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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Camp Along Parade Route In Downtown Salt Lake City

Tomorrow evening people will roll out sleeping bags and set up camp along streets in downtown Salt Lake City, claiming their spot for the big Days of ’47 Parade that will be held Thursday morning.

The parade is just on of many activities that will be held in Salt Lake City and around the state on Thursday. This website has complete information. Here are a couple highlights:

The Days of ’47 Parade will be held on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in downtown Salt Lake City beginning at 9:00 am. For a new adventure, bring the kids, the sleeping bags and the hot dogs downtown on the evening of the 23rd. You can camp out on Salt Lake City streets along the route that evening. This is the biggest sleepover your family and friends will ever experience! Remember to bring enough water to keep everyone hydrated.

We have exciting things planned for the 2014 version of The Days of ’47 celebration, from the Royalty Pageant and Parade, to the Rodeo and all the other colorful events. Our 2014 celebration will be full of thrills and spills. Schedule your summer plans to take advantage of our many activities — most of which are free to the public. Grab your hat, pull on those boots and c’mon down!

Geology Festival This Weekend At Bryce Canyon

July 24th is a major holiday in Utah and celebrations will be held all around the state. But other activities will also draw attention, including the annual Geology Festival at Bryce Canyon National Park. Here are details:

On July 27‐28, 2012, Bryce Canyon National Park will be celebrating its most stunning resource, the geology. Known for its colorful and oddly shaped rock spires called "hoodoos," the area was established as a national park in 1928. Each year over a million visitors from all over the world come to the park to marvel at its beautiful scenery and delicate formations, unique on planet earth. (Hoodoo is pronounced with a "haunting" tone and the "h" is silent - ooooo-dewww)

The Geology Festival will offer daily ranger‐guided walks and talks in the canyon and on the rim, children's activities on geology, guided bus tours through the park, illustrated programs, geology and fossil tables and an exhibit of "Hoodoos Around the World."

Featured speakers include:
  • Dr. Robert Eves presents "Water, Rock, & Time - The Geologic Story of Zion National Park" (Friday)
  • Dr. Larry Davis presents "Mary Anning: Palaeontological Pioneer" (Saturday)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Utah's '13 National Parks' Are Big Draws Worldwide

The National Park Service released a report Friday describing some of the economic benefits that come from having popular national parks. The report has generated interesting press coverage. Everyone seems to agree that Utah's parks are awesome and provide a tremendous boost for the state, but some of the details are a bit misleading.

As far as I can see, three Utah news outlets have published items about the report:

The report includes data on all properties managed by the National Park Service. In Utah that includes National Parks, National Monuments, National Recreation Areas and National Historic Sites. Some news outlets are lumping them together and using using the phrase: "Utah's 13 National Parks." That is misleading. I have no idea where they get the number 13.

Here's how Utah properties break down

5 National Parks
2 National Recreation Areas
6 National Monuments/Historic Sites

Friday, July 18, 2014

Welcome to Kanab, Utah - 7 Minutes of Some of the Greatest Scenery on Earth

The Kane County Office of Tourism has released a new video with stunning scenery, shot in areas around Kanab, Utah. You can see the video below.

Many of the scenic spots shown in the video are familiar - some have been shown in countless Western movies and TV shows. (So many Westerns were shot here, Kanab came to be know as "Little Hollywood." Photos of other spots have graced the pages of many calendars and photo books.

The video features:

Welcome to Kanab Utah from Override Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Neil Simon Festival Runs Through Aug 9 In Cedar City

Cedar City is home to the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, which has been staging outstanding productions since 1962. But there is another, lesser-know theatrical group in town, this one honoring playwright Neil Simon. Below we provide information about the Neil Simon Festival, which just kicked off its 2014 season.

Festival Mission
We work to preserve and honor the works of playwright Neil Simon and his contemporaries as well as foster the development of new American plays that follow the Simon tradition of character-driven plots and comic introspection into the American experience.

2014 Season
  • Laughter on the 23rd Floor
  • The Star-Spangled Girl
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • Nunsense
  • Greater Tuna
  • Driving Miss Daisy
Plus these events:
  • Off the Cuff Comedy Improv Troupe
  • New Play Contest - Staged Reading
  • Apprentice Intensive Show
  • Preview Night Benefit
In 1997, Founder Richard Bugg was reading one of Neil Simon's plays, when he glanced at the dust cover of the book and saw a list of all of Neil Simon's plays to date. The list was impressive. Richard realized that Neil Simon was one of the great playwrights of the 20th Century.

Believing that Mr. Simon's plays are universal in nature, and worthy of preservation, Richard wondered why a festival honoring Neil Simon, such as those that honor the Bard, George Bernard Shaw, and others, was not already in existence.

After a few years of planning, Richard was ready to start such a festival. In 2002, Cedar City, Utah (the city where Richard serves as a Professor of Theatre) built the beautiful Heritage Center Theater. With a venue now available, he knew it was time to pursue his dream. Richard created a non-profit corporation and reached out to friends and colleagues to serve on the organization's Board of Directors. He approached a local businessman and asked him to serve. The man felt he was to busy to serve on the board, but, wishing to help, donated $500 toward the effort.

Thinking the Mr. Simon should be aware of the honor about to be bestowed on him, Richard sought for a way to contact the playwright. Richard called a celebrity friend and asked him if he had any way of contacting Mr. Simon. Richard's friend replied that he had just worked with Mr. Simon on a tour of one of his plays and offered Richard a phone number. With trepidation, Richard called the number, expecting to contact a secretary or an agent. The voice at the other end said, "Hello?"

"Mr. Simon?" Richard replied.

"Yes," the voice answered.

A little flabbergasted, Richard explained his plans to Mr. Simon. Mr. Simon said that he was honored, but wanted to know, "Why Utah?"

Richard doesn't recall his on-the-spot answer, but says:

Given some time to contemplate, my answer has become: Because your humorous analysis of the American Culture, while grounded in your own experience and sub-culture, is universal. Even rural westerners understand the human struggles that your plays evaluate. We are moved as well as entertained by your muses. We honor your work and we wish to share it and preserve it.

Mr. Simon, I have dedicated a large part of my existence to this project. I am not excessive in my admiration (there are other things more important in my life), but I strongly believe that you are one of the most important writers of the last century and that your plays need to be produced and conserved for generations to come.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Snowbird Opens Awesome New Mountain Bike Trail

Utah's mountain resorts are famous for their ski runs, and they also provide exceptional mountain bike trails. Ride a lift to the top of the mountain and it is all downhill. But hang on because the ride can be fast and furious.

The diversity of our trails continues to grow. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort has just opened a new one that is getting rave reviews. Snowbird provided the video below and the short description.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Enjoy Utah's July 24th Holiday

Pioneer Day is a long-standing celebration in Utah. This video
shows the parade in 1949
July 24th is Pioneer Day, a major holiday in Utah. Many communities will host parades, programs and fireworks displays. Travelers are always welcome to join the festivities.

Many businesses will close for the holiday but businesses related to travel and hospitality will be open, along with most stores. Many businesses that are open will have special sells. Campgrounds and recreation areas will be busy.

Salt Lake City hosts the huge Days of 47 Celebration that offers many activities culminating on the 24th. Below is a list of some of the more popular events.

July 18-19: PIONEER DAY CONCERT. Come listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra showcase soaring music from its vast repetoire.

July 19: YOUTH PARADE, downtown Salt Lake City.

July 19: FIRST ENCAMPMENT HIKE, Donner to First Encampment Park.

July 19: FAMILY FESTIVAL, City County Building.

July 21: DAYS OF '47 RODEO PBR EVENT, EnergySolutions Arena.

July 22-26: DAYS OF '47 RODEO, EnergySolutions Arena.


July 24: SUNRISE SERVICE,Tabernacle on Temple Square, 7:00 am. The Pioneer Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers will present a Sunrise Service honoring Utah’s pioneers.

July 24: DAYS OF '47 PARADE, Downtown Salt Lake City, 9:00 am.

July 24: DAYS OF '47 DIXIE CELEBRATION, held in the town Washington, adjacent to St George. Colorful floats, bands, horses, clowns and other entries thrill thousands of spectators each year.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dinosaur National Monument Offers New Programs

Dinosaur National Monument offers plenty to see and do year-round, but this summer it has launched several new programs to help people young and old learn about and enjoy the park's fantastic resources. The news letter below was provided by the National Monument.

Dinosaur National Monument Adds New Programs to 2014 Summer Schedule

Colorado/Utah – Park Rangers at Dinosaur National Monument offer a variety of public programs from guided hikes and campground evening programs to the very popular Junior Ranger Program. This summer, several popular activities from last year have returned and several new ranger-led programs have been added to the schedule, including programs that highlight the diversity of things to do and see beyond the fossil bones.

New for this summer are two hikes, a photo workshop, and a collection of evening programs on the Colorado side of the monument, accessed 3 miles east of Dinosaur, CO. Starting July 6, meet a ranger at the Canyon Visitor Center at 2:00 pm each Sunday afternoon for a short introduction and then drive 5 miles to Plug Hat Butte for an easy 1-mile guided hike. Topics alternate each week between gaining photography tips that will make your visit more memorable and exploring cultural connections between people and the land. Plug Hat Hike programs will last 1.5 to 2 hours.  

Photography workshops, led by a ranger who is also a professional photographer, will investigate photo tips in greater depth, using views along the Harpers Corner Trail to practice techniques that can turn plain old snapshots into visual poetry. These free, 5-6 hour photography workshops begin at 3:00 pm at the Canyon Visitor Center on Saturday July 19 and August 16, and 2:00 pm on September 20. Follow the ranger in your own car along the 32-mile scenic Harpers Corner Road, hike with your own personal ranger and photo coach along the 2-mile round trip Harpers Corner Trail, and then conclude with an optional picnic dinner and sunset photos at the Plug Hat Picnic Area. Contact the Canyon Visitor Center for reservations and more details. Bring your own camera.  

Campers who find themselves at the Echo Park Campground on Friday Jul 11, August 8 and September 5, can meet a ranger at the program benches for an evening of exploring. Echo Park evening programs begin at 8:00 pm with Junior Night Explorer activities, followed by a ranger talk at 8:30 pm. For the adventurous, a ranger-led night hike will depart the campground benches at 9:00 pm for an approximately 1-mile, 1.5 hour stroll along the river to experience the canyon by moonlight. Because of unpaved roads, this program is weather dependent. Please note it is a 1.5 hour drive from the Canyon Visitor Center to Echo Park. Campground information can be found at  

On the Utah Side of the monument, rangers continue to offer Fossil Discovery Trail hikes at 10:00 am daily and Junior Ranger Programs in the Quarry at 2:30 pm daily, plus 10:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays. Campground evening programs are offered at 7:30 pm each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Green River Campground. Dinosaur's night sky program with stargazing and telescopes called Stories Behind the Stars will begin on July 16 and take place every Wednesday and Saturday evening through September 6 at the south end of Split Mountain Campground. Start times vary with the sunset.  

Near the end of summer, two special events will celebrate Dinosaur's dark and wild side. The second annual Skies Over Dinosaur weekend, August 22-24, will offer views of nearby planets and far away galaxies through telescopes and other activities. The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act will be celebrated over Labor Day Weekend and through the actual anniversary date of September 3, 2014.

The entrance fee to the monument is $10 per vehicle or $20 for a Dinosaur Annual Pass. There is no additional charge for ranger programs. Ranger programs may be added, altered or cancelled due to staffing or weather conditions. Check for updates in person at our visitor centers, call (435) 781-7700, or follow DinosaurNPS on facebook or twitter.
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