Tag Archives: Past Years’ Press Releases

Native American presence in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area – Press Release 12/31/14

December 30, 2014

For immediate release

WHAT: Native American presence in the MPNHA.

WHEN: Deadline not specified

WHERE: Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

CONTACT: Monte Bona, MPNHA Exec. Director – (801) 699-5065

EMAIL: montebona@hotmail.com

WEBSITE: http://www.mormonpioneerheritage.org, www.uen.org.

FACEBOOK: Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Native American Heritage and Presence

By: Steven J. Clark

Richfield, UT: A trip down the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Highway (U.S. Hwy 89) not only puts travelers in touch with rural settings that harken back to the earliest days of our pioneer roots, but also allows travelers a brush with history that extends much farther back.

Monte Bona, Executive Director of the MPNHA, says that the Highway 89 corridor is home to a rich Native American history, dating back thousands of years. “We want to view the Native American influence in the MPNHA not just in its historical context,” Bona said, “but also in the context of how their culture and traditions contribute to our society today.”

Fairview Museum, Fairview Utah, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Just one block east of Highway 89, at Fairview, UT, is the Fairview Museum that houses, among other things, the huge skeleton of a prehistoric Mammoth, found during the excavation of Huntington Reservoir. The skeleton is the centerpiece of the museum, but in the surrounding halls is one of the state’s best collections of pictures and artifacts detailing the presence of a significant population of Native Americans, primarily Paiutes, in Sanpete Valley.

Native American Fremont Tribe Pit House Entry Utah Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Further south, the Sevier Valley has both an ancient and a modern Native American history. The ancient part is preserved at the Fremont Indian State Park, located on Interstate 70, a few miles west of the Highway 89 turnoff to Panguitch. The museum houses artifacts and presents displays of the ancient Fremont’s living conditions, while the park’s hiking trails lead to preserved petroglyphs and the ruins of ancient building structures. Fremonts are thought to have inhabited the area at approximately the same time the Anasazi cultures flourished further south and east in Arizona and New Mexico.

Sevier Valley’s contemporary Indian history is reflected by the presence of the Koosharem Band of Paiute Indians, who occupy two communities in the county. The first is a collection of homes found right in the heart of Richfield City. Were it not for the sign on the east side of North Main Street that declares the presence of a small, subdivision-size reservation, few would even know of its presence.

Travelers on Interstate 70 at Joseph, UT see a collection of seven or eight homes on the west side of the freeway and assume it’s just a far-flung subdivision someone from Joseph decided to develop. But it’s actually reservation land, and the homes are occupied by Koosharem Band Paiute families.

Mystic Hot Springs Monroe, Utah Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

There are special places near the town of Monroe, in Sevier County, where hot mineral water bubbles out of the ground. They are marked from a distance by the yellow and gold colored soil and rocks that show the mineral traces left by the hot springs over millennia. One spring is commercially developed and calls itself Mystic Hot Springs. The other is only slightly developed, with soaking tubs and a fire pit.

Historians say that prehistoric Indians considered the unique water features to be sacred, as evidenced by the rock art, artifacts and ruins found in the area. In more modern times, Mormon pioneers used the water for soaking pools, with many users claiming that the water had special healing properties.

According to Bona, the MPNHA, is consulting with Native Americans in the area regarding the organization’s intent to develop an interpretive center at one of the hot springs. “Native Americans used these hot springs long before Mormon pioneers arrived,” he said. “We want to be sure we treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, not just from our viewpoint, but also from theirs.”

At the extreme southern end of the MPNHA, Highway 89 Alt, brushes past the Kaibab Paiute Band Reservation at Kanab, Utah’s sister city, Freedonia, AZ, while the regular Highway 89 route through Page, AZ, crosses into to the vast Navajo reservation and skirts the Hopi reservation that is completely surrounded by the Navajo homeland.

Bona says that he hopes the MPNHA signs placed along Highway 89 will put travelers in mind of the fact that there is not just a Mormon pioneer history in the area, but also an important native peoples’ history as well.

(Uncropped, unenhanced images are available upon request in electronic format (.jpeg)). MPNHA is if federally recognized, non-profit organization dedicated to education and historic preservation within the MPNHA)

Spring City Artists To Be On Display Sept. 1

DATE 08/24/2007 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.

Spring City Artists To Be On Display Sept. 1

Where in Utah can you visit the studios and galleries of more than 30 artisans in one day without traveling more than two miles? In Spring City, of course, which also happens to be the only city in Utah where the entire town is listed on the National Historical Register.On Sept. 1, people can combine their love of the arts with their penchant for historical buildings and homes by taking part in the second annual Spring City Artists Studio Tour.More than 30 artists will be opening their doors to the public, giving people a chance to see the works and works-in-progress of some of Spring City’s finest painters, potters and craft makers.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available on Main Street the day of the event.

Painters taking part in the tour are: Osral Allred, Scott Allred, Lee Udall Bennion, Linda Budd, Joan Durfey Douglas Fryer, Lanny Britsch Gourd, Susan Gallacher, Randall Lake, Shirley McKay, George Olson, Ruth Olson, Cassandria Parsons, M’Lisa Paulsen, Kathleen Peterson, Ed Soper, Kerry Soper and Michael Workman.

Other artisans on the tour include potters Joe Bennion and John Parsons; knife maker Jerry Johnson; violin maker Holly Nicholes; glass artist Vince Campanile; marquetrist Les Kraut; boot maker Don Walker; photographers Russ Evans and Paul Allred; painted ceramics artisan Gina Garner; silversmiths Garth and Viv Jepperson; furniture maker Jonathan “Jock” Jones; and woodmakers Lothar Janke and Carl Timm.

In addition to the studio tours, there will also be an Art Festival Sept. 1 that includes a free children’s art work shops, pioneer games, and craft demonstrations, an art show, musical performances, food booths and more.

Part of the festival will include the Plein Air painting competition, which runs Aug. 29-31 and concludes with an art show and art sale Sept. 1. Invited artists along with nationally and locally known artists will compete against each other as they paint pastoral scenes around beautifully historic Spring City for awards and cash prizes.

Plein air is a French word that has a literal translation of “in the open air.” It is used to describe a style of paintings or drawings created in the moment, primarily from nature and infused with a feeling of the open air. During the competition, people visiting Spring City the three-day competition can watch the artists in action as they use their talents and brushes to re-create scenes on their canvas.

On Saturday, Sept. 1, the paintings will be judged and winners are announced. An open art show and sale will showcase the paintings completed that week and additional paintings by the artists.

There will also be self-guided tours of Spring City’s historical homes and buildings.

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

Annual ATV Tours Set For Aug. 10-11

DATE 07/31/2007 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.

Annual ATV Tours Set For Aug. 10-11

The annual Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Tours will be held Aug. 10 to 11 in Sanpete County and showcase the pristine vistas of Manti Canyon.

Manti and all of Sanpete County are known for beautiful, well-designed and well-managed ATV trails and trail systems. The now-yearly ATV tours attract all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts, dealers and others to the region for two-days of riding, exhibits and performances. Each day during the event, local guides help riders make their way through 40-miles of intermediate ATV trails and forest areas that run from 5,600 feet to more than 10,000 feet.

The Aug. 10 “Sheep Trail and Vicinity Run” begins with a continental breakfast and registration at the Manti LDS Stake Center, 300 South Main Street, from 7 to 8:30 a.m., with a departure time of 9 a.m. At noon lunch will be held at the 12-Mile Campground. The ride concludes at 4:30 p.m., and a Dutch Oven dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the Historical City Hall picnic area. ATV equipment will be on display and musical entertainment will begin at 7 p.m.

The Family Day Trail Ride, intended for beginner and intermediate riders, will be held Aug. 11 and includes a “Poker Run” and Digital Camera Scavenger Hunt. It also begins with a continental breakfast and registration from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center, with a 9 a.m. departure time. There will be a 10:30 a.m. rest stop at the Fox Jet Reservoir and lunch at the Duck Fork Reservoir. The ride concludes at 4:30 p.m., with prizes awarded for the Poker Run and scavenger hunt.

The cost of each ride is $25 per person, with a family rate of $20 per person for families of four or more. A portion of the fees are used to help maintain ATV trail riding.

The Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Tours were started to encourage tourism and to promote the trails in the region’s mountain regions, which are considered some of Utah’s most scenic areas. The event is sponsored by Manti City and the Sanpete County Office of Economic Development, with event hosts including the Manti Area Chamber of Commerce and the Manti City Economic Development Committee.

Applications and information about the tours are available by calling 435-835-5050 or 435-835-3923. Information is also available online at www.sanpete.com

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For more information Contact:

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

Seventh Annual Soap Box Derby Returns to Mt. Pleasant

DATE 06/25/2007 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.

Seventh Annual Soap Box Derby Returns to Mt. Pleasant

What do soap box derby’s and Mountain Man rendezvous have in common? Both are phenomenon’s that took the United States by storm – albeit 100 years apart. Rendezvous were popular between about 1824 and 1850, and soap box derby’s were all the rage about a century later.But more recently, their commonality is that both events are part of the July 4 celebrations in Sanpete County, and this year is no exception.

Mt. Pleasant city is gearing up to hold its seventh annual soap box derby and Mountain Man Rendezvous the Fourth of July weekend.

The derby races will be held July 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. Mt. Pleasant’s Main Street will take on the look of yesteryear for the event, which was designed to bring the once-popular races back to the streets of Mt. Pleasant.

Soap Box Derby races used to be a popular event in Sanpete County, with a lot of local residents taking part as children. The races first became popular in the 1930s.

It is believed they officially started when a Dayton, Ohio, Daily News Photographer encountered three boys racing homemade, engine-less cars down an inclined brick street. He reportedly came up with the idea to hold a coasting race and award a prize to the winner. The first official race was held in 1933, with more than 300 kids showing up with homemade cars built of orange crates, sheet tin, wagon and baby-buggy wheels and almost everything of “junk value.”

As to be expected, Soap Box derby races have grown in popularity and sophistication over the years, with contests now full of regulations and restrictions. But Sanpete County’s races remain true to the original “anything goes” soap box derby philosophy, says event organizer John McClellan. Cars can be made of any material, including plastic, wood, metal. They should be about six to seven feet long and about three feet wide. Drivers should range in age from about eight to 16 years.

For additional information on the races, contact McClellan at (435) 462-3808.

The annual Blackhawk Mountain Man Rendezvous will be held starting June 30 from 9 .m. to dark in Mt. Pleasant’s city park. The popular four-day festival attracts hundreds of shooters, traders and enthusiasts from throughout Utah and other parts of the United States. A main attraction is “Traders Row” that includes historic items like those made and sold at Mountain Men Rendezvous before 1840.

On July 4, there will be a Dutch-oven cook off, exhibits, trading, displays, candy cannon explosions, tomahawk and knife-throwing contests, frying pan tosses, kids games, Native American dancers, historical re-enactments and more.

The rendezvous was started and is planned yearly by David and Pat Gonzalez, who are longtime enthusiasts of Mountain Men rendezvous, with help from the Sanpete County Heritage Council. Pat Gonzalez herself produces numerous items that she sells at rendezvous, including bead work, boxes covered in animal hide, and leather and wool dresses.

For more information, contact the Dave Gonzalez, (435) 462-0152 or Mt. Pleasant City, (435) 462-2456.

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For more information Contact:

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

Candy Bomber Will Highlight Mt Pleasant Fly-In

DATE 06/21/2007 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.

Candy Bomber Will Highlight Mt Pleasant Fly-In.

Gail Halverson, renowned as the Berlin Candy Bomber, will be the guest speaker at the Mt. Pleasant Fly-In. He will speak at the Mt. Pleasant Airport at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 22nd.

Col. Halverson was an Air Force Lieutenant in 1948-49 when he was touched by the friendliness and excitement of the children of Berlin. He decided to do something special for them and dubbed his effort “Operation Little Vittles”. He gathered all of the candy he could find and attached it to miniature parachutes. His pilot buddies joined the effort with candy, gum and handkerchiefs, and the candy bombing

began. The American Confectioners Association came aboard and sent tons of candy and gum to Westover AFB for processing. Lt. Halverson received additional troop support when 22 schools in Chicopee, MA converted an old fire station into a Little Vittles Headquarters. They made parachutes and tied on candy and gum. The final product was shipped to Halverson at Rhine Main AFB.

By January, 1949, more than 250,000 parachutes loaded with candy had been dropped on Berlin by Lt. Halverson and his fellow pilots to reach over 100,000 children who were in Berlin during the Russian Blockade. Col. Halverson received the Cheney Award in 1948″ for an act of valor, extreme fortitude, or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian interest.”

Col. Halverson’s appearance at the Fly-In is part of a two day event that will feature morning and evening RC Aerobatic Shows on Friday, June 22nd. A fund raising breakfast for a Haitian orphanage will be held on Saturday morning, June 23rd, at 7:30 a.m.

From 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., on Saturday, children (8-17) will be given free airplane rides (as recourses allow).

Helicopter rides ($25 per person) will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, along with activities for children, including the candy parachute drop at noon.

The Fly-In is part of an on-going effort by David Fullmer, the volunteer manager of Mt. Pleasant’s airport. Fullmer is a recreational pilot who has big plans for Mt. Pleasant’s little airport. The Fly-In is part of a ten year effort by Fullmer to cater to those who fly for pleasure. His goal is to entice pilots to visit Sanpete County for an afternoon, a day or even longer.

“Mt. Pleasant’s Airport is unique among rural airports because it’s so close to town, ” says Fullmer. Most rural airports are miles away from the nearest town, making it difficult for pilots to access services such as restaurants or motels. “But our airport is only about a half a mile from the edge of town. It gives us a lot of options.” He adds that there are countless other attractions in the area that add to the appeal factor: fishing, miles of high mountain trails for 4-wheeling, mountain biking and hiking, rock climbing at Maple Canyon and snowmobiling and snow kiting in the winter.

“Once the airport becomes known in the pilot community in Utah and the Intermountain West as a place that caters to recreational pilots and as a center point for a great place to visit, all kinds of things can happen”.

For more information about the Fly-In or the Mt. Pleasant Airport, contact Fullmer at 435-427-9131

Information about the Fly-In is available online at www.sanpeteflyin.org. Fullmer may be reached via email at tpjr@cut.net.


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For more information Contact:

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

Sanpete County Hosts Second Annual ‘Bike for the Cure’ Ride Through Spring City

DATE 06/11/2007 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.

Sanpete County Hosts Second Annual ‘Bike for the Cure’ Ride
Through Spring City

Sanpete County will host the second “Bike for the Cure,” a family-oriented event aimed at raising awareness and fund for breast cancer research on Saturday, June 16.

The now annual event was started by Ephraim resident Erika Stover and her best friend, Melanie Wathen last year as a way to honor Stover’s mother, Susan Sermersheim, who died of breast cancer after a five-year battle.

“My mother loved Spring City,” Stover says. “She and my stepfather used to come down from Springville just about every Sunday and just drive around looking at the old houses. She loved the history of the area.”

Stover, who has three young daughters of her own, said a bike race was the perfect way to honor her mother, who was an advocate for finding a cure for breast cancer, and to raise awareness of the need for research.

“We encourage cyclists of all ages and skill levels to come out and take part, as well as anyone who has been touched by breast cancer,” Stover says.

All proceeds from the non-profit event will go to Breast Cancer 3-Day, benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is dedicated to help finding a cure for breast cancer.

Cyclists can choose from among three rides: 5.5 miles; 42 miles; and 58 miles. The shorter ride includes a tour of Spring City’s historical homes. “It’s perfect for families,” Stover says. That ride begins at 9 a.m., and people should meet at 150 E. Center Street in Spring City. Cost is $30.

The longer rides will begin at 7:30 a.m. from the same location. Cost for the longer rides is $40. Registration fees for all three rides include lunch and a T-shirt.

Registration is available online at on www.active.com . (search for “Bike for the Cure” under upcoming events). Registration forms are also available by contacting Erika Stover at 435-283-2158.

Additional registration forms can be found at local bike shops throughout Utah. Registration is also available the day of the event.

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For more information Contact:

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

Hundreds of Iraq-Bound Soldiers Invited to Lead ‘Big Daddy Roth’ Parade

DATE 05/25/2007 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.

Hundreds of Iraq-Bound Soldiers Invited to Lead ‘Big Daddy Roth’ Parade

Hundreds of Iraq-Bound Soldiers Invited to Lead ‘Big Daddy Roth’ Parade, Collect Custom-Designed ‘Rat Fink’ T-Shirts

Some 450 soldiers who will soon be deployed to Iraq will have some special new “uniforms”to take along with them – a “Rat Fink” T-shirt especially designed for them based on an original drawing by the late Ed Roth.

The members of the Utah Army National Guard’s 1/145th field artillery unit will be presented with the shirts by Roth’s widow, Illene Roth, June 2 during the fifth annual “Big Daddy Roth” open house, which runs May 31 to June 2 in Manti.

Roth also invited the entire infantry to lead the annual ‘Big Daddy’ parade. It starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday and runs down Manti’s Main Street. She doesn’t know how many soldiers will attend, but said all 450 of them are welcome.

Ed Roth was famous for designing and building hotrod cars and for creating the cartoon character “Rat Fink” in the 1960s, a rodent who was featured on posters, T-shirts and other items for years.

In 1966, he created a decal for army soldiers being deployed to Vietnam and the image was modified with Ilene Roth’s permission for soldiers in Iraq. This is the first batch of shirts to be handed out to troops going to Iraq.

“Since our local unit, which includes my son, is being deployed in June, I thought it would be great to send Ed’s image on a t-shirt to help them with this war,” says Ilene Roth.

The local guard unit provided input for the custom changes made to the image, and a shirt will be provided to each soldier. In addition, T-shirts will be available on-line and at the reunion for anyone else wanting to show their support, Roth says. “(The reunion) is a great opportunity to give the T-shirts to our guys. I wish them GOOD LUCK!”

Illene Roth started the annual “Big Daddy Roth” open house after her husband’s death in 2001 to honor his memory and work. It is held each year at the museum that was created to showcase her late husband’s art and memorabilia. The museum, which is an addition on the Roth home, is located at 404 East 300 North, Manti.

An avid hotrod enthusiast from the age of 12, Ed Roth started out by fixing up old cars in his garage. He then moved on to building cars from scratch and quickly became known as an artist rather than a mechanic, with his creations earning the title “sculptures on wheels.” He financed his passion by making cartoons and T-shirts, including drawings of cars and monsters driving cars, including Rat Fink.

The museum that Ilene Roth created to honor her late husband, which includes displays of Ed Roth’s art work and other memorabilia, will also be open during the reunion and is open to the public year-round by appointment.

Other highlights of the weekend include a “postcard run” Friday night to places that are connected to Ed Roth, and the parade and a car show on Saturday in Manti’s park.

Ed Roth’s life was the subject of a new documentary, Tales of the Rat Fink, by Canadian film maker Ron Mann. The movie stars John Goodman as Big Daddy Roth. It’s a combination biography/cultural commentary on Roth. Goodman narrates the film from heaven, playing Roth as he looks down on Earth with fond memories. The film also includes the voices of Jay Leno, the Smothers Brothers, Matt Groening and Paul Lemat. The real Ed Roth is included in the film in archival footage and new interviews.

The film was screened in Utah last year and in 2006 and 2007 was seen during festivals around the world, most recently in Michigan in March and in April in Singapore.

Ilene Roth said her late husband met with Mann in 2000 when he came to Utah to discuss the movie. She said her husband was very excited about having a movie produced to spotlight his creations with Rat Fink and fiberglass cars.

Ilene Roth met her husband after he moved to Manti from California in 1987.

For more information about the Ed “Big Daddy” Roth Open House, call (435) 835-2393.

Information is also available online at: http://www.edroth.com/

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For more information Contact:

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

Spring City Readies For Heritage Day

DATE 05/19/2007 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.

Spring City Readies For Heritage Day

Spring City Readies For Heritage Day, Event Will Coincide with Scandinavian FestivalPeople coming to Sanpete County for this weekend’s Scandinavian Festival will also have the opportunity to take in a bit of Utah history while they are in town.

The entire town of Spring City, located about 12 miles from Ephraim, is listed on the National Historic register. And once a year, the residents of this small artists community open their doors to everyone.

This year’s Heritage Day will be May 26. The day-long event includes historical tours of more than a dozen restored homes and buildings, including beautiful pioneer homes, the recently restored Old Spring City School, and the bishops storehouse; an art show featuring local artisans; and an antique show that will include a saddle display, furniture and farm equipment.

The home tour, sponsored by the Friends of Historic Spring City and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP), is an annual event in Spring City during the Memorial weekend. Tickets go on sale the day of the event and are $10 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased at the Old Firehouse on Main Street or at the Old Spring City School, site of the art and antiques show.

The tour will include architecture as well as commercial buildings, public buildings and Spring City’s famous LDS chapel. This year’s tour includes three new restorations on the town’s Main Street: the Orson and Mary Ann Hyde House, the Jensen House (an Arts-and-Crafts-inspired bungalow), and one of the town’s earliest stone houses, the Paul and Charles Kofford house. Three other houses on the tour are “works-in-progress,” including the Judge Jacob Johnson house, the largest historic house in Spring City.

A popular attraction each year is the Spring City Public School, which was restored via a community effort and is now used for public events. Built in 1899, the school has eight classrooms, four on each level, as well as a large attic space, complete with windows. At one time, it housed all the grades, and was even used as a middle school and high school.

A complete list of homes on the tour is available online at:http://scandinavianheritagefestival.com/spring.aspx

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

Sanpete County to ‘Velcomme’ Thousands for Scandinavian Festival

DATE 05/18/2007 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.

Sanpete County to ‘Velcomme’ Thousands for Scandinavian Festival

Velcomme! That is what Ephraim City and all of Sanpete County will be saying the weekend of May 24 to 26 when thousands of people gather in the region for the annual Scandinavian Heritage Festival and Conference.Among the largest Scandinavian heritage events in the Western United States, the arts and cultural festival includes an educational conference, an authentic Little Scandinavian Supper, costumed performers telling Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, craft booths, historical tours, workshops, sporting events, and more. Entertainment scheduled for this year’s event ranges from folk dancing to classic rock.

Many local residents dress in Scandinavian costume for the duration of the festivities, which have been known to attract upwards of 10,000 to Sanpete County.

New to the festival this year is a series of ceramics workshops hosted by the Central Utah Arts Center Thursday-Saturday. The workshops will feature alternative firing methods for ceramics and will allow participants to take home a unique creation from the event.

Sanpete County’s culture has been greatly influenced by settlers who arrived first in the Salt Lake Valley from the Scandinavian countries, says Gary Anderson, Utah State University extension and vice chairman of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.

Many were farmers, carpenters, stone masons, cabinetmakers and furniture builders. and then were assigned to colonize central Utah. “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,” he says.

It is believed that some 650,000 Utahans trace their ancestry to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland.

The festival begins Thursday night with the Scandinavian Heritage conference held at Snow College. The free educational event, which continues Friday morning, gives participants an opportunity to learn about and reflect on the lives of pioneer founders of the Sanpete Valley.

Following the conference, the weekend is jammed packed with activities and events at the festival grounds location at Pioneer Park, 50 N. 100 West, and on the north side of the Snow College campus.

Highlights Friday include workshops on ‘fast fire’ pottery, storytelling and a bread baking contest; the 12 p.m. opening of the “Old World Craft Booths,” educational exhibits of crafts that date back to Ephraim’s Scandinavian ancestors; musical performances starting at 3 p.m., a two-day quilt show, and the gourmet smorgasbord Scandinavian dinner Friday at 6 p.m.

On Saturday there will be a fun run starting at 7 a.m., a 10 a.m. parade down Main Street at noon, and more demonstrations of Old World crafts including blacksmithing, woodcarving, pottery making. There will be music and activities all day, a golf tournament, roast beef dinner and more.

In addition, there will be tours of Ephraim’s exquisitely restored pioneer homes and cabins starting from about noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Pioneer Park. There will also be a historical bus tour of historical spots in Sanpete Valley that run hourly from 1 to 4 p.m. A complete schedule of events for the festival, including information on the conference, is available online at http://scandinavianheritagefestival.com

People may also call 435-835-4241 or 435-283-4631 for information.

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

First Annual Amazing Earthfest

DATE 05/09/2007 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.

First Annual Amazing Earthfest

The First Annual Amazing Earthfest in “Dramatic” Southern UtahSouthern Utah’s Kane County

CONTACT: Cowboy Ted Hallisey 435-899-1102 Cowboyted8@aol.com

WEBSITE: www.amazingearthfest.com  or www.kaneutah.com
Alternate Contact/Coordinator: Rich Csenge 207-729-5825, jiw@gwi.net 

KANAB, Utah—Families and individuals from all fifty states and internationally are invited to celebrate the First Annual Amazing Earthfest Celebration, happening May 21-26, 2007 in Kanab, Utah. Here travelers will discover, learn from and celebrate national and state parks, national forests and public lands of the Colorado plateau located in Utah and Arizona.

Kanab plans to establish, host and support this broadly inclusive event each year in May, fostering education, scientific discovery and understanding, plus recreation and entertainment. The ultimate goal is to attract visitors from across the nation and abroad to Kane County, for the purpose of experiencing the National Parks and Public Lands that were recently described by Sunset Magazine as “dramatic.”

Visitors can choose from a wide variety of scheduled activities including: lectures and demonstrations, scientific and educational symposia, Native American and Pioneer cultural programs, guided backcountry trips, expeditions and musical performances. Additional activities include: exhibitions of visual arts, painting, sculpture, hand-made crafts, culinary delights and Pioneer history.

Scientific Presentations – Visiting scholars, scientists and staff from major regional educational institutions and the public land managing agencies will be invited to present on geology, ecology, biology, paleontology and archaeology, as well as land and resource management techniques. Programs are planned for a host of visitor centers in the area, as well as guided site visits and expeditions to remote locations in the region. Activities, exhibits, lectures and demonstrations will be designed to educate and inform local residents and visitors about the scientific discovery, study, history and natural wonders of Southern Utah and the Arizona Strip.

Creative Arts & Entertainment – Artists, musicians and storytellers will be on-hand to express their experience of the history, life and culture of the Intermountain West, through exhibitions, concerts and presentations, including competitions for prizes. Pioneer history and culinary arts will round out visitors’ enjoyment and the Tribe of the Colorado Plateau has been invited to participate.

Outdoor Recreation – Campers, hikers, horseback riders, cyclists, mountain bikers, climbers, road tourists and off-road vehicle enthusiasts are invited to make Southern Utah & Northern Arizona their destination for this springtime event; to engage in a favorite sport, while enjoying the welcoming hospitality of area service providers. OHVs are welcome on designated routes and trails.

Want a special treat? Hit the Arizona Strip and learn about the Condor Release Program.

Tentative Amazing Earthfest Participants ~ 2007

  • Best Friends Animal Society – bird display on site in Angel Canyon
  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park – nature walks
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area – Lake Powell events
  • Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument – Dinosaur talks and exhibits
  • Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts – Maynard Dixon Home
  • Pipe Spring National Monument – Native American and Pioneer food and lifestyle recreations & sampling

Also: Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Dixie National Forest, East Zion Tourism Council, Kaibab National Forest, Kanab City, Kane County Office of Tourism, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Mormon Pioneer Heritage Highway, Page-Lake Powell, Utah Office of Tourism, and Zion National Park.

For more information on First Annual Amazing Earthfest Celebration please call Cowboy Ted Hallisey-435-899-1102 or Rich Csenge 207-729-5825.

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For more information Contact:

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

Rhubarb Festival Celebrates Region, Creativity

DATE 05/08/2007 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.

Rhubarb Festival Celebrates Region, Creativity

Rhubarb Festival Celebrates Region, CreativitySanpete County is already well known for its beautiful scenery, wonderful pioneer heritage and historical cities and towns. Now it’s also becoming known as a place with some pretty creative uses for rhubarb, thanks to the annual Sanpitch Rhubarb Festival.

The creative festival, started eight years ago by Winnie Wood and Bob Sorenson, pays homage to the rhubarb and its many uses. Wood and Sorenson, who make wines from fruits and plants from their Mt. Pleasant-based company, Native Wines, use rhubarb in some of their products and thought having a festival in honor of the common garden plant would be fun and a way to build community relations and attract people into the area.

The event was a hit, and now is an annual thematic attraction featuring pie-eating contests, wine-and-cheese tasting, a goat dress up and turkey trot, an ugly truck contest, soap box derby and even crowning someone “Queen of the Rhubarb.” Not to mention all of the foods made from rhubarb. Wood says that the ideas that people having been coming up with have grown over the years. There now is rhubarb ice cream, soda pop, syrup, and even salsa!

This year’s event will be Saturday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Festivities are held at Native Wines, 72 S. 500 West and at Peel Furniture Works, 565 W. Main Street, in Mt. Pleasant.

The celebration begins with the Ugly Truck Contest and Parade at noon. Ugly trucks from all over the region enter the parade, which runs down Mt. Pleasant’s Main Street.

The parade will also include “The Rhubarb Royalty” float. The royalty preside over festival events such as the pie eating and raw rhubarb eating contests.

Native Wines will be open for wine and cheese tasting from noon to 6 p.m. At 3 p.m., judging for the “World’s Best Rhubarb Pie” begins and at 4 p.m. the Rhubarbarian Raw Rhubarb Eating Contest. An awards ceremony for all the day’s contests will be held at 5 p.m. in front of Native Wines.

Peel Furniture Works, which crafts heirloom quality replicas of early Utah pioneer furniture, came on board in recent years as a sponsor, and has added its own special twist to the celebration.

The Peel Furniture Works Rhubarb Extravaganza will include heritage craft demonstrations, contests, and live musical performances from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The furniture company will also be the host for the pie-eating contest and “turkey trot” and “goat dress up” contests during the Rhubarb Festival, as well as the barbeque turkey sandwich luncheon.

In addition to running Native Wines and creating the festival and other unique events, Wood also runs the drama department at Mt. Pleasant’s Wasatch Academy, teaching students the craft and directing productions.

It is a natural fit for Wood, who is a performance artist and award-winning actor, performance artist, producer, choreographer and director. She has been active in Utah’s theater community for years, founding the Dance Theater Coalition 27 years ago, which continues to produce emerging, independent artists.

For more information on the Sanpitch Rhubarb Festival, call Wood at Native Wines, (435) 462-9261, or Dale Peel at (435) 462-2887.

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For more information Contact:

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

11th Annual Snowmobile ‘Shootout’ Set for March 30 – April 1

DATE 03/21/2007 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.

11th Annual Snowmobile ‘Shootout’ Set for March 30 – April 1

Eleven years ago, Bruce Kahlhamer came up with an idea: every year, around his birthday, he’d gather in Utah with some of his clients for a snowmobile “shootout.”

Kahlhamer owns PSI Power Inc., now located in Ogden, which manufactures high performance equipment for snowmobiles, motocross and ATVs. The company used to be based in Wisconsin and had clients all over the United States. Every now and then, customers liked to get together to test their latest creations. “Everyone was building faster and faster machines,” he says. “They wanted to see how they compared and competed against what others were building.”

So Kahlhamer chose Sanpete County’s Skyline Drive, located up Fairview Canyon, as the meeting place. Every year, clients from all over the country would travel to the region for the annual “shootout” where snowmobilers travel at a high rate of speed and race each other up hills.

Kahlhamer eventually moved his business to Utah, and the ‘shootout’ became an official event. This year’s 11th annual Skyline Snowmobile Shootout will be held March 30 to April 1. The free event is open to the general public.

“It all started as a gathering for a customer base,” he says. “Every year, it got more and more competitive. Pretty soon, it became a full-blown, annual event and now, upwards of 500 to 1,000 people from all over the United States come out to race one another or just to watch the action.”

The popular weekend event includes plenty of “shootouts,” where riders can go as fast as 120 miles per hour, as well as other activities like snowmobile rides, drag races and hill climbs. Turbo and nitrous sleds “will be the norm,” Kahlhamer says.

There is no set schedule for the events, as most of the races are impromptu, he adds. Friday usually is the “gathering and catching up day,” and most of the shootouts are held on Saturday, with Sunday being a “packing up” day.

Kahlhamer says he originally selected Sanpete County for its central location, “people come from all over the mid-west and even Canada.” It also was chosen for its great terrain and “lots of parking places.” “It really has worked out as the ideal location. For more information on the event, contact Kahlhamer at (801) 393-1010. More information about PSI is available online at: http://www.psipowerinc.com/

# # #

For more information Contact:

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

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

Fairview, Ephraim Gearing up for Snowmobile ‘State Ride’

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.

Fairview, Ephraim Gearing up for Snowmobile ‘State Ride’

Brian Howarth loves snowmobiling. He also enjoys helping to make a difference in people’s lives, especially children. On February 23 & 24, he will get the opportunity to combine his two loves by taking part in the Utah Snowmobile Association State Ride and Winter Festival being held in Ephraim and Fairview.“This is a great opportunity for the snowmobile community and our community to work together for a great cause,” says Howarth, president of the Skyline Sno-Riders, which is helping put on the event. The local club has twice been named “Snowmobile Club of the Year” by the Utah Snowmobiling Association and was awarded this honor for a third time again this year. In 2006 the Skyline Sno-Riders was the second-largest club in the state.

He added that people do not need to be a member of any snowmobiling club to attend the two-day event.

Highlights include an Ephraim Canyon Charity Fund Raising Ride and Poker Run Friday, Feb. 23, at 9 a.m. All proceeds raised will be given to the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation. Later that evening there will be a dinner and games at the Fairview Senior Citizen Hall.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, there will be snowmobile drag races starting at 8 a.m. near the Rodeo Grounds. The Fairview Canyon ride will begin at 9 a.m. at the canyon’s trail head. In addition, Fairview city will host vendors of outdoor equipment and an OHV Training class for 8 to 16 year olds Saturday afternoon. There will also be chilli “cook off” that afternoon and a Dutch Oven dinner and live entertainment open to the public at the Fairview Dance Hall that night.

In addition, the Skyline Sno-Riders Club will continue its “Operation Care Bear” tradition of collecting new stuffed bears to give to law enforcement agencies to pass on to children after an accident or other incident. Donations may be dropped off at local hospitals, city offices, sheriff’s office or county building. Last year 900 bears were given out to needy children.

The state ride and winter fest are expected to attract people from all over Utah and the inter mountain west. This is the third straight year that the Utah Snowmobiling Association has chosen to hold its “State Ride” in Fairview. “Simply put, it has some of the best riding in the entire country,” as stated in a recent four page article in “SnoWest” magazine, Howarth says.

Fairview also has a paved canyon road that leads to a trail head that provides access to more than 50 miles of trails to the north at Skyline Drive and some 30 miles to the south to Joe’s Valley. There is also a paved parking lot and warming shelters.

The great access, coupled with the great snow and diversity in the riding terrain made it a prime choice, Howarth says.

Howarth moved to Fairview from Utah County a few years ago and his entire family got involved in the Skyline Sno-Riders. The family also started several charity events tied to snowmobiling that have raised food and funds for the local food bank.

Howarth, his wife, Miko, his mother Darlene, and father, Clyde Mortensen, were also named the state’s top snowmobiling family of the year in 2004.

The Sno-Riders worked to establish a trailhead up Fairview Canyon; including putting in a paved parking lot, as well as a warming shelter located about 15 miles away from the trail entrance that is kept well-stocked throughout the season, which typically runs from December through April. During the off-season, the Sno-Riders also sponsors other events such as trail clean ups, an “adopt a highway” program and are also involved in working with the Forest Service to create another paved parking lot at the area know as “Big Drift” as well as enlarging the Skyline North parking lot next spring.

For information on the Feb. 23 & 24 rides, call Barbara Collard: 801-568-7000 (cell) or 801-254-6580. Reservations are required for the Saturday evening dinner at the Fairview Dance Hall as seating is limited. Cost is $19 per person. Call 435-427-3353 for reservations.

More information is also available online at www.skylinesno-riders.com and the Utah Snowmobile Association website at www.snowut.com or by phoning Brian at 435-427-3620 or by email, bhow@cut.net  or bhowarth@utah.gov.

http://www.skylinesno-riders.com  http://www.snowut.com

# # #

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

Snowkiters Will Harness the Wind, Soar During ‘Masters’ Event

DATE 02/19/2007 9:29 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.

Snowkiters Will Harness the Wind, Soar During ‘Masters’ Event

Ever wondered what would happen if you harnessed the wind? Come and see for yourself at the U.S. Open Ozone Snowkite Masters being held in Sanpete County March 3 to 4 at the top of Skyline Drive.

“This event will be the largest U.S.- based snowkiting event and will feature riders from all over the world in an all-out jam session,” says Brian Schenck, an instructor and owner of Windzup, a Utah snowkite company. Some of the best snowkiters on the globe will take part in the U.S. Open Ozone Snowkite masters and will soar across the spectacular terrain of Sanpete County’s Fairview Canyon. The free public event will include races and competitions, with riders showcasing both the freestyle potential of the sport as well as the backcountry side with Freeriding Expression Sessions, X/C Tours and a Winduro race.

There will also be free clinics, lessons, workshops and information sessions. Registration will be held at 11 a.m. each day. Some 100 snowkiters and at least that many spectators are expected to attend.

The event is designed to showcase the sport, and everything is free of charge, making it an excellent opportunity for the general public to try out snowkiting. The sport involves large kites pulling a skier or snowboarder across the snow and is one of the fastest-growing sports around.

The only thing growing faster than the sport’s popularity is Sanpete County’s reputation for having the best conditions in North America for snowkiting. These include acres of open flats and hills of every angle and direction.

Schenck adds that snowkiters from all over are particularly drawn to Fairview Canyon’s Skyline Drive, which has an altitude of 9800 feet and is known for its excellent snow and wind conditions.

Schenck is moving his company, Windzup, which he owns with his wife, Heather, to Mt. Pleasant City’s industrial park. The company has purchased a four-acre parcel of land and is relocating its primary offices and distribution warehouse to the area. The move will create a new world headquarters for Windzup, with all operations based in Sanpete County. In addition to corporate offices, Mt. Pleasant will be the new home to Windzup’s nationwide distribution facilities and in-house marketing.

“This year is shaping up to be an epic year for snowkiting, and our new 2007 kites are definitely taking rank in some of the best kites ever produced,” Schenck says.

More information about the U.S. Open Ozone Snowkite Masters event and a map of the location is available online at http://www.snowkiting.com/snowkitemasters/.

More information about Schenck’s company, Windzup is also available online athttp://www.windzup.com/.

# # #

For more information Contact:

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

Six Public Meetings Scheduled For The Central Utah Area Wildfire Protection Plan

DATE 102/20/2006 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.

Six Public Meetings Scheduled For The Central Utah Area
Wildfire Protection Plan

Salt Lake City, UTAH …
Six public meetings have been scheduled for the Central Utah area Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The regional plan, which encompasses Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne counties, will provide an overview of the wildfire risk in Central Utah and the framework for future county and local planning efforts to protect human life and reduce property loss due to wildfire. The goal of the meetings is to offer an opportunity for the public to review the draft risk assessment and identify those places and natural areas that are of special value to the community.

“The meetings provide an opportunity for the public to learn about wildfire risks and to help us identify which areas need additional planning efforts,” said Fred Johnson, Central Utah area fire management officer, “Identifying the focus of public concern will help us prioritize future plans.”

Meetings are scheduled in Central Utah county seats as follows: Fillmore-October 25, Nephi-October 26, Junction-November 1, Loa-November 2, Manti-November 8 and Richfield-November 9. The meetings will be held at the County Courthouse, with the exception of Richfield, which will be held at Snow College. Each meeting will begin at 6:00 P.M.

For more information on the plan, the public meeting schedule and agenda, or to fill out a comment form online, go to www.UtahFireInfo.gov

# # #

For more information Contact:

Janet Guinn
Project Coordinator
SWCA Environmental Consultants
257 East 200 South,
Suite 200 SLC, UT 84111

801-322-4307

President Signs Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Bill

DATE 10/19/2006 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.

President Signs Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Bill

A bill establishing the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area has been signed into law by President George W. Bush.

“I’m extremely pleased that after years of moving this bill through the legislative process President Bush has signed the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area into law,” said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, who sponsored legislation to create the heritage area. “This is a fitting tribute to Utah’s pioneers and one that will help promote economic development and preserve our unique heritage for future generations.”

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.

Many local residents, including Monte Bona, executive director of the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance, and Gary Anderson of Utah State University’s Extension, spent years working on the measure and Bona even helped draft the original bill. Bona called Bush’s signing “An important and historic event. It’s very rewarding to see the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area officially established.” The initiative underwent several renditions in the past six years and survived three sessions of Congress.

Bona says that the cities and towns in the six-county area are the best remaining example of how Mormon pioneers colonized the west. “The heritage area includes countless examples of rich cultural and architectural history shaped by the early settlers,” he says.

The bill specified that up to $10 million may be spent on development of the heritage area, including activities such as historic preservation of buildings and signage, but no more than $1 million per year. Funds are matched on a 50 per cent basis.

# # #

For more information Contact:

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

‘Honest Apple’ Day Oct. 21 Event Celebrates Heritage Fruit, Includes Contests, Fun

DATE 09/25/2006 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.

‘Honest Apple’ Day Oct. 21
Event celebrates heritage fruit, includes contests, fun

Sanpete County’s Native Wines will once again pay homage to one of its favorite ingredients during the 7th annual Honest Apple day Saturday, Oct. 21.

Numerous kinds of heirloom apples will be available for sampling, along with homemade apple pies, apple cider, apple butter and apple wine. There will also be a witch contest, poetry, musical performances, wine and cheese testing’s, an apple pie contest and more.

The fall event has become an annual tradition of Native Wines, a Mt. Pleasant company owned by Bob Sorenson and Winnie Wood. Located in a historic building at 72 South 500 West near downtown Mt. Pleasant, Native Wines is renowned for making unfiltered wine. Sorenson and Wood use fruits that are picked from wild trees and shrubs in the mountains and valleys of central Utah in their products, including apples.

Honest Apple Days runs from noon to 6 p.m at Native Wines. The festivities get underway with the symbolic “splitting of the apple” at 12 p.m by Jeffrey Berke, the event’s “highly distinguished poet laureate.” Mark Cantor will be master of ceremonies for the day.

There will be an “Ugliest Witch in the West” contest, with cash prizes being awarded for both children and adults. People may sign up for the contest at Country Squire, 74 W. Main Street in Mt. Pleasant.

The “World’s Best Apple Pie” contest will be held in the afternoon, with more than $200 in cash prizes to be awarded. Pies must be entered by 3 p.m. for judging. Other Honest Apple events include the “Crowning of the New Princess Pomona” and Live Irish Folk Music featuring “Last Night’s Fun.”

Apple goods of all kinds will be available for sampling and purchase throughout the day, and the owners of the local restaurant, Loose Caboose, will also be on hand selling refreshments. Some of the varieties of apples that will be available that day include Fameuse, Pinora, Samsou, Wolf River, Cinnamon Spice, Cameo, Goldrush, Goldblush, Hawaii, Winesap Wagner, and Ozark Gold.

For more information on Honest Apple Day, phone Native Wines at (435) 462-9261. Information is also available online at http://www.nativewines.net

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For more information Contact:

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

‘Big Daddy Roth’ Movie Premieres at Toronto International Film Festival

DATE 09/15/2006 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.

‘Big Daddy Roth’ Movie Premieres at Toronto International Film Festival

The world premiere of Tales of the Rat Fink, a documentary/drama about the late Ed Roth, a Sanpete County resident, was held this week at the Toronto International Film Festival. Roth was famous for designing and building hotrod cars and for creating 1960s cartoon characters. He died in Manti in 2001 at the age of 69.

The movie was directed by Canadian filmmaker Ron Mann and stars John Goodman as Big Daddy Roth. It’s a combination biography/cultural commentary on Roth. Goodman narrates the film from heaven, playing Roth as he looks down on Earth with fond memories. The film also includes the voices of Jay Leno, the Smothers Brothers, Matt Groening and Paul Lemat. The real Ed Roth is included in the film in archival footage and new interviews.

“I am so happy to have a movie that will preserve Ed’s legacy,” Ilene Roth, Ed Roth’s widow and the Sanpete County auditor, has said about the film. Both she and her late husband met with Mann in 2000 when he came to Utah to discuss the movie. She said her husband was very excited about having a movie produced to spotlight his creations with Rat Fink and fiberglass cars.

The film opened in Toronto Sept. 15 to positive reviews. Hotrod Hotline called the movie “A multimedia laughfest, not only gives the viewer a look into the very fertile mind and imagination of Ed Roth, but is also a window into the ’50’s and ’60’s that brings back memories of those times much like ‘American Graffiti’ did. If it comes to your area, don’t miss it.”

Tales of the Rat Fink is being theatrically released by the indie film distributor Abramorama. Following the film festival in Toronto, the movie will open in New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and Austin, eventually making its way to Utah. An avid hotrod enthusiast from the age of 12, Ed Roth started out by fixing up old cars in his garage. He then moved on to building cars from scratch and quickly became known as an artist rather than a mechanic, with his creations earning the title “sculptures on wheels.”

He built one new hot rod per year during his prime, and gave them names like the Outlaw, Beatnik Bandit and the Surfite. He financed his passion by making cartoons and T-shirts, including drawings of cars and monsters driving cars. His most famous cartoon character was a rodent named Rat Fink, which became very popular in the 1960s and was featured on posters, T-shirts, rings and more.

Every year, Ilene Roth holds a “Rat Fink Reunion” celebration to honor the life of her late husband. The weekend attracts hundreds of his fans from around the world. One of the reunion’s special events is an open house at the “museum” Ilene Roth built on to her house to showcase Ed Roth’s creations. His art work is framed and hanging on the walls, and other memorabilia is on display. The museum is open to the public year-round by appointment.

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For more information Contact:

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

‘Bike for Cure’ Event Honors Mother, Grandma Proceeds to Raise Funds For Breast Cancer Research

DATE 09/08/2006 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.

‘Bike for Cure’ Event Honors Mother, Grandma Proceeds to Raise Funds For Breast Cancer Research

When Ephraim resident Erika Stover and her three young daughters – ages 7, 4 and 1 – get on their bicycles Saturday, Sept. 23, it won’t be for just another family bike ride. They will be taking part in the inaugural Bike for the Cure in Spring City, riding in honor of a mother and grandmother who died of breast cancer.

After her mother, Susan Sermersheim, passed away last December after fighting breast cancer for five years, Stover wanted to find a way to honor her memory – and recognize a Sanpete County town her mom loved.

So she, along with her best friend, Melanie Wathen, organized Bike for the Cure, a fundraiser being held in and around the region of Spring City. “My mother loved Spring City,” Stover says. “She and my stepfather used to come down from Springville just about every Sunday and just drive around looking at the old houses. She loved the history of the area.”

Bike for the Cure is being held in conjunction with the Arts Festival in Spring City taking place the same weekend. All of the proceeds from entry fees for the bike event will go to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is dedicated to help finding a cure for breast cancer.

“During the five years she battled cancer, my mom always wanted a cure found, she was worried about her daughters and granddaughters,” Stover says. “This is my way of honouring her, and doing my part. I have three daughters – I want a cure found too.”

Stover adds that the event is open to “everyone. The entire state of Utah, bikers, families, anyone who has been touched by cancer, etc.”

There are two longer rides (58 miles and 42 miles) for experienced bikers beginning at 7:30 a.m. Entry fees are $35 for adult riders ($40 after Sept. 11) and $15 for children under age 14 ($20 after Sept. 11).

A shorter ride ( 5.5 miles) for families will begin at 8 a.m. and will wind its way through the town so that participants can view historical homes. Entry fees for that ride are $25 for adults and $10 for children under age 14 (prices go up to $30 and $15, respectively, after Sept. 11).

Advance registration is available online at on www.active.com.  (search for “Bike for the Cure” under upcoming events). Additional registration forms can be found at local bike shops throughout Utah. Registration is also available the day of the event.

Stover, who moved to Ephraim from St. George a year ago, says she plans on making Bike for the Cure an annual event, as it holds a special place in her heart. Not only does it honor her mother, but it was also a special gift from a best friend.

“Melanie didn’t know my mom, but she came to her funeral. Afterwards, she called me up and said she could tell what an inspiring woman my mom was,” Stover says, choking back tears.

“Then she tells me: ‘I didn’t sleep at all last night, thinking about what we could do, and I have an idea: we’re going to do a bike race.’ We are both bicyclists, so it was a perfect idea. I know that my mom would be honored and proud.”

For information about the event, contact Erika Stover at 435-283-2158.

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For more information Contact:

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

Spring City Artists To Be On Display Sept. 23

DATE 08/24/2006 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.

Spring City Artists To Be On Display Sept. 23

Spring City will highlight its “best and brightest” artists Saturday, Sept. 23, during the first-ever Spring City Artist’s Studio Tour and Art Festival.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include some 18 artists studios in the small Utah town, known for its historical buildings and homes and its art community.

The artists will be opening their doors to the public, giving people a chance to see the works and works-in-progress of some of Spring City’s finest painters, potters and craft makers. All of the studios are located within a two-mile radius.

Painters taking part in the tour are: Osral Allred, Scott Allred, Lee Udall Bennion, Linda Budd, Joan Durfey Douglas Fryer, Susan Gallacher, Randall Lake, Shirley McKay, George Olson, Ruth Olson, Cassandria Parsons, M’Lisa Paulsen, Kathleen Peterson, Ed Soper, Kerry Soper and Michael Workman.

Other artisans on the tour include potters Joe Bennion and John Parsons, knife maker Jerry Johnson, violin maker Holly Nicholes, marquetrist Les Kraut, boot maker Don Walker, photographer Paul Allred, painted ceramics artisan Gina Garner, and silversmiths Garth and Viv Jepperson.

In addition to the studio tours, there will also be free children’s art work shops, pioneer games, and craft demonstrations at the Spring City Hall, 150 E. Center St.

At the Old Spring City School, photography, paintings and local crafts will be for sale, and antique quilts will be on display. Other local art shops will also be open.

Lunch will be provided from noon-2 p.m. at the city park pavilion and at 6 p.m. a Dutch oven dinner will be served. Entertainment will be provided by Kindred Spirit. Reservations for the dinner are $15.

Tickets for the studio tour are $10 and can be purchased at Spring City Gifts & Goodies, 53 S. Main St.. They will also be available at the Old Spring City School or by calling 435-462-9755. For more information on the event, contact Phyllis Snedecor, 435-462-3850.

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For more information Contact:

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

Sanpete Classic Bicycle Race Returns to Spring City

DATE 08/09/2006 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.

Sanpete Classic Bicycle Race Returns to Spring City

Sanpete County will once again play host to bicycle racing enthusiasts from across Utah this month when the second Sanpete Classic Bicycle Race returns to Spring City Saturday, Aug. 26.

Cyclists of all ages will compete in 46-, 72- and 98-mile races on courses that twist and wind through the local countryside. There will also be prizes, medals, a barbecue lunch and more.

The race was held for the first time in Sanpete County last summer. It was such a success that race organizers decided to return for an encore event. “We had been searching for a new venue to hold our race and Sanpete County fit the bill perfectly,” says Eric Thompson, a member of the New Moon Cycling Club, who is helping organize the race.

Last year, ride organizers were attracted by Sanpete County’s beautiful scenery and low automobile traffic, and those are some of the very reasons they decided to come back again. “While no large hills will be included, riders will be treated to rolling hills, false flats and a finishing grind that will separate out the finishers,” Thompson says.

He adds the hospitality shown by the residents of Spring City and the Sanpete Travel and Heritage Council last year were also added draws to returning.

Spring City’s Main Streets will serve as the start/finish location for each of the three courses. Depending on the selected course, riders will make their way through the communities of Mt. Pleasant, Fairview, Moroni, Fountain Green and Wales.

There are various categories for men, women, juniors (age 17 and younger) and master-level competitors. Race start times are between 10 to 10:45 a.m. depending on the category. Prizes and/or medals will be awarded in each division.

Registration will be held at the Spring City Old School, located at 100 East Center Street. People can also register online in advance at www.sportsbaseonline.com. Entry fees ranges from $20 to $40, with day-of registration costing an additional $5.

For more information on the Sanpete Classic Bicycle Race, visit the New Moon Cycling website: http://www.newmooncycling.com/documents/SanpeteClassicFlyer06_000.pdf

General information on cycling is also available on the Utah Cycling Association’s website, http://uca.cycleutah.com.

This is the second bicycling event to be held in Sanpete County this month. Aug. 11-12, Ephraim is hosting the first-ever Pioneer Trail Mountain Bike Event, aimed at introducing biking enthusiasts to the numerous biking opportunities the city has to offer.

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For more information Contact:

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

New Bike Event Aims to Acquaint People With Ephraim Trails

DATE 08/04/2006 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.

New Bike Event Aims to Acquaint People With Ephraim Trails

The organizers of the first-ever Pioneer Trail Mountain Bike Event, being held Aug. 11 to 12 in Ephraim, have a very modest goal: introduce biking enthusiasts to the numerous mountain biking opportunities the city has to offer.

“We simply want to get more people out and enjoying the Sanpete bike trails,” says organizer Gary Anderson.

The event is sponsored by the Ephraim Chamber of Commerce and the Sanpete County Office of Economic Development and Travel.

“This will be a positive thing for the city and region, and we hope to make it an annual event,” Anderson says. “Our hope is that it becomes a tradition, something that can complement our hugely popular Scandinavian Festival.”

The two-day event isn’t a competition or race, Anderson adds. Rather, it will allow people to become acquainted with the trails in the region, which include many downhill sections.

The event starts Aug. 11 with registration at 7:30 p.m. at the Ephraim City Park. The fee is $15. There will be a 9:30 p.m. night ride Friday for intermediate and advanced riders. The main ride will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, in Ephraim Canyon.

There will be shuttles available to take riders and their bikes to the starting point, located eight miles up the canyon. Throughout the two-day event, riders will be awarded raffle tickets, and prizes will be announced at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

There will also be free bike service before the race by Andy Adamson, a local bike shop owner. For more information about the event, call Anderson at (435) 283-7595.

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For more information Contact:

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

Third Annual ATV Tour This Weekend in Sanpete County

DATE 08/03/2006 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.

Third Annual ATV Tour This Weekend in Sanpete County

The incredible scenery of Manti Canyon will be the highlight of the third annual Manti Scenic Mountain ATV tour being held Aug. 4 and 5.

The event is expected to attract ATV enthusiasts, dealers and others to the city for two-days of riding, exhibits, performances, a parade and more. It’s intended to encourage tourism and promote the trails in the region’s mountains. More than 60 riders are expected.

Manti and all of Sanpete County is known for its beautiful and well-designed and well-managed trails and trail system. Each day during the event, local guides will help riders make their way through miles of intermediate ATV trails in the canyon and forest areas. Friday’s run is for advanced and intermediate riders. They will leave for the Sheep Trail and Vicinity Run at 9 a.m.

Other activities that day include a Dutch-oven dinner at the historical Manti City Hall picnic area, followed by music performances and an ATV display. Saturday features a day trail ride for families, including a “poker run” and a digital Camera Scavenger Hunt.

This event is appropriate for beginner and intermediate riders.

Registration is at 7 a.m. and riders will depart from the LDS stake center at 9 a.m. Riders will take a rest stop at Fox Jet Reservoir at 10:30 a.m. with lunch at Duck Fork Reservoir at noon. Prizes for the digital camera scavenger hunt and the poker run will be awarded at the end of the day.

For more information contact Alvin Kilmer at 835-5050 or Tom Wayman at 835-3923.

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For more information Contact:

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

Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Bill Approved

DATE 07/28/2006 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.

Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Bill Approved

Call it serendipity. As Utah was celebrating it’s heritage on Monday, July 24, with Pioneer Day celebrations, the U.S. House of Representatives was passing a bill establishing the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area.

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.

For many Sanpete County residents, the bill’s passage was indeed a historic event. People like Mt. Pleasant’s Monte Bona, executive director of the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance, and Gary Anderson of Utah State University’s Extension, have spent years working on the measure and Bona even helped draft the original bill.

“It’s very rewarding that the bill establishing the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area was finally approved, and the fact that it happened on Pioneer Day makes it an even more momentous,” says Bona. The bill underwent several renditions in the past six years and survived three sessions of Congress. “Now we can really move forward to honor our pioneer heritage,” he says.

Bona says that the cities and towns in the six-county area are the best remaining example of how Mormon pioneers colonized the west. “The heritage area includes countless examples of rich cultural and architectural history shaped by the early settlers,” he says.

Bennett also expressed joy over the bill’s approval, saying it will mean increased economic opportunities for many Utah communities along Highway 89, as well as heightened recognition “of the remarkable and inspiring stories of the Mormon pioneers.”

There are 27 such designated areas in the country. Traditionally, areas that attain national heritage designation enhance their heritage tourism opportunities.

The bill specified that up to $10 million may be spent on development of the heritage area, including activities such as historic preservation of buildings and signage, but no more than $1 million per year. Funds are matched on a 50 per cent basis.

A management plan must be written and submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior before major projects are started, Bona says. The Heritage Highway 89 Alliance will be working to forge partnerships with local governments, businesses and private organizations to achieve the goals of the heritage bill.

The bill, which whose chief sponsor was Sen. Bob Bennett, passed the Senate last July, now goes to the president for signature. Rep. Chris Cannon helped see the bill through the House.
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For more information Contact:

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

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