Photos courtesy of Soldier Hollow Classic
“Back to school” by no means signals the end of summer fun in Park City! As August melts into the Labor Day holiday, some of our favorite annual events are ready to welcome back residents and visitors alike following a year break due to the pandemic. Those include the 45th annual Utah Arts Festival – the state’s largest outdoor multi-disciplinary arts event – and the Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship, highlighting the human-canine bond in a breathtaking showcase of speed and “smarts.”
The Utah Arts Fest, which runs Friday, Aug. 27, through Sunday, Aug. 29, at Library Square in Salt Lake City, elevates the festival vibes with three days of events featuring nearly 100 visual artists, an interactive “Creative Zone” and seven performance venues presenting national and local musicians, dance performances and literary artists. The fest also includes a “Fear No Film” festival, musical commissions, culinary arts, urban artists and a featured exhibit at Salt Lake City Library.
FEEL THE BEAT:
The Utah Arts Fest features more than 60 performances ranging from pop/rock, blues, bluegrass and folk to country, classical, hip-hop and jazz. New this year is the Friday Soul Party, in collaboration with KRCL, and celebrating funk, soul and R&B sounds from six different artists. Friday night headliners include the Salt Lake City-based Will Baxter Band (“old-school” soul, R&B) and the nationally known and relentlessly funky, The Nth Power.
Other headliners include Black Fang (funk/soul/R&B) and Los Angeles-based Chicano band Las Cafeteras on Saturday, and on Sunday, wrap you weekend with Pixie & The Partygrass Boys (bluegrass/folk) and troubadour Jeff Crosby & The Refugees.
Along with the six headliners, literally dozens of musical performances are scheduled across five stages from approximately noon to 9:30 p.m. daily, so be sure to check out the full lineup and plan out your dance card! Check out the complete lineup here: https://uaf.org/schedule.
DAZZLED BY DANCE:
The Arts Fest also celebrates Utah’s extraordinarily vibrant dance scene throughout the weekend with six performances by professional companies including Ballet West, the contemporary Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, the toe-tapping Percussive Footwork Ensemble, the hip-hop group 1520 Arts and more. Visit the web for complete details and lineup.
THE POWER OF PROSE:
The literary arts program and Literary Arts stage at this year’s festival focuses on readings and performers by local and regional talent with an emphasis on underrepresented voices and communities. Performers represent a variety of literary genres including poetry, slam poetry, cowboy poetry, fiction, nonfiction, storytellers, scientists, hip-hop and spoken word.
Visit the web for complete details and lineup of the 60 literary arts performances, visit.
‘FEAR NO FILM’ FESTIVAL:
Now in its 18th year, the 2021 FEAR NO FILM festival features visionary short films representing 22 countries from around the globe. Be sure to carve out some time to catch these visionary films — and cool down with some AC! — in the Leonardo. What’s more, all screenings are FREE! Visit the web for complete details on the films and schedule.
SO. MUCH. MORE.:
- Artist Marketplace: Add to your art collection from the approximately 100 visual artists who will have their art on display and for sale all weekend long. Artists show and compete in 15 categories ranging from 2-D and 3-D mixed media to ceramics, glass, jewelry, metalwork, painting, photography, sculpture and so much more.
- Urban Arts: Showcasing the powerful talent of urban voices through the art of music, graffiti, street art and dance, this year’s urban arts section features several local muralists and artists who will participate in live painting, printmaking and artwork displays. Local female artists will work collectively on live mural painting, while the Fat Cap Hat Gallery features custom-painted graffiti hats for sale daily. Festival goers are encouraged to lend a hand to local artist Mason Fetzer’s project “100 Artists/1 Image,” now in its ninth year at the Utah Arts Festival. Join the cast of 100 artists to add your own style to the towering 20-foot-by-20-foot community mural.
- Creative Zone: Artists of all ages are encouraged to make a stop at this mini festival within the Utah Arts Fest. This is the place to try a new way of creating with your family, or as a solo art lover. Collaborate with on-site sculptures, create make-and-take projects with some of Salt Lake’s creative nonprofit organizations, write some poetry and even build your own instrument!
- Commissions: Since 1990, the Utah Arts Festival’s annual commissions have supported new work to encourage original performance art for all. This year’s commissions include several chamber-ensemble pieces as well as new works performed by the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra. Visit the web for showtimes and details on the composers, conductors and the musical pieces.
- Exhibition: “Geoglyphs: Quilts by Roxanne Bartel, Sheryl Gillilan and Sondra Hodson-Rosier” is currently on display through Oct. 1 in the Lower Urban Room at Salt Lake City Library. Visit the web for more details.
Tickets to the Utah Arts Festival are $15 for adults ($13 for advance purchase) and FREE for children 12 and under. Hours are noon-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, noon-9 p.m. on Sunday. Visit the web for complete details including COVID-19 precautions, transportation and parking, festival passes, senior and military discounts, bike-valet special, food and beverage offerings, maps and more.
SOLDIER HOLLOW CLASSIC SHEEPDOG CHAMPIONSHIP
Kick off your Labor Day holiday in Midway at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center for four days of family fun and exciting competition featuring the world’s top sheepdogs and handlers. Since 2003, the Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship has been an exciting showcase of the human-canine bond, but it also brings a bit of the Scottish Highlands and Celtic culture to Utah with daily bagpipe performances and a two-day Utah Highland Games state championship featuring such competitions as the Braemar Stone (throwing a heavy stone) and Caber Toss (throwing a huge, tapered poll).
Wrap up summer on a high note
For the main event, canine competitors must work up to 400 yards from their handler – via command – demonstrating speed and precision as they gather wild-range Rocky Mountain ewes, bringing them down the mountainside along a preset course and through freestanding gates. The process ends in front of the stands where the dog must separate certain sheep from others and then place the sheep in a small pen. The work is judged for quality and care of the sheep and must be completed in just 13 minutes!
This year’s Classic also includes daily demonstrations in sheepdog herding, sheep shearing, carting and packing, and dog agility. Utah’s Earthwings will be on hand for bird shows featuring hawks, owls and falcons, and other family-friendly highlights including face-painting and a kids’ corner. The Soldier Hollow Classic also includes retail and artisan vendors, an international food court and Bohemian Brewery beer garden.
Tickets for the Soldier Hollow Classic can be purchased in advance or in person (save when you purchase in advance!), and all pricing includes parking. For a truly unique experience, check out the Classic’s Dog Sponsor Program, allowing you an up-close experience with a dog and handler. Sponsorship dollars go toward the cost of taking care of the gorgeous Rambouillet ewes used in the event.