All posts by Carolyn Wootton

MPNHA congratulates Mormon Miracle Pageant on 50 Seasons

MPNHA-Press-Release-50th-Year-Mormon-Miracle-Pageant

 

MORMON PIONEER NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA (MPNHA)

MPNHA congratulates Mormon Miracle Pageant on 50 Seasons

For more information:

Linda Peterson

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

801-554-7513

Email: linda@bpmedia.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2016

MANTI, Utah–As the community of Manti is busy with preparations for this year’s Mormon Miracle Pageant, the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area offers its congratulations on the pageant’s 50th year.

“We congratulate the thousands of people who have contributed so faithfully to telling the story of their Mormon heritage over 50 years of dedicated pageant service,” MPNHA Director Monte Bona said.

Just as the pageant is celebrating a significant anniversary, so too is the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area which was signed into being by President George W. Bush on Oct. 12, 2006 —10 years ago.

Both the pageant and the MPNHA grew out of the desire of local people to tell the history of the Mormon pioneers of Central Utah, of the faith that led them to cross the American continent to forge new communities in a barren landscape.

In multiple projects over the past 10 years, the MPNHA has sought to preserve the heritage of those settlements, which became the towns of today’s Central Utah, and to share it with the world.

In that spirit, the MPNHA granted $240,000 toward development of the 2.25-acre Mormon Pioneer Heritage Gardens which were opened in 2012 across the highway from the Manti temple grounds where the Mormon Miracle Pageant is staged.

“The Mormon Pioneer Heritage Gardens stand as a striking example of why we received national designation as a heritage area,” MPNHA Director Monte Bona said. “They represent what the late Sen. Robert F. Bennett said when he introduced the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Act: ‘The story of the Mormon pioneers is one of the most compelling and captivating in our nation’s history.’ The monumental Manti Temple overlooking the gardens bears witness to the cooperation, industry, ingenuity and true grit of the Mormon pioneers. We are proud to call it the Mormon pioneer miracle on Temple Hill.”

As the pageant continues to flourish, it will do so with the support of the MPNHA which recognizes it as a unique portrayal of those early settlers and the faith that fueled their courageous colonization of central Utah.

For more information, contact MPNHA Director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065 . ###

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.

Tens of thousands of visitors pour in to Manti mid-June to see Mormon Miracle Pageant, this year celebrating its 50th year.

Discovery Road Celebrates National Park Service Centennial

MPNHA-Press-Release1-Park-Service-Centennial

One hundred years. That’s a birthday to remember for the National Park Service and one Discovery Road hosts Maryda Nicole Gallo and James Nelson celebrate in “Precious Jewels in any Language” as they tag along with groups of international visitors who visit the five national parks in Utah: Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Arches, Bryce and Zion.

In 1872, Congress established Yellowstone as the first national park and on August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, an agency that now protects more than 380 parks, covering more than 83 million acres.

The national parks have been called “America’s best idea,” and in this Discovery Road episode, international visitors learn why.

The visitors hail from such faraway places as France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, and also from our next-door neighbor, Canada.

Without fail, every visitor is struck by the sheer size of the national parks. “Enormous,” “magnificent” and “majesty” are words that trip off their tongues as describe what they are seeing. It’s clear that each is affected by the beauty that surrounds them.

“It feeds my soul,” Sonja Groening from Austria says.

“It opens our minds and opens our eyes. It helps us understand other people and their thoughts,” one South Korean visitor says. The visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of the American West from the sweeping vistas to the open road and the characters they encounter along the way.

Near Zion National Park, the visitors meet Richard Budd of Kanab and get to explore his anti que, restored Ford pick-up truck. Many of the visitors have only seen the likes of it in old Hollywood movies.

In the episode, the hosts also visit with former volunteer ranger Black George Simmons, 82, who says he loved “giving people a sense of place one yeehaw at a time.

Serving as a backdrop to all the visiting and the storytelling in this episode of Discovery Road is the incredible open space of the parks protected by our forbearers for generations of Americans and their guests to enjoy.

“There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks… is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”   President Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Precious Jewels in any Language” will air on the Utah Education Network on Saturday, May 21 and Wednesday May 25. It is running on an ongoing basis on CentraCom , Fairview, Channel 10; Manti Telephone, Channel 3 and KTTA 8.1 Monroe, which serve central and south central Utah. It can also be found at the MPNHA website at htt p://www.mormonpioneerheritage.org/discovery-road-videos/

Interested viewers may find out how to access UEN-TV at htt p://www.uen.org/tv/translators/ Find Your Park

As part of the centennial celebrati on, the Nati onal Park Service has kicked off a movement called Find Your Park to inspire people to connect with, enjoy, and support America’s national parks. At FindYourPark.com visitors can virtually explore Utah’s (and other states’) national parks and fi nd out about special events such as Loa Elementary School students in Wayne County celebrati ng the nati onal park centennial in Capitol Reef National Park today, May 19, at the historic Fruita School house (built in 1896) with a graduati on/birthday ceremony. FindYourPark.com is just one of the many ways the National Parks Service is celebrating its centennial. Visit www.nps.gov to fi nd out more. ### The Mormon Pioneer Nati onal Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, catt le and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.

Discovery Road Celebrates National Park Service Centennial

MPNHA-Press-Release1-Park-Service-Centennial

One hundred years. That’s a birthday to remember for the National Park Service and one Discovery Road hosts Maryda Nicole Gallo and James Nelson celebrate in “Precious Jewels in any Language” as they tag along with groups of international visitors who visit the five national parks in Utah: Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Arches, Bryce and Zion.

In 1872, Congress established Yellowstone as the first national park and on August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, an agency that now protects more than 380 parks, covering more than 83 million acres.

The national parks have been called “America’s best idea,” and in this Discovery Road episode, international visitors learn why.

The visitors hail from such faraway places as France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, and also from our next-door neighbor, Canada.

Without fail, every visitor is struck by the sheer size of the national parks. “Enormous,” “magnificent” and “majesty” are words that trip off their tongues as describe what they are seeing. It’s clear that each is affected by the beauty that surrounds them.

“It feeds my soul,” Sonja Groening from Austria says.

“It opens our minds and opens our eyes. It helps us understand other people and their thoughts,” one South Korean visitor says. The visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of the American West from the sweeping vistas to the open road and the characters they encounter along the way.

Near Zion National Park, the visitors meet Richard Budd of Kanab and get to explore his antique, restored Ford pick-up truck. Many of the visitors have only seen the likes of it in old Hollywood movies.

In the episode, the hosts also visit with former volunteer ranger Black George Simmons, 82, who says he loved “giving people a sense of place one yeehaw at a time.

Serving as a backdrop to all the visiting and the storytelling in this episode of Discovery Road is the incredible open space of the parks protected by our forbearers for generations of Americans and their guests to enjoy.

“There is nothing so American as our national parks…. The fundamental idea behind the parks… is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”   President Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Precious Jewels in any Language” will air on the Utah Education Network on Saturday, May 21 and Wednesday May 25. It is running on an ongoing basis on CentraCom , Fairview, Channel 10; Manti Telephone, Channel 3 and KTTA 8.1 Monroe, which serve central and south central Utah. It can also be found at the MPNHA website at

Discovery Road Television Show

Interested viewers may find out how to access UEN-TV at htt p://www.uen.org/tv/translators/

Find Your Park

As part of the centennial celebration, the National Park Service has kicked off a movement called Find Your Park to inspire people to connect with, enjoy, and support America’s national parks.

At FindYourPark.com visitors can virtually explore Utah’s (and other states’) national parks and find out about special events such as Loa Elementary School students in Wayne County celebrating the national park centennial in Capitol Reef National Park today, May 19, at the historic Fruita School house (built in 1896) with a graduation/birthday ceremony.

FindYourPark.com is just one of the many ways the National Parks Service is celebrating its centennial. Visit www.nps.gov to find out more.

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.

CCC/POW Camp Restoration in Salina Tells Incredible Story, Needs Public Support

MPNHA-Press-Release-CCC-POW-camp

For more information: Monte Bona Director, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area 801-699-5065 Email: montebona@hotmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2016

Thanks to dedicated volunteers, a former Citizens Conservation Corps/Prisoner of War camp near Salina in northern Sevier County, the site of what is known as the Midnight Massacre, is being restored to near-original condition.

The impetus for the project came from Salina Mayor Dustin Deaton, who had the dream of turning the buildings (which were being used to store city property) into a museum.

“It’s an important part of our history and it shouldn’t be forgotten,” Deaton said.

Built to house CCC employees during the Great Depression, the camp gained notoriety during World War II when it was being used to as a POW camp for 250 German prisoners.

(At that point, all but three of the original CCC buildings had been moved to the Japanese internment camp at Topaz, near Delta.)

On July 8, 1945, two months after the war ended in Europe, Private Clarence Bertucci, a guard stationed at the camp, opened fire with a .30-caliber machine gun on 43 tents where the POWs were sleeping.

In 15 seconds Bertucci peppered the barracks with 250 rounds because, he later said, he “just didn’t like Germans.” He killed six POWs and injured 23, three of whom later died at the Salina hospital. Bertucci was later was declared insane by a military panel and sent to a New York mental hospital.

Deaton dismisses criticism from people who consider the incident a stain on the history of Salina and say the camp shouldn’t be restored.

“The individual who created the problem wasn’t from our area; he was just stationed here. What needs to be remembered about that night is that the citizens of Salina pulled together and carried the injured prisoners seven blocks to the hospital and cared for them there,” he said.

Deaton approached Dee Olson, a retired engineer and someone with a reputation for getting a job done right, to spearhead the project.

So far, Olson and his trusty band, including his daughter Tami Clark who has a degree in interior design and has studied historical preservation and restoration, are exceeding all expectations.

Over the past several months, the group has transformed the buildings from glorified storage sheds to near-original condition. Their goal is to have the project finished by July, but it all depends on the donations that come in.

The first building to be restored was the commander’s quarters and office, which included a kitchen, shower, bedroom, dining area and office space. It will be staged like it was originally. A display honoring the POWs who were shot during the July 1945 incident will be placed in the kitchen.

The second building, originally a bunk house for CCC crews and later a barracks for guards at the POW camp, will contain a model of what the camp looked when it housed the POWs as well as an area to show a movie about the camp’s history.

Work is just beginning on the third building, which was a motor pool and repair shop. The group has already restored an original WWII Jeep and Army truck to be displayed there.

Of the $103,000 needed for the project, the team has received about $70,000 in donations from groups and individuals, including $25,000 from the Snow College Foundation and Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area (MPNHA). Salina is located in the heritage area.

“Energetic Great Depression-era young men from crowded cities across America came West in response to President Roosevelt’s call to conserve America’s great natural resources,” MPNHA Director Monte Bona says. “They ate, slept, laughed, worked and played in these important buildings, which are being restored to help tell their story.

“Those young men, many of whom served in WWII, would have never imagined that this place of memories would become a POW camp, a place where enemies of war would wait out the great conflict. History and our heritage are full of irony.”

As a small rural city, Salina hasn’t been in a position to donate funds, Mayor Deaton said, but instead has donated labor in the form of crews who have worked on the project many times.

Donations have come from unexpected places including a recent $10,000 check from the family of Bert and Doris Olsen, formerly of Axtell, a town just north of Salina.

If local volunteers get the remaining funding in time, they can probably get the job done by their target date, Tami Clark said. It’s just that the team’s focus and skills are on restoration, not on fundraising. The volunteers do have a Facebook page, and the city is accepting donations at city hall.

As the group prepares to bring the museum to life, they need of items from the period, including office furniture and equipment, WWII uniforms and items related to the war, tools and other items for the motor pool building, and anything related to the CCC.

At present, the only thing the group has representing the CCC era is a hat with a CCC logo, local historian Norm Rollingson said.

Once it’s finished, the museum will be open for tours by appointment and on city holidays, Deacon said.

“There’s a lot of history in these small towns to participate in and learn about,” he said. “It’s a great family event to be able to go see theses historic buildings and teach the children about what happened there.”

Tours for media outlets may be arranged by contacting Linda Petersen at (801) 554-7513. For more information, contact Tami Clark at 817-903-1710 or MPNHA Director Monte Bona at (801) 699-5065.

To donate or lend items for the museum, you can contact Norm Rollingson at (307) 413-6498.

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.

Kanab Gathering For Greyhound Day

Greyhound Gathering – Kanab  May 12 – 15 2016

Greyhound Gathering Kanab 2016

The Greyhounds and their owners have announced that the annual Greyhound Gathering is taking place in Kanab, Utah May 12 – 15.  The following information is taken directly from the Greyhound Gathering website.  This information is provided by The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.  For additional information and registration please contact Greyhound Gathering directly.

 

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WHO:

Lovers of greyhounds and sight hounds from around the world come to Greyhound Gathering – Kanab. Sponsored in 2016 by  In Memory of Pat, Kane Country Travel Council, Kanab City, Greyhound Gang, Get Up & Go, La Estancia, Canyons Collections, Galgos Jubilados and Best Friends.WHAT:
This 3 plus-day celebration and FUNdraising event features Blur of Fur, Costume Parade, Speakers, Yappy Hour,  Best Friends Tours, Auctions, Food, Fun and Frolic. Planning for 2016 already includes Scooby Medina – Galgo demo/talk, Reception at La Estancia Dog Park, Art Show,  Auctions, Fantastic Meals and Artisans – including Sarah Snavely.  I’m working on Agility Demo, and more Sighthound Demos & Talks –  Lurchers, Staghounds, Podencos, Irish & Russian Wolfhounds and more.Hot Off the Press:
– Big Brown Bear Wrestling
– Dancing with Dogs
– Parade: We will be part of the Amazing Earthfest Centennial Parade in 2016
– Old Hollywood Movie Set Tour – Gunsmoke and many more

WHERE: Kanab, Utah

WHEN: May 12 – 15, 2016.

HOW:

1) Read the Guidelines
2) Make an Accommodations Reservation
3) Register NOW – after you’ve made an accommodation reservation and read all website info
4) Join/Like our Facebook pages – Greyhound Gang & Greyhound Gathering – Kanab
5) Sign up for Newsletter notifications

Really Early Registration is $75 per person. (until 3/4).
Then March 5 – April 15 is $88.
April 15 – May 1 is $110.   This fee defrays some of the costs, it doesn’t cover them.  

Final closing is 5/2. 

Registration includes:
– Three excellent meals and extras – one dinner, two lunches. Reception, Yappy Hour, S’Mores, Cow Tails and more
– Events – Talks, Costume Parade, Blur of Fur, Hike, Angel’s Landing, Best Friends and Wild West Movie Tours & MORE
– Memory Photo (8×10)
– Candid Photos – Digital
– Greyt Read booklet
– Free gifts given to you at each event you attend (total value over $200)
– Prizes at Parade & Blur & Photo Contest and other events (value over $200)
– and more

SPONSORS:

Kane County
– In Memory Of Pat
Kanab City
– Greyhound Gang
Get Up & Go
 – Best Friends
– La Estancia
– Galgos Jubilados
– The Canyons Collection

 

Gathering Sponsors Logos

 

 

 

Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service

National Park Service
National Park Service

On 25 August 2016 the National Park Service celebrates its 100th year serving the United States, her citizens, and the countless visitors to our great nation!

As a way to help citizens and visitors join in the celebration the National Parks will host free days for park goers.  The beginning of the second century stewardship, the National Park Service, will begin with engaging communities in recreation, teaching conservation, and educating others concerning historic preservation programs.

The National Park Service invites all to find your park to discover the programs in your very own back yard, or venture to the many National Parks outside your backyard.

The state of Utah has five National Parks, the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area boasts three of those National Parks:  Zion National ParkBryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park.

Check with the National Park of your choosing to find your park’s free admission day as part of the Centennial Celebration.

Find your park, explore the great outdoors, take park tours to learn all there is to know about these great American historic places!  Go to National Park Service, to plan your visit.

Make sure and check out the National Park Service website to make the most of the centennial celebration!  Find Your Park, find some fun, find quality time to spend with your family, neighbors, friends, and spare an adventure during the Centennial Celebration of the National Park Service as a way to connect with other.

Railroad Resorts Bring Sevier County’s Railroad Past to Life

MPNHA-Press-Release-Sevier-Railroad

The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad is being resurrected in an unusual way in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Partners David Grow and George Jones of Environetics have built a caboose and railroad village at Big Rock Candy Mountain, north of Marysvale in Piute County. In February they received a 50-year lease of the old Denver and Rio Grande Depot from the city of Mt. Pleasant to build a similar resort there.

Jones, a retired railroad union executive with an interest in historic railroading, began collecting cabooses several years ago. About six years ago he approached Grow with the idea of turning them into a unique resort.

After several years of planning, last year the pair opened the Track 89 Caboose Village Resort at Big Rock Candy Mountain with three railroad cars. This year they have seven and next year they hope to have 10. The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area recently awarded the project a $25,000 grant for landscaping and parking.

Grow said it is unlikely the Mt. Pleasant facility will be open this season since major work needs to be done to prepare the site and move the railroad cars into place. He is very excited about the location, however.

“We’ve always loved that old depot and looked into moving it further down Highway 89 but found it was too expensive,” Grow said.

In 1977 the building was rescued from demolition by a group of local citizens who wanted to preserve it and had it moved to its present location from 500 West and Main.

The new location is ideal, Grow said. “It has great visibility, right on Highway 89. We will make sure that no lodging will block the beautiful view of the terrific old depot.” Grow said the Mt Pleasant site could eventually have as many as 15 rail cars.

He said they plan to incorporate several historic elements into the resort, but they have not yet determined if that will be in the setting of a small museum or as enhancements to the railroad cars themselves.

While some have suggested that the pair open a similar resort in Thistle in Utah County, Grow said that the Utah County planning department is not open to the idea.

“It would be like trying to push a river upstream,” he said.

MPNHA Director Monte Bona sees these two resorts as a first step to bringing about a railroad museum and interpretive center in the area, one of the goals of the MPNHA’s management plan.

“The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area reached the high threshold for national designation by articulating the thesis that Mormon colonization played a major role in the development of the West. The coming of the railroad era had a signifi cant impact that needs to be interpreted, displayed and conveyed as a crucial part of the Mormon country story,” he said.

The railroad first came to the Sevier Valley in 1893 when the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad expanded its line from Chester to Manti , connecting it with its Valley Line at Thistle Junction via Mt. Pleasant and from Manti to Marysvale.

At its peak, the line ferried passengers to Richfield where tour companies would meet the train at Marysvale and take tourists to Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. For several decades it spurred economic growth in the area, especially in the livestock trade.

However, as automobiles grew in popularity, the railroad began to wane. In 1949, D&RGW dropped passenger service in the area. From then until the Thistle mudslide of 1982 shut down the line completely, the line primarily carried freight. Aft er the mudslide the D&RGW determined it would not be cost-effective to restore the line, which had been operating at a loss for decades.

Now, with the Environetics projects, railroad buff s and families will have a unique opportunity to experience a taste of the rich railroading history of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.

For more information, contact or MPNHA Director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065 or David Grow at 801-375-9090.

###

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89

ANNOUNCING EVERY KID IN A PARK

every kid in a park

The Federal Land Management agencies, National Parks, National Park Service, Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the White House have joined together in a partnership to initiate the EVERY KID IN A PARK incentive.  This program is designed to give every fourth grader and their families to visit all our country’s natural treasures.  The history of our great country can engage each student to enjoy the beauty, culture, and enjoy the federal lands and waters free of charge.

This initiative began 01 September 2015 and ends on August 31, 2016.  The free pass allows free access to the national forests, national parks, and national wildlife refuges, and so much more.

nps_arrowhead_300The National Park Foundation which is the nation’s official charity for the National Parks has been raising funds to work with connecting the fourth graders of our nation to have free access to all of  public land and waters in America.  A division of the Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program, is designed to remove stumbling blocks for our fourth graders admission into the wonderlands of our natural parks and water ways.   The Every Kid in a Park initiative has been designed for students in under served and urban communities.  Due to the schools wide cutbacks in funding for grants for fields trips, the strategic funding will hopefully provide a learning experience for all fourth graders and their families.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is the only Federally recognized Heritage Area with three National Parks.

These are: Bryce Canyon National Park: Boulder Loop District

Sunset from the Sunset Point area at Capitol Reef Ray Mathis/NPS
Sunset from the Sunset Point area at Capitol Reef
Ray Mathis/NPS

Capitol Reef National Park in the Boulder Loop District

double rainbow

Zion National Park: Under the Rim District.

Zion National Park
Zion National Park

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Assists 30 Projects in the Past Year

Mormon-Pioneer-Heritage-Press-Release-year-end-report-03-03-2016

For more information: Monte Bona Director, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

801-699-5065 Email: montebona@hotmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2016

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is making significant strides. During the recently completed annual reporting period, the MPNHA granted $235,000 for 30 projects, including the restoration of the Casino Star Theatre in Gunnison ($25,000); the first phase of restoration of a Civilian Conservation Corp. and World War II POW camp in Salina ($25,000); rehabilitation work on Miss Mary’s Historic School in Salina ($10,000); and restoration of Pierce Hall at Wasatch Academy ($15,000).

During the year, the MPNHA worked with partners from both the public and private sectors including the Utah Division of State History, the Casino Star Theatre Foundation, the Miss Mary’s Museum Committee, Salina City and Wasatch Academy supporters.

Along with these projects, the MPNHA published “Legends, Lore and True Tales in Mormon Country,” a collection of stories about the lives and experiences of people who settled Sanpete County. The volume has been placed in libraries and book stores both in the heritage area and along the Wasatch Front.

Work continued on MPNHA’s “Discovery Road” TV series with release of new episodes titled, “Wales and Outlaw Ways” and “Snow College Story.”

In 2016, the MPNHA will help fund restoration of the historic Mt. Pleasant City Hall and Armory ($5,000) along with providing continued funds ($10,000) for the restoration of the historic administration building on the Wasatch Academy campus.

It will also provide funding for architectural work for the third phase of the Escalante Hole-in-the-Rock Heritage Center ($5,000), for phase four of the Mt. Pleasant Equestrian Center ($5,000) and to help develop a biking trail at the Jacob Hamblin Park in Kanab ($5,000).

Additionally, work is already in progress on an episode of “Discovery Road” to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. The MPNHA annual 2015 report can be found at

http://www.mormonpioneerheritage.org/report-mormon-pioneer-nationalheritage/

### The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.

Here’s The Ultimate Terrifying Southern Utah Road Trip And It’ll Haunt Your Dreams

Here’s The Ultimate Terrifying Southern Utah Road Trip

And It’ll Haunt Your Dreams

from www.onlyinyourstate.com by Katherine Rees on February 25, 2016.

Although not all of the locations listed are in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, many have connections with the heritage area.  Of the nine featured by Only In My State. Rees identified Salina, Sevier County, Marysvale, Piute County, Kanab, Kane County, and Grafton, Washington County in the Under The Rim Heritage Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area in Southern Utah that are reportedly haunted.  To check out the additional featured location visit www.onlyinyourstate.com.

Follow my road trip on Google Maps, and feel free to add a few extra spots, if you’d like.

Little Hollywood Shootout Quick

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/utah/terrifying-southern-ut-road-trip/

Kelly Stowell <stowell@kanab.net> of the Utah Film Commission
Date: Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM
Subject: Little Hollywood Shootout

Quick Turn Around Film Competition Kicks Off

March 16, 2016 at High Noon in Kanab

Little Hollywood Shootout Quick Turn Around Film Competition

Kicks Off March 16, 2016 at High Noon in Kanab During the Shamrocks and Redrocks Festival

KANAB, Utah – The unmistakable landscape found in the Kanab area has made this part of southern Utah a favorite destination for filmmakers since the 1920’s. In line with this great filmmaking tradition, the annual “Little Hollywood Shootout,” kicks off at the historic Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The “shootout” is a quick-turnaround film challenge requiring filmmakers to produce a short film with Kanab area locations as the backdrop.kanab-700x467

At high noon on March 16, 2016 film production requirements including locations and a theme will be revealed to participants. Competitors will then have 49.5 hours to write, direct, edit, and complete a five-minute film. Film submissions are due at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 18, 2016 either in person or online. The shootout films will then be premiered at a community screening and awards ceremony in the evening on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the Crescent Moon Theater during the “Redrocks and Shamrocks” festival in Kanab.

John Wayne and John Ford's favorite place to film westerns.
John Wayne and John Ford’s favorite place to film westerns.

“The shootout is the thunder dome of quick turnaround film challenges, and in addition to building on the film heritage of southern Utah, the competition provides aspiring filmmakers an opportunity to produce a film in the same place where film legends like John Ford and Clint Eastwood also worked,” explained Kane County Film Commissioner, Kelly Stowell, one of the organizers and founder of the event. “Coupled with the Shamrocks and Redrocks festival, Kanab is the place to be for the Saint Patrick’s day weekend. We have a great event planned this year and are looking forward to a fun filled weekend,” commented Stowell.

john wayne fort apache

 

 

Prospective filmmakers of all ages from beginners to veterans are invited to take part in the challenge. Two divisions are available for participants with one category intended for novice filmmakers of all ages looking to gain experience and the other division is designed for competitors who have experience with film production. Primary filming locations are required to take place in Kane County, but editing and post-production can take place at the participants desired location.

 

Films are due at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 18, 2016 and can be turned in through a revealed online medium or films can be submitted in person back at the Parry Lodge at the time of the deadline.Parry Lodge

Sponsors of the event include AT&T, Kane County Office of Tourism and Film Commission, Center for Education, Business, and the Arts, Kanab City, and the Utah Film Commission. “We appreciate our sponsors and this event would not be possible without their tremendous contributions to the shootout,” said Stowell.

Cresent Moon TheaterFestivities of the Little Hollywood Shootout conclude with film premiers and awards ceremony taking place at Kanab’s Crescent Moon Theater, showcasing submitted films on the evening of Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm. Community members and participants are strongly encouraged and invited to attend.

For more information about the Little Hollywood Shootout or to register your team, visit www.littlehollywoodshootout.org or call 4358990443.

For more information about “Shamrocks and Redrocks” visit http://www.visitsouthernutah.com/Shamrocks_and_Redrocks_site

 

Pictured: Filmmakers are presented with money, awards, and awesome trophies at the 2015 Little Hollywood Shootout at the Crescent Moon Theater in Kanab.

Wasatch Academy Student, Sonita Alizadah’s Life Story Is Premiering At The Sundance Film Festival

January 24, 2016

KSL Reporter, Ray Boone

MT. PLEASANT, Sanpete County —

Utah student nearly sold for $9K subject of Sundance documentary Sonita story

Geometry is a language many of us have trouble understanding, but imagine trying to comprehend it when you can’t understand a word the teacher’s speaking.

It was about a year ago that Sonita Alizadah first set foot in America, and began learning the language, mainly though pictures. She likens her experience to being deaf.

“You know, what do you call them?” she asked with a smile. “They speak with their hands.”

wasatch academy picSonita attends Wasatch Academy, a small school in the small town of Mt. Pleasant in central Utah.

Sonita at desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I love it!” she said. “Especially Wasatch, because Wasatch is the first real school for me. I have never been in a real school before.”

Sonita came here from Iran, but that country isn’t her home. Her family fled there from Afghanistan when she was a child.

“I don’t have any happy story, except shooting in the night, and a picture of Taliban in my mind,” she said.

Sonita had a cleaning job in Iran, which she likens to child labor.

“Life wasn’t easy because I was a refugee who didn’t have any papers or ID,” she said.

Sundance documentary

Her life in Iran is the subject of a documentary showing at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film bears her name, “Sonita.” One of its central events is when she receives a visit from her mother, who still lives in Afghanistan.

“My family decided to sell me,” Sonita said.

In Afghanistan, forced marriage is common. Sonita says it’s a tradition. Her mother wanted to sell her for $9,000, planning to use the money to buy a bride for Sonita’s brother.

“Forced marriage is like going to death for me,” she said.

Sonita isn’t your typical girl from Afghanistan. In fact, she’s not your typical girl from Iran, either. She’s gained quite a bit of notoriety all on her own through her music. Sonita’s a rapper — she first learned of rap music when she saw Eminem on television.

“I couldn’t understand him, what he was saying, but I realized I can tell something like him,” she said. “I can say my story like him, very fast.”

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS TO PERFORM THEIR UNIQUE TALENTS AT SNOW COLLEGE

2016_globie_birthday_bash

Harlem Globetrotters

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 at 7:00 P.M.

The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Ephraim on their 90TH ANNIVERSARY world tour. Snow College will host the world renown team as they perform their unique and entertaining style of basketball.

Harlem Globetrotters have thrill their fans in over 122 countries.

The Globetrotters have a history spanning 90 years of delighting and thrilling audiences around the globe.  They began their iconic style of entertaining in 1926 under the name as the Savoy Big Five. They later became the Harlem Globetrotters and after more than 20,000 games they proudly are have the distinction as the most  recognized sports franchise in the world.   They display their talents with their unique skills that have amazed audiences for the last 90 years.  Whether you are an avid basketball fan or enjoy a good evening of fun, you will not want to miss this exciting event.team.

Snow College Activity Center in Ephraim, Horne Activity Center
350 E Center St
Ephraim, UT, 84627

Contact: Buy Tickets Online Below

http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/event/harlem-globetrotters-snow-college-gymnasium

Harlem

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Makes KSL Great Outdoors List

The KSL Five Panoramas You’ll Only Find In Utah by KSL.com Contributor Mike Godfrey, was posted on Nov 25th, 2015 .  The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Makes KSL Great Outdoors List with two of their heritage areas.  The Goblin Valley State Park and Zion National Park.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Utah is a land of diverse and breathtaking vistas filled with mind-boggling stone formations and capped with snow-covered peaks. Each day Utah’s varied landscapes put on a stunning display.

For the willing explorer and homebody alike, Utah has so much to offer. Here’s just a handful of interesting tidbits and panoramas highlighting some of Utah’s incredible outdoor treasures, beginning with a landscape that has helped make Utah an outdoor traveler’s paradise.

Sunset at Goblin Valley State Park in March. (Photo: Mike Godfrey, At Home in Wild Spaces)
Sunset at Goblin Valley State Park in March. (Photo: Mike Godfrey, At Home in Wild Spaces)

Goblin Valley is named for a unique collection of geological formations called hoodoos, which have been nicknamed “goblins.” Near the southern end of the San Raphael Swell, Goblin Valley’s delicate wonders have been featured in films, international news and countless family memories. It’s an otherworldly landscape as unique as any, and found only in Utah.

View of Zion Canyon from Scout's Look Out in Zion National Park. (Photo: Mike Godfrey, At Home in Wild Spaces )
View of Zion Canyon from Scout’s Look Out in Zion National Park. (Photo: Mike Godfrey, At Home in Wild Spaces )

Along with a human history of more than 12,000 years and a dramatic world-renowned landscape of mesmerizing verticality, Zion National Park can also claim the distinction of being Utah’s very first national park.

Named Zion (which means the City of God/sanctuary) by early European-American pioneers, this one-of-a-kind Utah landscape is home to some of the world’s tallest sandstone cliffs, which dwarf even the continent’s tallest man-made structures. This red rock wonderland located in southwestern Utah is also home to an incredible number of world-renowned hikes including the Zion Narrows, Angel’s Landing and the Subway.

For these and many more reasons, Zion National Park is nearly always listed as one of North America’s most visited national parks.

When visiting these beautiful, unique landscapes, remember to always tread lightly, leave no trace and have fun. A landscape as beautiful, rugged and diverse as Utah, merits equal-parts adventure, appreciation respect and preservation.

 

Mike Godfrey is a graduate of BYU, and along with his wife Michelle, the owner/manager of At Home in Wild Spaces: an outdoor recreation website, blog and community dedicated to sharing national parks, wilderness areas, hiking/biking trails, and more.

Celebrate An Old Fashioned Christmas in Mt. Pleasant City Of Lights Festival

 

 

The Annual Lighting of the City Lights in Mt, Pleasant will be held on Saturday, November 28, 2015 on Main Street.  The festivities will begin at 4:00 PM and the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus is slated for 4:15 PM.

At 5:30 PM the lights will be turned on with the accompany of Fireworks.  It is a sight to behold!

Come join in the Spirit of Christmas, with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Hayrides, Hot Chocolate, Cookies, and Entertainment by the Mt. Pleasant Elementary Children.

Sat, Nov 28, 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Mt Pleasant Main Street

Celebrate an Old Fashioned Christmas!

Santa & Mrs. Clause

Fireworks

Children’s games with prizes

Hayrides

Hot chocolate & cookies

Entertainment by Mt Pleasant Elementary children

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Has 4 Best Main Streets

These 13 Towns in Utah Have the Best Main Streets You’ve Gotta Visit

There’s just something about the Main Street in any town. It’s often part of the town’s historic district, and typically features some of the oldest buildings in the area. The best Main Streets are bustling, vibrant places where members of the community, along with visitors, shop, eat and mingle. Here are a few of Utah’s best Main Streets; maybe you’ve visited some of them recently!

Which Main Streets did I miss? Share your favorite in the comments.

5 Areas In The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Make The List

Some places in Utah look similar to what we think other planets might be like. So much so, that several science fiction movies and tv shows have been filmed here! The next time you find yourself in one of these 15 places in Utah, use your imagination a little… can you picture what it would be like to emerge from a spacecraft onto this landscape?

Number 5 on the list was the GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT located in the  Boulder Loop District.  Is it any wonder this National Monument was recognized!

In the 12th position is CORAL PINK SAND DUNES STATE PARK located in the Under The Rim Area.  The beauty of the sand dunes is the perfect location for any alien like location.
Number 13 is the breath taking GLEN CANYON within the Capitol Reef National Park also in the Boulder Loop District.

Jenna Bush Hager and mom Laura Bush to write children’s book together

Laura and Jenna Bush

“I’m thrilled to announce that my daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, and I are writing another children’s book, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD will show kids all our National Parks have to offer. Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD will be published in May 2016, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Park Foundation“, stated Laura Bush

 TODAY correspondent Ree Hines announced that Jenna Bush Hager and her mom, former first lady Laura Bush, are teaming up to co-write their second children’s book together.

According to the Associated Press, in May 2016, Harper Collins will publish “Our Great Big Backyard,” a new picture book that focuses on one young girl who learns to really see what’s around her.

Jane, the character at the heart of the story, embarks on a road trip with her family to see the national parks, and soon she’s “paying attention to the majestic sights and spending less time looking at her screen.”

The subject matter is near and dear to both of the authors. Jenna is now a mother to two daughters — 2-year-old Mila and 2-month-old Poppy — herself. And Laura Bush serves as an honorary co-chairwoman, alongside current First Lady Michelle Obama, for the National Park Service centennial celebration next year.

“I’ve hiked with childhood friends in the parks for years,” Laura Bush said in a statement given to the Associated Press. “Jenna accompanied me on a float trip through the Grand Canyon and rode a horse for the first time when she was 3 near the Big Bend National Park. I want all children to go outside, play in nature, and explore America’s magnificent sites with their families.”

Ree Hines, Today

There’s Something Incredible About These 8 Rivers in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

For a desert state, Utah has a surprisingly large number of rivers! This is by no means a comprehensive list; I’ve tried to include a sampling of rivers from all parts of the state.

Did I miss your favorite Utah river?

RICHFIELD LITTLE WONDER CAFE MAKES THE 12 AWESOME DINERS IN UTAH LIST

In an article posted in Utah October 17, 2015 by  entitled 

These 12 Awesome Diners in Utah Will Make You Feel Right at Home,

The Little Wonder Cafe was listed as one of the twelve 

There’s just something about diner food, especially when the temperature starts to cool and comfort meals like meatloaf, mac ‘n cheese and pot roast really hit the spot. Here are just a few of the awesome diners you’ll find in Utah.

As I was compiling this list, I noticed that 8 of the 12 diners are located on their town’s Main Streets! Diners really are the heart of their communities. What’s your favorite diner?

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