singles and couples—mentioned they are spiritually fulfilled by volunteering and giving back to the community. Anyone can go on their local city or state website to find volunteer positions for experienced or novice people. From reading to kids at a school or at the library to counting birds in the annual Salt Lake Christmas Bird Count (, ushering for a Broadway show at the Eccles or Symphony Hall ( or planting and harvesting with Wasatch Community Gardens (, there's something for every interest and skillset.

According to one medical website, we boomers are more likely than the previous generation to have a disability as we near late life. While we are less likely to smoke, have emphysema or a heart attack than previous generations, we are more likely to be obese or have diabetes or high blood pressure than the previous generation at similar ages. Socializing, exercising, keeping the mind alert and active are the ticket to quality aging and adding more humor to your life! To wit: How many boomers does it take to change a light bulb? None. We'll all resist change even if it means making the world a brighter place!

This bumper crop from a Wayne County hemp farm - will be sold to Utahns with medical cards. - WIKI COMMONS
  • Wiki commons
  • This bumper crop from a Wayne County hemp farm will be sold to Utahns with medical cards.

Shake and Bake
Medical cannabis is on offer in Utah.
By Cole Fullmer

Utah's Medical Cannabis program isn't just legislation; it's a lifeline for thousands of patients across the state. As the smoke clears from the Utah Legislature's 2024 general session, significant updates to the program promise a brighter future for those in need. Let's dive right into the heart of the matter, where numbers, legislation and patient stories converge much like the endocannabinoid system, in a symphony of progress and possibility.

Patient Empowerment: By the numbers
Imagine this: 81,267 individuals clutching the golden ticket—a Utah medical cannabis card. Yes, more than 81,000 patients are forging paths toward a brighter, more liberated existence in the Behave State. But hold onto your vaporizer: 20,487 of these pioneers allowed their cards to expire in 2023. Are they healed, or are they fed up with Utah cannabis?

And what about those 4,710 patients who have yet to make a purchase from Utah's medical cannabis pharmacies? This accounts for 5.7% of the total population of current medical cannabis cardholders. They're not just numbers; they're narratives of resilience and resistance. These folks are saying, "We'll take the card and its rights, but we'll find our green elsewhere." It's a testament to the enduring spirit of defiance in the face of archaic laws. Engaging in the purchase of cannabis from other legal states or black-market connections also entails a violation of existing laws.

Dollars and Sense: The cannabis economy
Now, let's talk green—$137,968,842 to be exact. This staggering sum is the total amount of money spent on medical cannabis products by cardholders at pharmacies in 2023. With over a million transactions recorded, the tally stands at a remarkable 3.1 million individual cannabis products purchased.

That's not just economic activity; it's a thriving industry, pulsating with the heartbeat of progress and potential. The staggering amount spent on medical cannabis products by cardholders at pharmacies in 2023 is a testament to the transformative power of cannabis in the lives of patients. With each transaction, patients aren't just purchasing products; they're investing in their well-being, reclaiming agency over their health and happiness. This robust spending, averaging $1,697.72 per patient annually, underscores the profound demand for cannabis as a therapeutic tool. It signifies a paradigm shift in health care, where patients are actively seeking alternative remedies that align with their individual needs and preferences.

Legislative Highs: What's cooking at the Capitol
But let's not forget the legislative fireworks that lit up the 2024 general session. Senate Bill 233 sparked flames of change, bringing amendments to Utah's medical cannabis laws. Though not passed anew, this updated stalwart saw revisions that could revolutionize patient access. From workplace deliveries to waivers for terminal patients, SB 233 blazes a trail toward a more patient-centric approach.

Meanwhile, House Bill 389 refined pharmacy operations, ensuring patients have a diverse array of state-made products at their fingertips. By limiting ownership and bolstering quality control, HB 389 promises to streamline the patient experience from prescription to purchase.

Patient Statistics: Insights into Utah's cannabis landscape
Beyond the headlines and legislative halls lie the stories of patients, their struggles and their triumphs. As mentioned earlier, more than 81,000 individuals held medical cards in 2023, while 20,487 let their cards expire and 4,710 had a card but did not make a purchase. These figures aren't just numbers; they're windows into the complexities of Utah's evolving cannabis landscape.

While the high number of cardholders reflects a significant acceptance of medical cannabis, the expiration of cards underscores the need for ongoing education and accessibility. Moreover, the sizable portion of patients not utilizing state dispensaries highlights potential gaps in product availability, pricing or patient preferences. As Utah's medical cannabis program continues to evolve, addressing these challenges will be crucial in ensuring equitable access and optimal patient outcomes.

A Call to Action: Puff, puff, pass the torch of advocacy
As we inhale the promise of progress, let's not merely observe from the sidelines, but rather, let's become the architects of change. Together, we can ignite change, empower patients and cultivate a future where access to medical cannabis is a right, not a privilege. So, let's light the fire, Utah, and blaze a trail toward a brighter, greener tomorrow. Metaphorically speaking, of course. You still need to vaporize your cannabis to be a legal consumer. That's a story for another day, though.

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