Symposium on Grit and Valor of Cowboy Pioneers Featured Event at Annual Western Legends Roundup – Press Release 7/25/2003

DATE 7/25/2003 4:55 PM

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.

Symposium on Grit and Valor of Cowboy Pioneers Featured Event at Annual Western Legends Roundup

A special symposium on the grit and valor of Utah’s cowboy pioneers and the Western movie makers who captured their characteristics on film will be part of the fifth annual Western Legends Roundup Aug. 21 in Kanab, thanks to a grant from the Utah Humanities Council.The symposium, entitled The True Grit, Valor, Character and Work Ethic of Kane County’s Pioneers and

American Westerns that Conveyed Those Values, is also supported by the Utah Heritage Highway Alliance and the Kane County Travel Council and Film Commission. The symposium will allow people to see, discuss and experience the legends of the Westerns and see how Kane County’s pioneers played out the Western experience. The event will be held at 2 p.m. in the Crescent Moon Theater and be hosted by film historian Jim D`arc.

The symposium was proposed in coordination with Sen. Bob Bennett’s bill to designate the 250 mile U.S. Highway 89 corridor from Fairview to Kanab as the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area. Its title was taken from a statement read into the Congressional Record in June 2002 by Michigan Congressmen Jim Barcia on the value of Western films: As a characteristically American film genre, Westerns occupy an honored place in the hearts and minds of all of us who see honor and glory in the rugged individualism portrayed in those movies…for embodying the true grit, valor and work ethic of the cowboys, frontiersmen and pioneers who forged America into the great and noble nation it is today.

The symposium will later be expanded into a documentary and be developed into a Web page. The project will be modeled after the popular lecture series, The Famous and Infamous Along Heritage Highway 89, and its companion documentary, Stories from Heritage Highway 89, produced by the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council, U.S. Highway 89 Alliance and KBYU-TV.

The Aug. 21 symposium will look at both the history of the pioneers in the Kanab area and the interesting phenomenon that Hollywood chose to go to Kanab to film Westerns. It will be followed by a showing of the movie Pony Express, starring Charlton Heston, who talked about making the movie in Stories Along U.S. Highway 89. Pony Express was filmed in Kanab in 1953 and also featured well-known movie actors Rhonda Fleming, Forrest Tucker and Jan Sterling.

Kanab’s popularity as a location for Western films earned the city the title Little Hollywood, as hundreds of western feature films and television episodes were shot in the small town. Because of that history, the city recognizes the contributions film makers and actors made to the area each year with the Western Legends Roundup.

Thousands of people attend the annual celebration, which runs Aug. 20-24 this year and features Western movies, music, exhibits discussions, workshops and more. Kanab also has a Little Hollywood Walk of Fame, a display of plaques in the downtown area that honors movie stars, producers and directors.

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


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