Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Plan Your Forth of July Activities

Utah media have information to help people find Independence Day celebrations, fireworks, and other holiday-related activities.

This Salt Lake Tribune article lists major celebrations scheduled throughout Utah for the 4th of July holiday.

This KUTV report lists fireworks shows across the state.

Colonial Days offers three days of free activities, according to this Deseret Morning News article.

Check our events database for info about activities in areas where you will be traveling.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dry Conditions Prompt Restrictions On Campfires, Fireworks

People who are careless with campfires and fireworks often cause wildfires. This year's fire season could be particular severe because conditions are extremely dry throughout the West, and so officials have established restrictions in an attempt to mitigate the problem.

The restrictions apply to all Utah land west of Interstate 15. Under the restrictions, no open fires can be set, except in designated campground fire pits.

Smoking is prohibited except in vehicles, buildings, at developed recreation sites or in areas with at least three feet of barren, mineral soil.
Fireworks have been banned in the restricted areas and permits are required to cut or weld metals in areas with dry vegetation on state lands.
The restrictions were issued jointly by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Utah's office of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

Campfires are prohibited in Zion National Park, even in developed campgrounds, and it is illegal to smoke on trails within the park. Fireworks are never allowed in national park and national forest areas.

Campfires and fireworks are also prohibited along the Colorado River in the Moab area, and smoking is restricted to vehicles and developed areas away from combustible materials.

As we approach the Fourth of July holiday, some communities may restrict fireworks to certain areas, so check locally before including pyrotechnics in your celebrations.

See this website for more info on restrictions, current wildfires, and fire prevention.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Family Bonding: Zion, RVs and Canyoneering

CNNMoney.com has this article describing a family's adventures RVing to Zion National Park and then taking a guided canyoneering trek. Here are excerpts:

In the morning our itinerary suggested a two-mile roundtrip hike to a wide expanse of red sand dunes, where our kids promptly kicked off their shoes and started rolling and sliding. (Mom's failure to mention the lack of cable TV now was redeemed by permission to roll around in the dirt.) After shaking out shoes and hiking back to the RV, we ate a quick lunch and drove an hour to Virgin, Utah, and the Zion River Resort Campground (zionriverresort.com), carefully backing into one of 130 spaces in a round parking lot dotted with grassy plots, picnic tables, fire pits, and hookups for electricity and water.

The next rappel was 25 feet to the bottom, and as I peeked over the edge, I panicked; the first cliff began with a gradual slope, but this was a sheer vertical. You know you're in trouble when a 10-year-old has to talk you down. French, fed up with my whining, rappelled down with me into a pool of water. Jonas waded in to pull me out, and I consoled myself with the thought that this must be making us closer as a family. When Peter finished rappelling down, I helped him off with his drysuit. "You should have seen the kids up there," he said, smiling at them trying to warm up in the sun. "They were so scared their legs were shaking, but they did it. I was really proud. I'm glad I got to see that."

When we got back to the RV, my son spread his eight dollars' worth of newly acquired treasures on the table. Soon it would be back to e-mail, videogames, and American Idol. But at that moment it was just the four of us, gathered around a jumble of white, blue, and purple rocks. Jonas ran his fingers over a slab of quartz, remembering all that came before it: sand dunes, canyon trails, marshmallows on sticks. "That was great," he said. "That was really great."

Read the entire article.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ogden Called Up and Coming Outdoors Mecca By NY Times

The New York Times has this detailed article on how Ogden, Utah, is becoming a destination for adventure recreation, and also on how the town is attracting top recreational equipment companies.

Read the excerpts below:

“Ogden is rocking right now,” said Craig Haaser, 44, a potter born and raised in Ogden who was among the paddlers at the park that day.

Set in the western foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, Ogden, a city of approximately 83,000 people, is fast gaining on places like Boulder, Colo., as a destination for extreme sports.

While the 2002 Olympics helped raise Ogden's profile, it is the efforts of city officials, outdoor-company executives and real estate developers that are transforming the town, a former railroad hub.

Though Ogden is emerging as a snow sports hub, many other sports lure visitors to town. With a $1.5 million investment from Goode Ski Technologies, the city is also building a 70-acre water ski park on an existing lake that will include a half-mile-long slalom course, a 17-acre fishing lake and an 18,000-seat amphitheater for plays and concerts, a complex that Mr. Goode hopes will help to bring the water ski championship to Ogden in 2011.

The city's commitment to outdoor recreation and an adventure-based economy is attracting young professionals, some of whom are buying and refurbishing 1920s bungalows in once rundown neighborhoods.

“We see it as a diamond in the rough,” Delanie Hill, 32, said of Ogden's downtown. She and her husband, Jeff, 34, are both graphic designers; they bought a 2,200-square-foot Arts and Crafts house in 2000 for $115,000.

Read the complete article.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Utah Arts Festival Underway in Salt Lake City

The 2007 Utah Arts Festival begins today at Liberty Square in downtown Salt Lake City. It runs through Sunday.

The festival's website has extensive information about the event, which includes an artist marketplace, exhibits, performances, music, food, and plenty of opportunity for members of the public to get involved in creating art.

The Daily Herald has this article on the festival. Here are excerpts:

"In the beginning, the Utah Arts Festival took up two blocks near Main Street in Salt Lake City. Today, it's 11 acres around Library Square. "We've gone from having performances on the back of a flatbed truck to five huge stages," said executive director Lisa Sewell . A lot can change in 30 years."

"... the festival has every different kind of music, from bluegrass to reggae, with performers from inside the Beehive State and around the globe. Musical headliners include the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, from New Orleans, and world music singer Angelique Kidjo, a four-time Grammy nominee from the African republic of Benin."

"The UAF also has an impeccable reputation among gourmands. After all, what lover of good cooking wouldn't want to get a bite to eat at a place where food is considered an art?"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Utah Called Heaven for Golfers

"We are at the zenith of golf in Utah," said Joe Watts, executive director of the 30,000-member strong Utah Golf Association. "I look at it from the player's point of view, because that is who [the UGA] serves. And from the player's point of view, we've got it good - very, very good."

That quote comes from this Salt Lake Tribune article, which takes an in-depth look at the state of golf in Utah. Here are more excerpts:

Green fees at public courses are relatively low (compared with the national averages), the courses are maintained as well or better than anywhere in the country, and the availability of even the most desired tee times is as good as it has ever been, they say.

"Almost all the population [of Utah] has a choice of 25 golf courses within a half-hour [drive] of their home. It is just amazing, how much opportunity there is to play, and they are all good golf courses."

"We had an explosion of golf facilities for about five years there," Whittaker said. "So supply was outpacing demand, and still is, currently. That is a great benefit to the player - it keeps fees low and it keeps golf facilities hungry.

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Motorcycle Racing Roars Onto Utah Track

"This is the best possible time of year for motorcycle racing fans in Utah and the western United States, as Western Eastern Racing Association (WERA) arrives at Miller Motorsports Park this weekend, June 15-17, to kick off two weeks of non-stop, two-wheeled excitement."

That's how motorcycleusa.com begins this article on race events at the Miller track located on the edge of the Great Salt Lake, just west of Salt Lake City. Here are more excerpts:

"Some of the riders racing this weekend will stay over for the following weekend's event, the Honda Summit of Speed, featuring the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited and the Plaza Cycle AMA Supermoto Championship race."

"Alan Wilson, CEO and General Manager of Miller Motorsports Park, said, 'We are happy to be able to offer our two-wheeled enthusiasts two great weekends of the best motorcycle racing in America. With WERA kicking off the festivities this weekend, and the AMA Superbike and Supermoto series coming in next weekend, motorcycle racing fans will get more knee-dragging, handlebar-to-handlebar action than they can imagine!'"

Londonbikers.com has this article about the upcoming races.

For more information, call the track at (435) 277-RACE or visit the website at www.millermotorsportspark.com.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bear Encounter Prompts Warning For Campers

A young boy camping with his family in American Fork Canyon was killed by a black bear Sunday evening - the first known fatality involving a black bear attack in Utah.

The bear was tracked down and destroyed.

Bear trouble is rare in Utah but several encounters have been reported this spring. Black bears live in Utah's backcountry and usually shy away from humans. There are no grizzly bears or other bear species in Utah.

These two newspaper articles report about the fatal encounter: Deseret Morning News article; Salt Lake Tribune article.

Few specific details have been released about the attack. In general, if you keep a clean camp you can avoid bear problems. Do not leave food scraps around camp and never take food into your tent.

Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources offers this info to help people avoid bear problems: Safety in black bear country

Friday, June 15, 2007

Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride

Antelope Island By Moonlight Bike RideThe 14th Annual Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride will be held June 29th at Antelope Island State Park, in the Great Salt Lake. This popular ride is for all levels of experience as the route is from the marina to the Garr Ranch.

Registration forms are available by mail or online. Registration fees include park entry, refreshments and a collector’s t-shirt

Ride theme is 007 "To Live and Let Ride" and logo artist Barry Burton said, "Come see a 007 as you have never seen before." Davis County Community and Economic Development Events Coordinator, Neka Roundy encourages everyone to come have fun: "This is a family friendly ride, yet we have many experienced riders. This is a unique way to see Antelope Island at night

The Biker's Edge is donating a bicycle for the drawing. Davis County Health Department and Chevron are also providing prizes.

Participants need to wear helmets (available at the ride for $7) and have working headlights (also available at the ride). Ride proceeds benefit Antelope Island State Park projects

Sponsors include: The Biker's Edge, Chevron, The Breeze 97.9, Davis County Community and Economic Development, Davis County Health Department, Antelope Island State Park, Buffalo Point Inc, and Friends of Antelope Island.

More information.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Utah Shakespearean Festival About to Open in Cedar City

The Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival is about to open its 46th season. This year's festival includes the world premiere of the highly anticipated comedy, “Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical."

Preview performances with tickets available to the public begin on June 21.

Opening performances begin June 25. The festival runs through October.

The Utah Shakespearean Festival is hosted on the campus of Southern Utah University (Cedar City), and is dedicated to the presentation of repertory theatre, which illuminates the human condition in an atmosphere where playgoers can watch, participate in and be immersed in experiences which entertain, enrich, and educate.

This year's lineup features three well-known Shakespearean plays and another which isn’t produced quite as frequently. Also included are a British comedy, an American classic that served as the inspiration for a famous Broadway musical, and a hilarious musical adaptation of an already highly successful Broadway comedy, a modern play all about art, and a beloved murder mystery.

The plays are listed below:
Twelfth Night
Coriolanus
King Lear
The Matchmaker
Candida
Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical
Art
The Tempest
The Mousetrap

See the festival website for more info or to order tickets.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Utah Fishing & Hunting News

Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) provided the information below:

Fishing Limits Increased on SW Utah Waters

Upper and Lower Enterprise reservoirs in southwestern Utah will be
drained by August 1. The DWR has changed the fishing regulations at the
two waters, and at Little Pine Creek, to give anglers a chance to take
fish that will be lost when the reservoir is drained.

The changes apply to Uppder and Lower Enterprise Reservoirs and to Little Pine Creek (the outflow from Lower Enterprise Reservoir, for approximately 1.5 miles)

- Effective June 11, 2007 the daily bag and possession limits will be increased to eight (8) trout in the aggregate, and twelve (12) smallmouth bass without size restrictions.

A fish consumption advisory was recently issued for Upper Enterprise Reservoir due to elevated levels of mercury found in rainbow trout. Further information regarding this advisory can be found at signs posted at the reservoirs or by contacting the Utah Department of Health.

Timing Could Save You Money When Buying Deer & Elk Hunting Permits

Utah general season elk hunting permits for this fall's hunts, and buck deer permits not taken in this year's big game draw, go on sale at 8 am on June 14.

Starting July 1, hunters who don't have a valid 365-day small game or combination license must buy a hunting (small game) license or a combination license before they can apply for or buy a hunting permit.

If you buy your deer or elk permit before July 1, this requirement won't pertain to you.

On the other hand, if you have a small game or combination license that's valid after July 1, you should consider waiting to buy your permit. The cost for a general deer and elk permit will be reduced on July 1, and you'll save money by waiting.

Advice:

- If you have a 365-day small game or combination license that's valid after July 1, you'll save money by waiting until after July 1 to buy your deer or elk permit.

- If you don't have a small game or combination license that's valid after July 1, you'll save money by buying your deer or elk permit before July 1.

- If you decide to wait until July 1, you run the risk that permits might be sold out by then. However, based on the number of permits that are still available, Division of Wildlife Resources.

officials do not believe that will happen. (About 23,000 general bull elk, 12,000 Northern Region general buck deer and 8,300 statewide general archery buck deer will go on sale June 14.)

Here's more info on the license fee changes.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rotary Convention Will Bring Crowds To Salt Lake City

Some 21,000 Rotarians from all of the world will arrive in Salt Lake City during the next several days. They are expected to fill hotels throughout the Salt Lake City and Park City areas, pack downtown restaurants and crowd entertainment and recreation spots.

The Salt Lake tribune has this article on the Rotary Convention. Here are excerpts:
Not since the 2002 Winter Olympics has Salt Lake City geared up for such an international assembly of guests.

"We're excited for Rotary. It's a big one," said Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) spokesman Shawn Stinson. "It's a prestigious group, well-respected and the Rotary convention is truly an international gathering."

To accommodate the crowds, the Salt Lake CVB lined up 51 hotels in the county to block out varying numbers of rooms for visiting Rotarians.

The Rotarians will bring in a number of august speakers to address the conventioneers. William H. Gates, Sr., father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and a philanthropist in his own right, will be the keynote speaker at next Tuesday's plenary session.

Read the entire article.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Utah's Largest African American Cultural Arts Presentation

Utah Juneteenth Heritage Festival - 18th Annual Utah Juneteenth Cultural Arts Festival

June 15-17, 2007 (With additional Activities June 11-14th)

The 18th Annual Celebration, Utah's largest African American Cultural Arts presentation, is replete with artistic performances, arts & crafts vendors, and Ethnic cuisine, sure to please the most discriminating palate. The theme for the annual event is "The Utah African American Experience: A Journey of Purpose, Promise & Provision." It will highlight over 100 years of Utah Black History. The Juneteenth Festival will include a host of exciting games and educational activities with cool prizes for all ages. There will African Dance performances and Workshops, Story Telling, Black History Trivia Trail, Exhibits, and much more! The festivals education and outreach program will include a Health & Wellness Fair, Education & Career Fair, and numerous community resource programs to share valuable information.

Activities ALL WEEK LONG! Monday, June 11th - Sunday June 17th!

*6/11 Movie Night-Monday (Akeelah & the Bee)- 8:30 p.Monday night is Movie Night and we will show Akeelah & the Bee, about an 11-year-old girl from South Los Angeles whose dream is to compete in the National Spelling Bee. It is an excellent story of hope and the power of community, featuring Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett and KeKe Palmer.

*6/12 3on 3, 3 pt Shoot-Out & Slam-Dunk Competition-Marshall White Center, 222 28th Street, Ogden-6:30 pm

Tuesday: 3 on 3 Basketball, Slam Dunk Competition and 3 Point Shootout! Contestants will compete for cash prizes, trophies and bragging rights of course.

*6/13 Talent in the Park-Wednesday-7:30 pm

*6/14 SUPER Step, Dance & Hip-Hop Show at the Amphitheater (7:30 pm)Thursday, the Harambee Tobacco & Health Network Youth Council will present Super Dance, Step, & Hip-Hop competition.! Each contestant will have to create and include a tobacco-free message in their performance.

*6/15 Tom Scott in Concert, 7:00 pm featuring Ellis Hall at the Amphitheater and local Jazz Legend, Joe McQueen. Tickets are on Sale Now at all Smithtix LocationsFriday, Jazz Concert, featuring saxophonist Tom Scott & the LA Jazz Express along with Ellis Hall, a multi-instrumentalist virtuoso who possesses a vocal style that commands attention in its diversity and depth. The concert will be held at the Amphitheater as well and tickets are on sale now!

Cost: Tickets prices include: General Admission: $20, Bleacher Seating: $15, VIP PACKAGES: $75 & $100 ($75 Includes Backstage Pass, Personal Picnic Basket with Wine & Gift; $100 includes all the above plus a VIP Meet & Greet After the Concert)

*6/16 Festival 12 n. -10 pm featuring Ca$his & Sly Boogie, Triple P Recording Artist and more. African Dance Ensembles ELIKYA & FUTA! TORO aka Mussukeba Sane in Los-Angles, Story Telling, Rhythm & Blues, Youth Art Barn, Soul Food, Clothing and Art Vendors

Saturday, the festival begins at 12 noon -10:00 pm with activities and performances all day! Catch your favorite local artist as they team up with national recording artist CA$HIS, African American Dance & Drum, SOULJA Gospel Hip Hop and more. Food and vending booths, Education and Career Fair, Health & Wellness Fair, Kids Art Barn, Old Fashion Games, Black History Trail and more.

*6/17 Gospel Music Celebration, featuring National Recording Artist Vanessa Bell-Armstrong, Kansas City Songbird-Zenobia Smith, the Utah Juneteenth Mass Choir, SOULJA, and a host of local choirs. Fathers Are Forever - Father of the Year Recognition (nominate your father today). Cost for Saturday: $5 for ages 10 & up. Senior Citizens, 65 & older-Free

Sunday: Gospel Music Celebration. Hear National Recording Artist Ms. Vanessa Bell-Armstrong, a Detroit native "with a style reminiscent of Aretha Fr! anklin. Soulful Vanessa Bell Armstrong has been belting out R&B-flavored contemporary gospel since the '80s. She got her start working with Dr. Mattie Moss Clark (Mother of World Renowned Clark Sisters). She has since gone on to work in both gospel and secular music. She did the theme song for the television series Amen, where her links to Rev. Al Green (and ultimately to Rev. Claude Jeter) were evident"

Festival runs from 1:00 - 8:00 pm with a Special Fathers Day Presentation. Nominate your Father for our Fathers Are Special Tribute.

The Juneteenth festival brings communities and neighbors together to renew old ties, to share good times, celebrate achievement, catch-up on the happenings and exchange ideas and information. Join Us for Utahs Biggest Family Reunion and Festival!

TO VOLUNTEER, PARTICIPATE AS A VENDOR, OR SPONSOR CALL 801-394-0924.

SPONSORED BY: Weber County RAMP, Ogden City Arts, Zions Bank, Ogden Chapter NAACP, ! Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Foundation, Ogden Standard Examiner, KRCL Community Radio, KBZN-The Breeze Radio, Weber State University, The TRUTH, Harambee Tobacco & Health Network, Marshall White Community Center, Weber/Morgan Health Dept. Abstinence Education Program, Goldenwest Credit Union, Wells Fargo Bank, Ogden/Weber ATC, Northern Utah Coalition and Management Training Corporation.

Admission: Friday Jazz Concert-$15 & $20 General Admission/VIP: $75 & 100;
Hours: Thurs. 6/14: 7-10pm; Fri. 6/15: 7-10pm; Sat.6/16: 12n-10pm
Contact: Betty Sawyer
Phone: 8013940924
Email: projectsuccessinc@hotmail.com
Venue: Ogden City Amphitheater
Location: 324 25th Street, Ogden
Web Address: http://www.projectsuccessinc.org/events/event.html

Accessible to those with Disabilities

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Explore The Land Of The Sleeping Rainbow

Capitol Reef is one of the most spectacular, yet one of the least visited of the US National Parks, according to this interesting narrative written by MC O'Bryant and published in The Norman Transcript (Norman, Oklahoma).

O'Bryant's prose is vibrant, as shown in these excerpts:

"The park’s delightful array of hoodoos and stunning vermillion cliffs has made it a must see, when touring Utah’s much ballyhooed, Standing up country..."

"Capitol Reef abounds with storied accounts of its early inhabitants ranging from early Mormon pioneers who envisioned building exalted communities where angels might abide, to an impenetrable hideaway for what could well be America’s most romanticized outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid."

"As each new twist of the seemingly endless switchbacks brought into view an even more spectacular scene, she would plead with a mixture of fear and awe at the compelling beauty before us, 'Don’t look now!' 'Watch the road! Don’t look now! Don’t look now!'"

Read the entire article.

It is an enjoyable read. I think O'Bryant's words successfully depict the grander of this wonderland of rock.

However, I wasn't able to follow all of the twists and turns as he refers to specific roads and landmarks. I don't think the article was intended to be a travel guide suggesting specific routes; distances mentioned may not be exactly accurate.

- Dave

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Park City Bread Pudding Makes Big Time News

Bread pudding is flying out the door of Café Terigo in Park City, after ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson said it is his favorite dessert ever during an appearance on "Live with Regis and Kelly" last Wednesday.

ABC4.com has the story.

"We had a conversation months ago about what's your favorite dessert," Gibson said. "And my favorite dessert is bread pudding from a place called Cafe Terigo in Park City, Utah."

Last week, Gibson's co-workers were planning a big party to honor his first year anniversary as evening anchor -- and to celebrate winning the recent ratings period. They remembered what his favorite weakness was.

Debbie Axtell, co-owner of the restaurant said: "We got an email from ABC news, a woman who worked closely with Charlie Gibson that said he had mentioned that this was his favorite dessert, the bread pudding from Cafe Terigo in Park City and could we ship fifty orders for his party." The morning after the party, during Gibson's appearance on "Live with Regis and Kelly," he again raved about the dessert. He even brought a picture to show it off, and mentioned Debbie by name.

Read the entire story.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Pirates III, Other Recent Movies Show Utah Scenes

Utah's unique landscape continues to attract moviemakers. The most recent example: Some scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean III were shot on the Great Salt Lake. Pirates is just one of a long list of films with scenes shot in Kanab, Moab, Monument Valley and many other scenic Utah spots.

Kristen Rogers-Iversen talks about Utah's movie history in this Salt Lake Tribune article.

"Kanab - and Utah - got its big break when in 1939 John Ford made 'Stagecoach,' starring John Wayne, in Monument Valley. After that, he and many other directors returned to Utah many times.

"Kanab's 'fifteen minutes' of fame dwindled in the 1950s and '60s. But filmmakers have come to Utah ever since. Wendover, Alta, Cedar Breaks, Zion, Snow Canyon, the Moab area, the Great Salt Lake (for ocean scenes), and other places have starred in a variety of films and TV shows."

Read the entire article.

Many people like to tour movie sites while on vacation. The old set from the Gunsmoke TV series is still an attraction near Kanab. Here's a full list of movies filmed in that area.

Moab also plays up its Hollywood connection. Did you know that Indiana Jones was raised near Moab, as revealed in The Last Crusade. And the climatic car-over-cliff scene in Thelma & Louise was shot near Dead Horse Point.

Here's a list of films shot around Moab.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Panguitch Quilt Walk and Balloon Rally

The annual Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival will be June 7-9. It is held to honor area pioneers. With heavy snowpack still in the mountains and their community facing starvation, pioneers found they could spread quilts over the snow and then walked on the quilts to keep from breaking through the snow's crust. It was slow going but they managed to bring supplies over the mountain and saved their families.

The festival includes free quilting demonstrations, a trunk show, cowboy action shoot and costume contest, Lions Club breakfast, Street Races, Old Red Brick Pioneer Home Tour, Craft and Pioneer Heritage Fair, Dutch Oven Cooking classes and more.

The Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally will be June 22-24. It is their 6th annual hot air balloon festival and it will feature 30 hot air balloons ascending each morning at 6 am. Also includes nightly live entertainment and a craft fair near the bank. Saturday will conclude with an evening balloon glow on Main Street beginning at dusk.
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