O’my gosh,” says an astounded trucker after he stumbles out of his cab early in the morning behind Wendy’s Restaurant in Kanab. “I never expected something like this.”
Overhead, a colorful circus of hot air balloons are hissing and finally rising gracefully into the sky as part of the Balloons & Tunes Festival.
Kanab’s growing reputation as a place for epic and traditional western regional events is growing. Balloons & Tunes began its calendar of events in February, and after that, look out ‘cause it’s going to be a wild and wonderful calendar of extra-special activities celebrating the character and history of this authentic western legends town.
April is a quiet month, as the community builds up and prepares for another six months of activity. Even so, The Fiddlers Jam every Tuesday night at the Parry Lodge is great entertainment, and classic Western films are shown every Monday night at the Crescent Moon Theater for a humble $2. April 30 cracks the final ice of winter with a new-to-town Bike Fest promoting bike safety and awareness. Kanab and Kane County anticipate developing a significant number of new bike trails over this next year, promoting the area as a bike friendly paradise with the best scenery on earth. The new Bike Fest will include a Bike Safety Rodeo and helmet give-away: several bike loop tours are part of the event.
Not to be ignored is another sweet little late April event: “Talks from a Downriver Campfire.” This event which will begin at 7 p.m., April 23, will be an exceptional recitation of tales – true tales and those irresistible tall tales. Three authors with experience on the wild Colorado River will share stories on the theme of “Life-Changing Moments on the Grand Canyon.”
May, spring-like, erupts with amazing activities. Mother’s Day seems to be the springboard. The always popular Mother’s Day 5K Race as well as the opening of the 10th Amazing Earthfest Festival, May 8-14. Amazing Earthfest activities seem especially appropriate this year during the centennial of the National Parks. Look forward to the Amazing Earthfest sponsored Parade of Parks event May 14.
For a decade now, Amazing
April is a quiet month, as the community builds up and prepares for another six months of activity. Even so, The Fiddlers Jam every Tuesday night at the Parry Lodge is great entertainment, and classic Western films are shown every Monday night at the Cres
Earthfest has offered a remarkable venue for arts, culture, film, live entertainment from the best regional artists, informational presentations and guided outdoor activities to many of the most special places. For a full schedule of the many events; including bike rides, the Art Attack, documentary films, exceptional hikes and social events visit www.amazingearthfest.com.
Join in a writing workshop, participate in a Hanging Garden Wildflower Hike, listen to great music and learn from the Artists-in-Residence more about writing, photographing and painting this astonishing region. Amazing Earthfest is an exceptional opportunity, a festival that invites you to look at the science and sheer beauty of the Colorado Plateau – a geological smorgasbord.
My funkiest, favorite event here is The Greyhound Gathering. Imagine more than 300 sleek, sexy greyhounds with large, dark eyes waiting to stare you down and invite adoration. The three-day festival begins May 13, with the highlight of the festival being the Greyhound Costume Parade on Saturday. Try to imagine how unbelievably funny a parade of costumed greyhounds can be – the “Grey-ola crayons,” “Grey-Grapes,” the “Grey-Prison Gang.” I can guarantee that you have never seen anything like it. Music, fun and amusement are part of this wonderfully unusual and family enjoyable celebration, honoring the gentle and great Greys.
June doesn’t let up. Regional celebrations celebrating the cowboy and pioneer heritage are part of life, with the Jacob Hamblin Festival as a classic example. June 17 – 18 is a special occasion for celebrating the history of the original settlers – and provides a ton of fun for visitors. It is a fun fest including the South Ranch Rodeo; the real thing with barrel racing, team sorting, roping and other classic rodeo events. This year, the festival begins with a Butch Cassidy lecture presented by a speaker presenting himself as one of Butch’s proud descendants.
Parades, events in Kanab are simply special. I can’t imagine another place that boasts such great little home-grown parades with as much character and personality.
Join us, become part of the celebration and participate in the soul of southern Utah.
For more information on events, with a schedule of events and directions go to: www.visitsouthernutah.com.