Tag Archives: Highway 89

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.

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.

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.

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?

Jewish Community Of Clarion To Be Memorialized In Gunnison, Utah

MPNHA-Press-Release-Clarion-EXTENDED

Linda Petersen

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

801-554-7513

Email: linda@bpmedia.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 11, 2015

Jewish community of Clarion to be memorialized in Gunnison

Gunnison, Utah (Sept. 11, 2015) — Residents of Gunnison Valley are pleased to memorialize an almost forgotten piece of Jewish history in Utah.

What: Clarion historic marker unveiling and program

Where: Legacy Plaza, Main & Center Streets, Gunnison

When: Friday, Sept. 25, 6 p.m.

The story of the ill-fated Jewish Agricultural and Colonial Associati on’s agricultural colony in Clarion, five miles southwest of Gunnison, will be summarized in a historic marker on Gunnison’s Legacy Plaza. The historic marker will be unveiled on Friday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m.

“The colonization of Clarion was an important part of the history of Gunnison Valley. The Clarion Legacy Kiosk, placed in Gunnison’s Legacy Plaza, will recognize that contribution and stand as a lasting tribute to the courage and determination of the Jewish people of Clarion,” said Lori Nay, former mayor of Gunnison who helped orchestrate the project.

The ceremony will include original music from the Clarion Centennial Pageant of 2011 performed by Clive Romney of Utah Heritage Arts, remarks by dignitaries and refreshments.

Speakers will include Gunnison Mayor Bruce Blackham, Councilman Robert Anderson, Jerry Klinger (Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation), Monte Bona (Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area) and Dr. Robert A. Goldberg, (author of “Back to the Soil: The Jewish Farmers of Clarion, Utah, and Their World”).

Artist rendering of kiosks to be unveiled Sept. 25 in Gunnison. –

2 –

In 1911, Benjamin Brown and 11 other Russian Jewish immigrants arrived in Utah as part of a national movement among Jews to return to the soil. Brown and other community leaders had purchased property from the Utah State Board of Land Commissioners after being disappointed by high land prices in New Mexico and Colorado.

At the turn of the century the Jewish immigrant population in New York and Philadelphia was looking for a way out of the poverty-filled tenements. Brown and others hoped a return to the land would free Jews from the poverty of the cities and allow them to be self-reliant. The Clarion colony was one of 40 that sprang up across the U.S. around that time.

Brown and association partner Isaac Herbst had purchased a 6,000-acre parcel of land with water rights for $69,000, with 10 percent down and a 10-year balance. The 5-mile-long-by-3-mile-wide property was a half mile from the Sevier River and close to the expected route of the future Piute Canal.

They were led to believe that it was “choice, arable land,” but soon discovered that it was instead clay-based and difficult to cultivate. Still they moved forward, planting oats, corn, alfalfa and wheat.

Over the next five years, the colony, which they named Clarion, struggled to survive. More immigrants arrived, and the community grew to 200 people. But the colony was doomed from the start.

Just two of the colonists had any farming experience. The community lacked sufficient water for the crops, even when the promised Piute Canal was brought out to Clarion. When they built a cistern to store water for livestock it collapsed because it had been improperly constructed.

The first-year crops were so meager that the community could not make its loan payment, but Brown and got an extension from the state, a loan from the Gunnison Bank and $5,000 from Utah Colonization Fund bonds purchased by Salt Lake City’s Jewish population, along with $2,000 in donated lumber.

That kept the colony going, but extreme weather conditions took their toll. The colonists, who had been led to believe that the climate in Sanpete County was temperate, were surprised by heavy snowfall the first winter, subsequent heavy summer storms and runoff, and the area’s short growing season.

Neighboring Mormon farmers greeted the colonists with a welcoming dinner, and over the life of Clarion, shared harvesting and threshing chores. They shared the drought years too, but being accustomed to local conditions, the Mormons had an easier time.

At a 2011 Clarion reunion, Allen Frandsen of Centerfield speaks with former Clarion resident Lillian Brown Vogel, who was 102 at the time. Clarion was the daughter of the settlement’s founder, Benjamin Brown. Vogel lived in Clarion until she was five years old.

The challenges facing Jewish settlers who came to Clarion in the early 1900s with virtually no farming experience were many, and, to honor their perserverance, a memorial plaque will be unveiled on Friday, Sept. 25, in Gunnison. –

3 –

In November 1915, the State Land Board foreclosed on the Jewish property and most residents were forced to leave Clarion. Most returned to the East but several remained in Utah as farmers, entrepreneurs, and merchants. Benjamin Brown, for example, founded Utah Poultry Producers Coop which became Norbest and IFA, and Maurice Warshaw established the Grand Central stores in Salt Lake City.

Despite the hardships, many of the colony’s families retained positive memories of their experiences in Clarion that have been passed along to their descendants.

Utah author Eileen Hallet Stone wrote a telling and touching story about Clarion in “Legends, Lore and True Tales in Mormon Country,” published by The History Press. She concludes her chapter with this insight: “Today, Clarion is a fragment of history. Its land still lies fallow. But the memories of Jewish farmers adapting to a new world, learning a new language, taking great risks and earning a new life remain miraculously intact.”

Mormon Pioneer Nati onal Heritage Area Director Monte Bona said, “The Mormon Pioneer Nati onal Heritage Area keeps those memories alive by establishing a memorial to the brave Jewish pioneers who gave their all in the pursuit of a Utopian dream. May that dream never die in the hearts of their descendants and all people who honor the courage, faith and hope of those who dare to do great things even when failure looms. Picking up, starting over, learning and moving on to new horizons and new experiences constitute the essence of what it took to colonize the West.”

The historic marker pays tribute to all the colonists, to their courage, strength and determination, and to their lasting impact on Gunnison Valley and Utah.

For more information, contact MPNHA Director Monte Bona at 801-699-50657 or Project Director Lori Nay.

###

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.

The Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns In Utah for 2015

Here Are The Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns In Utah

Utah has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few decades; once small towns have grown to medium-sized ones (at least by Utah standards). Of course, you can still find many beautiful little towns across the state. This list isn’t meant to be a “Best Of.” It’s simply a list of a few small towns we think are great (in no particular order!). We chose towns with populations between 612 and 5,130, though many residents living in towns with populations of 10,000 or even 20,000 might enjoy that small-town atmosphere.

 

Pioneer Day ‘Birthday Bash’ Celebrates Mt. Pleasant’s Founding Fathers and U.S. Highway 89 Designation

DATE 03/13/2007 12:41 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Pioneer Day ‘Birthday Bash’ Celebrates Mt. Pleasant’s Founding Fathers
and U.S. Highway 89 Designation

Mt. Pleasant City is throwing a party March 24 for its founding fathers and to celebrate the designation of U.S. Highway 89 as a national historical designation.

“Every year, we honor the people who made this city what it is today with a special Pioneer Day luncheon,” says Joann Winward, a member of the Mt. Pleasant Historical Association, which sponsors the annual event.

“This year, we have another thing to celebrate: the passage of the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage area, which recognizes the historical significance and heritage of U.S. Highway 89. So we decided to make the highway the theme of this year’s party.”

The theme of the luncheon is “Keep on Truckin’ Down U.S. Highway 89.” The event starts at 11 a.m. with a box lunch at at noon at the South Ward “Yellow Church,” 295 S. State Street in Mt. Pleasant.

U.S. Highway 89 has a rich history in Sanpete County, Winward says. It was the route the region’s early settlers used in 1860 to take cattle for the winter to Sevier Valley. In 1862, oats were delivered to Ruby Valley by wagons and oxen teams via this route, and it soon became the main road for mail delivery.

In July of 1861, Brigham Young authorized spending $4,000 from tithing funds to complete U.S. Highway 89 so that it ran from Sanpete County to Spanish Fork, and it officially opened to the public in 1882.

Today, the cities and towns in the six-county area are the best remaining example of how Mormon pioneers colonized the west. A bill establishing the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area was signed into law by President George W. Bush last fall. Many local residents spent years working on the measure and even helped draft the original bill.

The national designation recognizes the history, architecture and culture along “the heritage highway,” and includes U.S. Highway 89 from Fairview to Kanab, the Boulder Loop (state highways 12 and 24), the All-American Road (highway 12) and the six counties through which the route passes: Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.

“In my time, boys could hitch hike along U.S. Highway 89 to visit girls in the surrounding towns of Fairview and Spring City,” Winward says. “By the time we graduated form high school, we would ‘drag’ the highway in our cars.”

People are invited to swap stories about the highway, and the region’s history in general, during the Pioneer Day luncheon. The event will also include a reception, silent auction, bake sale, and musical performances by the Snow College L.D. Singers. Cost for the box lunch is $7. There will also be copies of Mt. Pleasant history books for purchase.

“There is a little bit of something for everyone,” Winward says. “It’s a way for us to honor the pioneers who settled the area. We invite anyone who has ever lived in Mt. Pleasant to attend, and anyone who is interested in Mt. Pleasant to attend.”

The annual celebratory lunch is one of the two main programs supported by the Mt. Pleasant Historical Association. The group also looks after Relic House, a museum that displays relics ranging from pioneer quilts and clothing to blacksmith shop tools and equipment. Relic House was one of the first homes in Mt. Pleasant to be built outside of the fort that housed the area’s first settlers. It was built by William S. Seely, who was the first LDS bishop and also the town’s first mayor.

Mt. Pleasant City was officially founded in 1859. Nearly two-thirds of the city’s earliest settlers were Scandinavian pioneers who immigrated to Utah from Canada, the United States and England.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Snowkite ‘Masters’ Moving to Sanpete County

DATE 07/07/2006 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Snowkite ‘Masters’ Moving to Sanpete County

One of the only companies in the world that makes and sells equipment especially for the growing sport of snowkiting is moving its headquarters to Sanpete County.

Windzup, owned by Brian and Heather Schenck, will be moving into the industrial park in Mt. Pleasant. The company is purchasing a four-acre parcel of land and will relocate its primary offices and distribution warehouse.

“This will create a new world headquarters for Windzup, with all operations based in Sanpete County,” Schenck says. “In addition to corporate offices, Windzup will host our nationwide distribution facilities and in-house marketing at this new location.”

Snowkiting involves large kites pulling a skier or snowboarder across the snow. It’s a relatively new sport, about five of six years old, but it’s one of the fastest-growing sports around.

And one of the most popular destinations for snowkiting enthusiasts is Sanpete County, especially Skyline Drive, which has an altitude of 9800 feet and is located up Fairview Canyon.

“It’s at the top of a mountain range, the snow and wind conditions are excellent, and it has mind-blowing terrain. It’s ideal. Skyline Drive has quickly become known in snowkiting circles as THE best spot in North America,” Schenck says.

He and his wife, Heather, “discovered” Skyline Drive for themselves a couple of years ago while searching for locations for good snowkiting. They were impressed by the acres of open flats and hills of every angle and direction. “It offered the perfect ride, no matter what,” he says.

This past winter, Schneck helped coordinate the Ozone Snowkite Masters that was held along Skyline Drive. The public event was hosted by France’s Guillaume “Chasta” Chastagnol, one of the top snowkiters in the world. It featured races, demonstrations, freestyle and backcountry riding, clinics and workshops, information on the latest technology and more.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Snowmobilers to ‘Shootout’ at Fairview Canyon March 30 – April 1

DATE 02/21/2006 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Snowmobilers to ‘Shootout’ at Fairview Canyon March 30 – April 1

Some 600 to 800 snowmobiling enthusiasts from the United States and Canada will gather in Fairview March 30 to April 1 for the 10th annual Skyline Snowmobile Shootout

“People come from all over to attend this event,” says organizer Bruce Kahlhamer, who owns PSI in Ogden. “We get riders from Wisconsin, Minnesota and even from Canada. Sometimes they drive eight to 20 hours straight to get here.”

The popular weekend event is held at the top of Fairview Canyon at the end of Skyline Drive. It includes plenty of “shootouts,” where snowmobilers travel at a high rate of speed and race each other up hills. “People tend to race against those who have similar makes of snowmobiles, so everyone gets a chance and there is something for everyone. So bring your sleds and enjoy a couple of days,” Kahlhamer says.

There is no set schedule for the events, as most of the races are impromptu, he adds. People tend to start gathering around mid-morning and stay throughout the day.

Kahlhamer says the shootout started casually about a decade ago. “Friends and customers would get together for some fun and for some racing, and every year, it got more and more competitive. Pretty soon, it became a full-blown, annual event where people started coming out with their high-performance snowmobiles.”

In addition to races and other activities, producers such as Yamaha will be on hand to display the latest sleds and equipments. For more information on the event, contact Kahlhamer at (801) 393-1010.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Newspaper Editor Living Her Small-Town Dream

DATE 02/21/2006 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Newspaper Editor Living Her Small-Town Dream

As a child, Suzanne Dean, editor and publisher of the Sanpete Messenger, dreamed of running her own newspaper and living in a small town.

“I grew up in Salt Lake City, but I spent quite a bit of time at my grandparents’ house in Joseph City, Arizona, then a town of about 500,” Dean says. “My grandmother’s house fronted on Route 66. In Joseph City, I got a taste of a close-knit town, everybody pitching in on community projects, and an environment where a wide spectrum of types of people were accepted in the community. I think that’s where I started thinking about someday living in a small town.”

Dean achieved her goal of running a newspaper early in life. When she was only 12 years old she started a neighborhood paper with the help of some friends. But it took a bit longer for her to realize her small-town dreams. “I had always thought Manti and Ephraim were some of the nicest small towns along U.S. 89 – in fact in the whole state,” Dean says. “I had thought several times that if the Ephraim Enterprise/Manti Messenger combination came up for sale, I would be interested.”

But there were a few things that Dean needed to do first, starting with going to college. She spent her freshman year at Utah State University where she enrolled in a class on community journalism. “I think that’s where I started thinking about buying weekly newspaper.” She later transferred to the University of Utah, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Following graduation, Dean did the exact opposite of moving to small town – she went to New York City. She enrolled at Columbia University and graduated with a master’s degree in journalism.

“Between Columbia and buying the Messenger, I did a bunch of things,” Dean says. That included working at the Deseret News and Standard-Examiner newspapers, teaching journalism at both the University of Idaho and University of Wyoming, working on a PhD in communications, and working for the University of Utah’s public relations department for seven years and for Magellan Behavioral Health, a national corporation, for a decade.

“By the time I left the U of U Public Relations Department in 1992, I was getting pretty serious about the weekly newspaper idea,” Dean says. “When I got to Magellan, I started putting money away for it.”

Then one day, she heard that Max Call, the then-owner of the Manti Messenger and Ephraim Enterprise, was putting his newspapers up for sale. “I decided to write Max a letter telling him about myself and my interest in buying a weekly newspaper.”

The two signed an agreement in the fall of 2000 and in March 2001, Dean arrived in town to take over the reins. “I recruited stringers from throughout the county, started covering all the town council meetings and both the North Sanpete and South Sanpete school boards, and started soliciting subscriptions from all towns in Sanpete County, not just Manti and Ephraim.”

In September, 2003, with quite a bit of fanfare, Dean changed the name of the paper to the Sanpete Messenger. One of her goals was to expand the paper countywide, so in August, 2004, she bought the Gunnison Valley News and Salina Sun, the latter of which she later sold to “friendly owners” with whom she has some business arrangements.

“In the past five years I believe we’ve given the community a taste of a much more professional newspaper,” she says. Before Dean came on board, most of the newspapers in the county relied heavily on reader submissions. “Anybody could bring in a self-written article. The paper would edit it a little, but for the most part, they’d print it verbatim. Occasionally, the papers would send someone out to take pictures of a car wreck. But for the most part, they didn’t cover the news,” she says.

“Now we put a huge effort into covering the news. We take on controversial issues, including naming names, and write hard-hitting editorials. Since I came to town, we’ve covered a hurricane, a bank collapse, a multi-million embezzlement that led to the bank collapse, published school administrator’s salaries and reported on a negative state audit of the Student Life area at Snow College,” she says.

The efforts of Dean and her staff have been validated by their professional colleagues. The paper has won the “general excellence” award in its circulation category for four consecutive years. Staff members have also earned four National Newspaper Association awards in areas such as spot news, editorial page and investigative reporting. In addition, Salt Lake City’s City Weekly named the Sanpete Messenger the “Best Feisty Rural Newspaper.” And in March, Dean will be inducted in the Daily Utah Chronicle’s Hall of Fame, where she will take her place alongside fellow members Sen. Bob Bennett and Fred Kempe of the Wall Street Journal.

But success has not come easily. “Some local people don’t like our approach-they think we should only report ‘good news’ and shouldn’t embarrass local people by reporting on their mistakes.”

Dean has also had to spend a lot of time at work. “For the first five years, I worked 80-90 hours per week. That virtually always translated to a seven-day work week. This year, I’m trying to cut back, take a little personal time, and get some rest on weekends. Still, I invariably put in way more than a 60-hour week.”

Dean still edits the paper, writes much of the news, and oversees all of the business matters, sales and marketing. “Being an independent weekly newspaper publisher is a very tough job, especially in a market such as Sanpete County where there are competing newspapers,” Dean says.

“But like other small business owners, I guess, I continue to forge ahead, grapple with the editorial and business crises as they hit, strategize about expansion, and try to turn the strategies into action.”

All of her hard work is producing results. The newspaper’s circulation today is at least two and a half times its circulation when she took over, and its revenues are up 85 percent. Dean’s future goals include setting up newspaper offices in three regions of the county: Gunnison Valley, Manti-Ephraim and North Sanpete, and expanding the paper to include two sections, one containing countywide news and the other news from the respective regions. She also strives to live up to her company’s mission statement that promises to make the Sanpete Messenger “the best little newspaper in America.” “I plan to visit newspapers around the country that have won national “general excellence” awards to learn how they achieve such remarkable news products,” Dean says.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Popular Scandinavian Festival Set For May 25-27

DATE 02/21/2006 7:15 AMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Popular Scandinavian Festival Set For May 25-27

Ephraim’s annual Scandinavian Heritage Festival and Conference, believed to be the largest Scandinavian heritage event in the Western United States, is set for May 25 to 27. The popular event attracts more than 10,000 people to Sanpete County, many of whom travel along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway.

The festival is an opportunity for people to learn about the influence of Scandinavians in Utah, and experience art and culture and authentic cuisine. Many local residents dress in Scandinavian costume. The festival runs Thursday evening until 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Highlights include a heritage conference, story telling, “Old World” craft booths and demonstrations, a Little Denmark supper, entertainment, sporting activities, a quilt show, historical tours, craft booths, a parade and more. Most events are held at Snow College, 150 E. College Ave. (100 North) or Pioneer Park (enter at about 50 N. 100 West).

“Old World Craft Booths,” are educational exhibits of crafts dating back to Ephraim’s Scandinavian ancestors. There will be demonstrations of Old World crafts, including blacksmithing, woodcarving, pottery making, rug weaving, bobbin lace making and more from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in front of the Noyes Building at Snow College.

In addition, there will be more than 40 modern craft booths that will line College Avenue (100 North) between 100 and 300 East starting at noon on Friday until Saturday at 6 p.m.

On Friday, events include children’s dance performance at 11 a.m., storytelling at 2 p.m where costumed performers will tell Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales and give presentations on the author and artist; bread baking and karioke contests at 2:30 p.m. and a 6 p.m. softball tournament, followed by the Little Scandinavian Supper at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, there is a 5K race at 8 .m., a Lions Club breakfast at 8 a.m., musical performances, historical tours, puppet shows and more storytelling, and a parade that starts at 10 a.m. down Main Street. Entertainers that day include Nancy Hansen, Lincoln Highway, the Pfat Olde Professors, Pistol Rock and The Amazing Greys.

One special highlight of the festival is a Scandinavian history conference at Snow College, which runs Thursday night from 6 to 9 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The conference seeks to inform participants about the culture and contributions of the Mormon pioneers, particularly those who immigrated from Scandinavia.

This year’s conference will include a presentation by Kari Main, a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Yale University, on what relics and artifacts teach about the pioneers. Another presentation by Rick Matthews, president of the Icelandic Society of Utah, will address Scandinavian genealogical research. Additionally, a panel discussion is planned on the history of Ephraim’s pioneer power system, which is celebrating its centennial this year. There is no charge and advance registration is not required. For more information, contact Kim Cragun at 435-283-4747. A complete schedule of events is available online at www.ScandinavianHeritageFestival.com

Some 650,000 Utahans trace their ancestry to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Sanpete County’s culture has been greatly influenced by settlers who arrived first in the Salt Lake Valley from the Scandinavian countries and then were assigned to colonize central Utah. Many were farmers, carpenters, stone masons, cabinetmakers and furniture builders. The architecture of their farm buildings, cabins and houses were influenced by construction techniques and building forms from back home, a uniqueness that is still present today.
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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Holiday Celebrations Set for Sanpete County

DATE 12/08/2005 12:43 PMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Holiday Celebrations Set for Sanpete County

The cities and town along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway, are gearing up for this year’s Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, starting this weekend with the historical bed and breakfast tour and annual Messiah concert in Ephraim.

“We want people traveling down the Heritage Highway U.S. 89 to stop off in the cities and towns along the highway for an old-fashioned Christmas,” says Monte Bona, a member of the Utah Highway 89 Alliance.

The annual “Bed & Breakfasts” tour of historical and heritage homes will be held Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Nine bed and breakfasts are taking part this year and are located in Spring City, Ephraim and Manti. Many of the bed and breakfasts are historical structures that have been painstakingly and lovingly restored as bed and breakfasts. A complete listing of bed and breakfasts taking part in the tour are available online atwww.utahheritage.com

On Saturday and Sunday, the Messiah Concert will also be held in Ephraim at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts on the Snow College campus. The 7:30 p.m. concert, which features performances by local residents, as been held every year since 1934. It includes an 50+ player orchestra as well as more than 100 local singers. Every year the concern attracts a wider and larger audience. Local resident Judy Morgan, professor of music theory and director of choral music at Snow College, has directed the performance for more than 20 years. For information, contact Contact Judy Morgan for information, 283-7469.

On Dec. 21, Sanpete County’s “hub” city will hold it annual holiday celebration at 6 p.m. at the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Center on Main Street. The main attraction will be a visit from Santa Claus, who will arrive by fire truck. There will also be refreshments, activities and the annual “big bucks” drawing for a shopping spree at area merchants. “Big Bucks are given out to people who visit local merchants. Santa will draw the name of the winner during the festivities. The winner need not be present to win. There will also be door prizes donated by local businesses and other holiday activities. The event is supported by local businesses in Mt. Pleasant City. For information call (435) 462-2502.

The holiday celebrations will wrap up Dec. 31 with the county’s annual New Year’s eve celebration at 9 p.m. at Manti High School. The 18 and older event is a fund raiser for the community swimming pool. The $5 entrance fee includes food, big band music and a floor show. For more information, contact John or Diane Keeler 835-9421.

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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Star Theater Expands into Family Entertainment Center, Unique Loan Program Provides Assistance

DATE 11/16/2005 8:31 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Star Theater Expands into Family Entertainment Center,
Unique Loan Program Provides Assistance

When you meet the security officer for the Star Theater and Fun Center in Huntington, you quickly realize that you are entering a most unusual operation.

The security guard, Zachary Taylor, is nine years old.

“Zachary is very diligent in helping us keep bicycles parked nearby and working hard to keep things clean and orderly,” laughs Janice Mounteer, who owns the business along with her husband, Percy.

The Star Theater and Fun Center in Huntington is quickly becoming a unique entertainment and educational center for young people and adults in Emery County and adjacent Carbon County. Theater owners Percy and Janice Mounteer are well along in a process of turning an old bank building, a former post office and a cluster of abandoned store fronts into a lively activity center that stands as a model for smaller communities in Utah and throughout the country.

“When we purchased the Star Theater three years ago, we dreamed of creating a center offering a wide variety of activities in addition to conventional movie-going,” Janice Mounteer says. “We started with the cinema and concession stand, and we have now expanded with a fun center for families, including a grill.” She added that to their surprise, the grill is also appealing to coal truck drivers from the mine. “They go by our place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They use their CB radios to place pick-up orders.”

The theatre is also available to businesses as a corporate meeting place and training center. Additionally, a learning center equipped with 20 computers will soon be available to young people and adults. “We plan to provide small snacks for kids and encourage them to stop by to study before getting together with their friends,” Janice Mounteer says.

“We are using the services of Collette Clements, a terrific elementary school teacher in this area, for our after school program. We also plan to have the computers available for adults who want to develop their computer skills.”

As well, the “Little Theater” will be opening Nov. 19 that has an LCD projector. The center will then offer big screen sports on Monday nights, bingo on Wednesday and karioke on Friday evenings. On Saturdays, there will be free movies.

The center will soon also have a dance hall available for youth and young adults.

The Fun Center building was constructed in 1907 and originally housed the Castle Valley Bank, a toy store, and a general merchandise store. The walls were made on site, using mud and rock brick that was formed and fired by hand. Percy Mounteer currently uses the former bank vault as his office.

The Mounteers are upgrading their facilities and services through a unique loan arranged with the help of Gordon Holt, president of the Utah Business Lending Corporation. Holt’s organization acts as a lending intermediary for the Rural Development office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They provide loans for business acquisitions and construction or modernization and for the purchase of equipment and supplies. They also provide working capital for entrepreneurs.

“Our organization is uniquely positioned to strengthen the business environment in small communities throughout the state. We are also working with the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance and Utah State Extension Services to identify businesses in rural Utah that might benefit from our programs,” Holt says.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

New Loan Program Opens Doors for New B&B, Other Projects in Rural Utah

DATE 10/28/2005 11:38 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

New Loan Program Opens Doors for New B&B, Other Projects in Rural Utah

The opening of the Slot Canyons Inn, a new bed and breakfast in Escalante, was a significant event on many fronts. Not only did it fulfill a life-long dream for owners Jeff and Joette Marie Rex, it’s also another indicator that Utah’s small towns are increasingly becoming tourist destinations. In addition, the new inn is an example of how a new, unique loan program is helping rural areas.

The Slot Canyons Inn was supported by the new “One-Doc” program, a simplified loan guarantee program designed to assist lenders making business and commercial loans in rural areas. It’s is financed through a combination of U.S. Department of Agriculture Funding, Utah Business Lending and the Five County Association of Government’s Revolving Loan Fund.

“This is an unusual pairing of three lenders on the front end of a project,” says Gordon Holt, president of the Utah Business Lending Corporation. The One-Doc program reduces some of the risk to make a rural loan because the USDA can guarantee loans up to 90 percent.

“It allow lenders to make more rural loans because the guarantees do not count against the lender’s lending limit,” Holt says. The loans are for construction of business buildings, business acquisitions, purchase of machinery and equipment, remodeling projects and working capital.

The Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance and Utah State Extension Service are working closely with Holt’s organization to identify businesses in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane Counties that might benefit from the program.

“In particular, this program will help Sen. Robert Bennett in his efforts to assist businesses along U.S. Highway 89 through the creation of a national Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area,” says Monte Bona, a member of the highway alliance. The designation would mean that the six counties involved would receive funds for projects designed to retain and enhance the area’s natural beauty and promote heritage tourism. Heritage tourism is known as one of the fastest-growing segment in the tourism industry in America.

The Slots Inn is a perfect example. The new bed and breakfast incorporates the area’s history, heritage and natural beauty. The Inn is surrounded by Monument, Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. It’s 40 miles from Bryce Canyon, the Dixie National Forest is adjacent to the property, and the Aquarius Plateau, the highest plateau in North America, is located 17 miles above. Three major canyons, the Escalante River and North Creek also come together at the site. “We have wanted to develop this 160-acre parcel of land since we purchased it several years ago,” says owner Jeff Rex.

“We believe this spot is unique to Southern Utah and have chosen to build an eight-room Pueblo-style inn to fit with the significance of the site,” he says. A 110-year-old pioneer cabin built by Isaac Riddle and rebuilt in 1999 will also become part of the guest accommodations.

For more information about the loan program, contact Gordon Holt at Utah Business Lending, (801) 654-2213.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Fall Brings Rainbow of Color to Sanpete County, U.S. Highway 89

DATE 09/24/2005 9:12 AMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Fall Brings Rainbow of Color to Sanpete County, U.S. Highway 89

Fall has arrived and the canyons, parks, forests and landscapes in Sanpete County and along historical U.S. Highway 89 are awash in color. There are vivid shades of orange, red, and gold, making the area a must-see for anyone wanting to tour the state’s seasonal, sensational sites.

In Sanpete County, be sure to drive along Skyline Drive, which is known as a bird watcher’s paradise with eagle and hawks circling overhead, and through the Manti La-Sal National Forest. The forest, in addition to boasting a spectacular display of color, offers mountain climbing and hiking trails. The Wasatch Plateau section of the Manti-La Sal Forest also contains a variety of recreation trails for foot, horse, and/or mountain biking.

As well, the northern, Manti-La Sal division offers scenic drives through the Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byways known as the Energy Loop. These byways wind over the Wasatch Plateau, and there are several high elevation lakes and streams that feature excellent fishing and camping, and the Arapeen Trail System is also a popular spot.

In addition to viewing the amazing fall colors, tourists can take in the cities and towns along historical U.S. Highway 89, visiting antique shops, gift stores, bed and breakfast inns, historic sites, local history and culture, and more.

# # #

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

SANPETE COUNTY DOUBLES AS MOVIE SET FOR FEATURE FILM

DATE 08/28/2005 8:35 PMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

SANPETE COUNTY DOUBLES AS MOVIE SET FOR FEATURE FILM

Parts of Sanpete County, including its Hub City, Mt. Pleasant, doubled as a movie set this past month for the filming of the feature film “Last of the Mustangs.”

Several hundred local residents even got a chance to serve as movie extras during the filming of a parade scene that was shot on Mt. Pleasant’s Main Street.

“There was a huge turn out, people came from all over — decked out in Western clothes — to give their kids a chance to be in the movie or to be an extra themselves,” says Monte Bona, a member of the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council.

Bona says that Sanpete County and Mt. Pleasant appealed to the film’s producers because of its heritage buildings and beautiful landscape. “The area suited their film perfectly. There is great scenery and a lot of horses, sheep and other animals, as well as heritage homes and farms.” The director’s spouse also grew up in Ephraim so she was familiar with the region.

The Los Angeles-based movie crew spent nearly three weeks in Sanpete County shooting the film, which is about girl who decides to photograph wild horses for a school project. After visiting a ranch and falling in love with the horses, the girl learns about illegal activities that might jeopardize the mustangs.

Much of the film was shot at a ranch only a few miles away from Mt. Pleasant. Other scenes were shot in Mt. Pleasant City Hall, in local businesses and campgrounds, and even in the city’s police station and jail.

The horses that appear in the movie are also local “movie stars.” They were supplied by Lamont Christensen of Fairview, who owns Christensen Livestock Co.

The film, which will be released in theatres, stars Miranda Cosgrove as the girl who goes to the ranch, and Fred Ward as her father. Robert Wagner also has a small role.

Bona says that the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council hopes more movies will be filmed in the area in the future. “Sanpete County really is an ideal film location,” he says. “It’s situated near the Provo and with two hours of the Salt Lake International airport. In addition, there are a lot of wide-open spaces and not too many power lines around, which makes it perfect for people hoping to re-create a pre-1950s feel in a film.”

###

For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Scandinavian Festival a Celebration of History, Heritage – Press Release 5/14/2005

DATE 05/14/2005 7:15 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Scandinavian Festival a Celebration of History, Heritage

The 200th birthday of storyteller Hans Christian Anderson will be celebrated at this year’s Scandinavian Heritage Festival and Conference May 26 to 28 in Ephraim.The popular annual event, which combines food, fun and heritage, attracts thousands of people to Sanpete County every year, many of whom travel along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway.

The conference celebrates Mormon pioneers from Scandinavia who colonized Central Utah in the 1800s and the estimated 600,000 Utahans who can trace their ancestry to Scandinavian immigrants.

Sanpete County’s culture has been greatly influenced by settlers who arrived first in the Salt Lake Valley from the Scandinavian countries and then were assigned to colonize central Utah. Many were farmers, carpenters, stone masons, cabinetmakers and furniture builders. The architecture of their farm buildings, cabins and houses were influenced by construction techniques and building forms from back home, uniqueness that is still present today.

Many local residents dress in Scandinavian costume for the annual festival, which provides an opportunity for people to learn about the influence of Scandinavians in Utah; connect with their Scandinavian roots; experience art and culture; and taste great food.

Events include a parade, golf tournament, a 5K run, softball tournament, storytelling, bread making and activities such as rock climbing and pony rides. There will also be live music, an art show, street dance, and other attractions. The festival begins with an afternoon golf tournament on Thursday.

Events will be held from noon until 11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, and from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. Display and food booths will line College Avenue between 100 and 300 East from noon until dark on Friday and from 9 a.m. until dark on Saturday. There will also be numerous opportunities to sample heritage cooking, including a “Little Denmark Supper” and a barbeque turkey dinner.

The festival also includes a special Scandinavian history conference at Snow College from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday headed by Brigham Young University professor Lynn Henrickson. The purpose is to give participants an understanding of the Scandinavian influence in the development of the West. The conference includes keynote speakers and workshops. It is held on the campus of Snow College in the historic Noyes Building’s Founders Hall. For more information or to register, contact Kim Cragun, (435) 283-4747.

For more information on the Scandinavian Festival and a complete schedule of events, visit the website, www.ScandinavianHeritageFestival.com .

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Highway Alliance Has High Hopes for Bennett Bill This Session; Keeping Eye on State Tourism Legislation – Press Release 2/7/2005

DATE 02/07/2005 12:23 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Highway Alliance Has High Hopes for Bennett Bill This Session;
Keeping Eye on State Tourism Legislation

The third time is the charm. At least, that is what members of the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance are hoping for with Sen. Bob Bennett’s National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area bill.The legislation, which would designate a 300-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 89 as a heritage area, is scheduled to be heard by the Senate during its 109th session this year. The bill has passed the Senate twice previously, but both times was bogged down in the House of Representatives and failed to pass before Congress adjourned.

“Rep. Chris Cannon has assured us that he will work very hard to get the bill heard in the House this session,” says Monte Bona, a member of the alliance and Mt. Pleasant City Council. “We are hoping that the bill is approved by both houses this year. It has been a long wait.”

Meanwhile, Bona, along with other local preservation and government officials, is keeping a close eye on legislation before the Utah Legislature — Senate Bill 7. It pertains to promoting tourism in Utah, and Bona hopes part of its focus will be on heritage tourism. “Utah has long been known as a place to ski and visit beautiful national parks, and we support continuing to promote these assets,” Bona says. “But we’d also like to see the state focus on its heritage tourism attractions.”

Heritage tourism is the fastest-growing segment in the tourism industry in America. Utah has some of the most outstanding heritage tourism attractions in the country, including Temple Square, Old Deseret Village and This Is The Place State Park, and attractions along U.S. Highway 89 from Cache Valley to Kanab, Bona says. “The cities and towns along the heritage highway are the best remaining examples of how Mormon pioneers colonized in Utah.”

Highlighting the region’s heritage was the impetus behind the Bennett bill, he adds. “The purpose of the designation is first to recognize Mormon heritage, and second, to promote tourism and economic development in the area,” Bona says.

The National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area would include six counties: Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane. It also includes the All-American Road Highway 12 and Highway 24, which branch off from U.S. 89. The national designation would mean that the counties would receive $10 million over the next decade in federal funds for marketing, preservation and related projects.

Currently, the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance promotes attractions in the cities and town along U.S. Highway 89 in a number of ways. It has created a brochure “The Artisans and Crafters of Utah’s Heritage Highway 89,” that features the products created by artists and craft makers along the highway.

The alliance has also produced documentaries, including Stories Along U.S. Highway 89, which features the people, places and history of Highway 89, and includes in-depth interviews and historical re-enactments. The alliance has also organized tours for writers and the general public, and promotes special events that take place along the historical route and celebrate the region’s heritage.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Film On Heritage Highway Wins Prestigious National Award – Press Release 1/17/

DATE 01/17/2005 12:02 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Film On Heritage Highway Wins Prestigious National Award

The film “Stories Along U.S. Highway 89,” produced by Rob Sibley of KBYU and featuring the people, places and history of Utah’s Heritage Highway, has earned “Gold Finalist” distinction at the annual MarCom Creative Awards.The prestigious MarCom Creative Awards is an international competition for marketing and communications professionals. It includes print, visual and audio materials and entries came from corporate marketing and communications departments, advertising agencies, graphic design shops and freelancers. The awards are part of the Communicator Awards, one of the largest, oldest and most respected competitions in the communications field.The film which was filmed along U.S. Highway, including in Sanpete County, includes in-depth interviews and historical re-enactments. It focuses on themes relevant to the Heritage Highway and features the natural landscape along the highway. The film was produced so that the individual segments can also run as stand-alone five-minute “infomercials” on public television stations.

The documentary focuses on 10 themes: Native Americans, Mormon pioneers, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Utah ghost towns, movie making, national parks and recreation areas, hidden treasures, John D. Lee, artists, and the Mountains Meadow Massacre.

It includes interviews with people who participated in the “Famous and Infamous Along U.S. Highway 89” lecture series. The series was held throughout the cities and towns along the heritage highway as a way of informing the public of the route’s history and influence.

Last year, Stories Along U.S. Highway 89 received a Best of State medal, the premier public forum for awards and recognition in the state of Utah. The competition is dedicated to promoting higher visibility and public awareness for outstanding individuals, businesses. The film has also won a prestigious Videographer’s Award.

The film premiered on BYU-TV worldwide TV and aired on KBYU-Channel 11.

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For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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