Elsinore Gears Up for Annual Danish Heritage Days Celebration – Press Release 6/6/2003

DATE 6/06/2003 9:42 AM

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.

Elsinore Gears Up for Annual Danish Heritage Days Celebration

Elsinore resident CR Wood is extending an open invitation to a few thousand of his closest friends across the state. He is asking that they join him for his city s annual Danish Heritage Days celebration June 17 – June 22.If you want to be a part of something totally unique that you will remember for a long time, this festival is the place to be, says Wood, who sits on a committee that organizes the four-day celebration.Danish Heritage Days will include cowboy poetry performances, a special 5-K run, walk & roll, a parade, musical performances, a car show, craft boutique, heritage tours and more. The quality of the entertainment gets better every year, and this year is the best line up we’ve ever attracted, Wood says.

Elsinore, which has a population of less than 1,000 people, hopes to double or triple the city s size during the celebration. This year s festivities begin Tuesday, June 17 with a flag ceremony near the White Rock School House on Center Street, followed by a go-cart race at 5 p.m. and Karioke at 7 p.m. Wednesday, there will be a bike course set up for a 5 p.m. event and concessions, and Thursday s highlight is an ugly ducking race at the state canal.

Friday night the Green Valley Cloggers will put on a free show, followed by free cowboy poetry performances starting at 7 p.m. in the city park. The event will feature Buckaroo Folklorist Tom Sharpe from Grand Junction, Colorado, and local muleman Perry Payne. Mulemen are better thinkers than cowboys, that s the difference, jokes Woods, who is also a cowboy poet. Brenda Sam DeLeeuw will also perform her Hilda Stories. There will also be a special performance by Steve and Terri Taylor, the Utah Chapter of Western Music Association s Female Performer of the Year and Male Soloist of the Year, with David Anderson on the 12-string guitar. All three of them are great soloists, and they are even better as a group, Wood says.

Saturday is packed with activities, beginning with the Red Rock Run, Walk & Roll (see accompanying story) at 7 a.m., followed by a parade at 10 a.m. People interested in having an entry in the parade should contact Ken Jensen at (435) 527-3836.

Also beginning at 10 a.m. and running throughout the day are the mountain men rendezvous, car show, craft fair, quilt show, heritage tours and children s games. People interested in having a craft booth should contact Sharon McIntosh at (435) 527-4594. At 11 a.m., there will be a story hour and at 2 p.m., a Women s Social.

At 6 p.m., a benefit chuck wagon dinner will be held, along with a benefit concert featuring cowboy poetry and Western music at 7 p.m. in the city park The Skunk Herders, a group made up of Idaho performers Gene and Sandy Jones, are set to take the stage, along with Ogden s Don Kennington. He is a national treasure, Wood says of Kennington. He is in his 70s now and is the greatest pure cowboy I know. Local favorite JoLynne Kirkwood will also be featured, and Wood will also perform. The cowboy poetry will be followed by the Western musical trio Latigo.

Cost is $10 for both activities, or $6 for dinner and $5 for entertainment if purchased separately. All proceeds will go to the Danish Heritage Days committee to fund the construction of a permanent stage in the park. The event is also sponsored by the Bad Water Cattle Company and Smith and Edwards in Willard Bay. Saturday will conclude with a fireworks show at dark in the city park. Sunday, there will be an 8 a.m. Sunday morning service and free continental breakfast.

This is the third year that Elsinore had held the festival, which honours the traditions that were brought into the region by Danish settlers. Danish immigrants were attracted to Utah in the mid 19th century when there was an industrial revolution of sorts in Denmark. Traditional skill workers such as tailors, furniture makers, and potters were put out of business when villagers began shopping and buying supplies from larger cities and towns. Many of these villagers converted to Mormonism and moved to the West. When they arrived in Utah, they quickly discovered that much of the Salt Lake Valley was already called for. But the Sanpete and Sevier counties were still very open at that time, so Danes settled in the region in droves.

In 1876, dozens of these settlers packed their wagons and came across the bench of Cottonwood Creek in Richfield and came here, Wood says. Brigham Young s brother, Joseph, was touring the region and thought it reminded him of the Castle Elsinore in Denmark and that is how the city got its name. It s also known as Little Denmark.

Elsinore first celebrated its Danish roots in 1976, on the 100th anniversary of the settlers trek into the region. Some 25 years later, a group of local residents organized a trip to re-enact the settlers moving into the region was organized. We later decided that we should celebrate our history more often than every 25 or every 100 years, and the Heritage Days was born.

For more information on the festivities, call (435) 527-3306 or (435) 527-4391.


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