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Festival time in Southern Utah - 2014

St. George Art Festival: Art, Crafts, Music, Dance, Food, Kid's program, Water feature, Carousel
St. George Art Festival: Art, Crafts, Music, Dance, Food, Kid's program, Water feature, Carousel
Robert Painter

It is spring and it is time for the first big festival event in beautiful Southern Utah. This is the one you have been waiting for - the 35th Annual St. George Art Festival, just a quick, barely two hour scenic drive north of Las Vegas through the picturesque Virgin River Gorge.

St. George Art Festival
Robert Painter

This is truly a festival, not just an art show. In addition to the 100+ artists and craftspeople displaying everything from paintings, photography and drawings to jewelry, sculpture and ceramics there will be two separate stages for entertainment and almost two dozen food booths.

A highlight for this year's event could be the Kid's Creation Station that promises all kinds of fun activities including the opportunity to indulge in candy art, sponge painting, pipe cleaner finger puppets, "Look what I created" T-shirts and more. The Paul Mitchell School will be doing hair braids and face painting. The Music Store will provide an instrument "petting zoo," where children can try out a musical instrument and the Washington County School District will sponsor a student art exhibit for all kids from elementary through high school.

The Featured Artist this year will be Randy Morris, a Northern Utah from Salt Lake City, who will be showing his beautiful water color renditions in a style he calls "Emotional Realism in Watercolor." A perennial favorite returning to the festival is Amado Pena, master artist of the Pascua Yaqui tribe of Arizona. Some of the other creations to be displayed at the festival will be digital art, metal, wood, fiber/wearables, glass, leather, and mixed media - something for everyone!

Remember, you don't need to worry about eating before attending the festival. There will be plenty of food including fry bread, Navajo tacos, Mexican food, crepes, kabobs, smoothies, nuts, hot dogs, kettle corn, sno-cones, BBQ, chicken, Italian ice and more. Bring a few dollars and find out for yourself.

When you get tired of walking around all the great art booths you can take a break and catch one of the acts on one of the two stages. From 10 till 5 on both Friday and Saturday there will be a new act on the hour every hour so you're bound to find something to enjoy. Just a hint: big band music, cloggers, jazz dancers, gospel & blues choir, Dixie State University Faculty Combo, classic country and much, much more - about 32 acts in all. There will even be a juggling comedian wandering around throughout the festival.

It that all sounds like fun let me tell you that there is even more! Right in the middle of it all you'll find two terrific features that you won't likely find at any other art festival you will attend anywhere in the U.S. The first one is the beautiful Carousel. It will be open and ready to ride for children and adults. The second fun activity designed for the kids, but there is probably nothing stopping an adventuresome adult from joining in, is the water feature. What could be more fun on a warm, sunny day in St. George than to run and play in the splashing water of this permanent fixture in the middle of the park, close by the Carousel.

This may be the most fun event of the year in St. George so don't miss it on Friday and Saturday, April 18 & 19 in the Town Square of Historic St. George, Utah. See you there and . . . Keep on Traveling!