Festivals for the Rest of Us | Arts & Entertainment | Salt Lake City Weekly

Festivals for the Rest of Us 

Get out to celebrate arts and culture.

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  • Mark Maziarz

Summer has always been a festival season in a wintry state like Utah, so many of our bigger annual events were lost in 2020. While everyone will have their own comfort level regarding milling about in a crowd of fellow spectators/attendees, most of them are back in action; here's a round-up of some of the higher-profile offerings. Keep up with the events themselves on their websites in case of any changes in conditions.

Springville World Folkfest (July 30-31): Lively folk dancing representing a wide swath of Utah's cultural history takes center stage at Springville Arts Park (700 S. 1300 East, Springville) on July 30-31, 7:30 p.m. nightly, for the 35th anniversary event. Scheduled participants include Nuevo Raíces (Bolivia), Pacific Generation (Hawai'i), Tablado Dance (Spain), Ngoni Y'Africa (sub-Saharan Africa) and Morning Star (Native American). worldfolkfest.org

Ogden Pride (Aug. 1): LGBTQ+ Pride activities around the country tend to be concentrated around the month of June in recognition of the Stonewall uprising, but Ogden has always been a place that marches to its own drummer. Sunday, Aug. 1 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Ogden Municipal Grounds and Amphitheater (343 E. 25th St.), Ogden Pride welcomes visitors with a range of live entertainment, vendors and general merriment. So if you missed out on some celebratory vibes in June, here's your opportunity to play catch-up. ogdenpride.org

Park City Kimball Arts Festival (Aug. 6-8): You really shouldn't need an excuse to head into the local mountain during the summertime, what with the clean air and temperatures 10-15 degrees cooler than the ones that are baking the Wasatch Front. But in case you've been dragging your feet, the delights of historic Main Street being turned into an open-air showplace for visual art and music should give you the necessary nudge. Participating artist booths have been reduced slightly to allow for greater distancing, but there's still plenty to see and do, including artist demonstrations and gourmet food to sample. kimballartcenter.org

Craft Lake City DIY Festival (Aug. 13-15): The DIY spirit has always been plentiful in Utah, and perhaps even more so by necessity during the pandemic. The Craft Lake City DIY Festival once again celebrates the "maker" spirit with vendors offering visual arts, clothing, textiles, food, personal care products and much more for three days at the Utah State Fairpark (155 N. 1000 West). craftlakecity.com/diy-festival

City Weekly Utah Beer Festival (Aug. 21-22): Allow us to brag on ourselves just a bit: There's nowhere you can go this summer that offers such a tremendous range of offerings to celebrate the art of brew-making. The 11th annual event gets a new home this year (The Gateway, 12 S. Rio Grande), and will be limited in capacity. Access to the festival grounds themselves is free, including TBA live music performances, with token punch passes available for purchase to allow sampling of more than 50 local, regional, national and international beers and hard ciders. utahbeerfestival.com

Utah Arts Festival (Aug. 27-29): The state's biggest and most varied arts festival migrates from its traditional late-June timeframe, but in its familiar home at the City/County Building and Library Square (200 East & 400 South). Many entertainment headliners are still TBA at press time, but you can always count on great music from around the country and around the world in addition to artist booths, kids' activities, culinary arts, urban arts, performances by local dance groups and the Fear No Film short film festival. uaf.org

Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Festival (Sept. 3-6): One of the more unique cultural events on the calendar in any year, the Labor Day weekend tradition brings world-class working dogs to Utah to show us the fine art of wrangling sheep who don't always want to be wrangled. (2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway). Beyond the main competition, enjoy dog skills demonstrations, food and the Earthwings birds of prey show. soldierhollowclassic.com

Utah State Fair (Sept. 9-19): The Utah State Fairpark (address) offers all of the traditional attractions: midway games, rides, animals, food and plenty of live entertainment. Headliners scheduled for 2021 include comedian Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias (Sept. 17) and an '80s flashback double-feature with Styx and REO Speedwagon (Sept. 14). utahstatefair.com

Greek Festival: (Sept. 10-12): The grounds of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (279 S. 300 West) again host a weekend of live performances, vendors and perhaps most importantly, plenty of amazing food. saltlakegreekfestival.com

FanX Salt Lake (Sept. 16-18): The state's biggest gathering of nerds, enthusiasts and other lovers of pop culture returns to the Salt Palace Convention Center (100 S. West Temple) for three days of guest stars, panel presentations and vendors. Scheduled participants at press time include Henry Thomas (E.T.), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Martin Kove & William Zabka (The Karate Kid, Kobra Kai) and Gaten Matarazzo & Caleb McLaughin (Stranger Things). fanxsaltlake.com

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