The Beehive State has breathtaking scenery from green-mountain peaks to red-rock deserts. But it also has a wide range of events, many of which give you a glimpse of the state's history. If you visit Spring City for its Heritage Day on May 26, for example, you will be able to tour homes built by pioneer settlers, many of whom came from Scandinavia.
On the far end of the summer season is Midway's Swiss Days, which has become a Labor Day weekend tradition for many Utahns. And then there are the many arts festivals and rodeos.
One event that caught our attention for small-town ambience is Boulder Heritage Days, July 12-14. The tiny community puts on a heartfelt celebration that includes a tribute to a founding family that had the courage to live year-round in one of Utah's most beautiful but isolated regions.Here, in chronological order, are some of the many events that will take place in our state this summer:
Scandinavian Heritage Festival
Description: Storytelling, Scandinavian supper, entertainment and sports are among events that pay homage to Scandinavian pioneers who settled Sanpete County.
Where: Snow College, 150 E. College Ave., Ephraim
When: May 24-26
Cost: Varies, although many events are freeInformation: scandinavianheritagefestival.com
Spring City Heritage Day
Description: A tour of restored homes and buildings highlights this celebration in what is possibly the best preserved 19th century Mormon town in Utah, now a budding artists colony. Art and antiques sales, as well.
Where: Spring City, 12 miles northeast of Ephraim
When: May 26
Cost: $10 adults, $5 children under 12Information: www.historicspringcity.org
Moab Arts Festival
Description: Arts and crafts including jewelry, pottery, wood, sculpture, fine art, photography, music, kids' area, food court.
Where: Swanny City Park, Moab
When: May 26 and 27
Cost: Free admissionInformation: www.moabartsfestival.org
Deseret Peak Stampede and Days
Description: A potpourri of events including a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo, craft show, pony rides, entertainment.
Where: Deseret Peak Complex, 2930 W. Highway 112, Tooele
When: June 1 and 2
Cost: $5-$10 adults, $3-$5 childrenInformation: www.deseretpeakcomplex.com
American Indian Art Show
Description: Paintings, beadwork, leatherwork, wood carvings and more by Amerian Indian artists.
Where: Western Heritage Museum, 328 E. 200 South, Vernal
When: June 4-23
Cost: Free, donations acceptedInformation: www.co.uintah.ut.us/museum/whMuseum.php
Quilt Walk Festival
Description: An homage to Panguitch's pioneer heritage with a quilt show in the high school gymnasium, quilting demonstrations, cowboy action shoot, Lions Club breakfast, Dutch oven cooking classes, craft fair, parade and races.
When: June 6-9
Cost: Many events are freeInformation: www.quiltwalk.com
Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games
Description: Traditional Scottish games, kids games, piping and drumming, Highland dancing, Tattoo, etc.
Where: Thanksgiving Point, Lehi
When: June 8 and 9
Cost: $8 adults, $5 childrenInformation: www.utahscots.org
Utah Arts Festival
Description: Celebration of a multitude of art forms, including visual, performing and literary; activities for children.
Where: Library Square, Salt Lake City
When: June 21-24
Cost: $8 adults, $5 seniors, children under 12 freeInformation: www.uaf.org
Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally and Hot Air Balloon Festival
Description: Thirty balloons will take to the air every morning at 6:30; balloon glow on Main Street at dusk Saturday; mass ascension Sunday morning. Other activities include parades and children's events.
When: June 22-24
Cost: $8 adults, $5 seniors, children under 12 freeInformation: www.panguitchballoons.com
Tooele Arts Festival
Description: Visual arts from paintings to photographs, children's art yard, performing arts.
Where: Tooele City Park
When: June 22-24
Cost: FreeInformation: www.tooeleartsfestival.org
Description: A variety of western-themed events including a craft fair, a horse parade and a PRCA rodeo.
Where: Various locations in Lehi
When: June 25-30
Cost: Many events are free; others charge admissionInformation: www.lehicity.com
Blast From the Past Car Show
Description: Cruise/parade, burnout contest, firemen's barbecue, car show and cruise to Maple Grove for a steak dinner.
When: July 27-29
Cost: $20 to enter your car in the car show; charge for the barbecueInformation: 877-473-8368
Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride
Description: Ride your bike from the marina to the Fielding Garr Ranch.
Where: Antelope Island State Park
When: June 29
Cost: Preregistration fee is $20 for people 14 and older; $15 for children under 14Information: www.daviscountyutah.gov
Outlaw Trail Theater
Description: "The Sound of Music" will be presented in an outdoor amphitheater.
Where: Vernal's Western Park
When: June 19-July 7 (Tuesday-Saturday, except July 4)
Cost: $9 adults, $8 seniors, $7 childrenInformation: www.myartscouncil.org
Boulder Heritage Days
Description: Dutch oven cook-off, saddle display, silent auction, family focus on the Lymans. This year's theme is "Remembering the Boulder Rodeos."
Where: Anasazi State Park, Boulder
When: July 12-14
Cost: Free; paid admission into the museum is separateInformation: www.boulderutah.com
America's Freedom Festival
Description: One of the best patriotic celebrations in the country. Grand parade, Stadium of Fire, patriotic program, art shows, entertainment, carnival, etc.
When: June 30-July 4
Cost: $25-$120 for Stadium of Fire (home.byu.edu/webapp/buytickets/index.jspInformation: www.utah.com/freedomfestival
Description: A tribute to the aromatic arts with crafts, entertainment and tours of a lavender farm and distillery.
Where: Young Living Lavender Farm, 3700 N. Highway 91, Mona
When: July 6 and 7
Cost: $7 adults, $4 childrenInformation: www.younglivingfarms.com
Spirit of '47 Pioneer Jubilee
Description: Old-time celebration with pioneer games, teamster challenges, pioneer sports, a handcart progressive dinner and more.
Where: American West Heritage Center, Wellsville
When: July 21
Cost: Regular admission appliesInformation: www.awhc.org
Description: Parade, crafts fair, rodeo, fireworks.
Where: Garden City
When: Aug. 2-4
Cost: Many of the events are freeInformation: www.gardencityut.us
Park City Art Festival
Description: 220 artists, from potters to painters to jewelry designers, will display and sell their wares. Entertainment and kids' activities.
Where: Park City's Main Street
When: Aug. 4 and 5
Cost: $5 adults, children under 10 admitted freeInformation: www.kimball-art.org
Sevier County Fair
Description: 100th anniversary of the fair, which means this year will be bigger and better than ever with a lumberjack show, fireworks after the rodeo, a concert by Western Underground and more.
Where: Fairgrounds in Richfield
When: Aug. 6-11
Cost: Free admission to fair; charge for the rodeo and Western Underground concertInformation: www.sevierutah.net
Description: Craft and food booths, entertainment, 10K run, chuck-wagon breakfast, parade, barbecue dinner are among the many activities.
When: Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Cost: Many activities are freeInformation: www.midwayswissdays.com
Brigham City Peach Days
Description: Parade, art and essay contest, food and craft booths, fruit display, hot rod and custom car show.
Where: Brigham City
When: Sept. 5-8Comment on this story
Cost: Many events are freeInformation: www.bcareachamber.com
Rocky Mountain ATV Jamboree
Description: Guided rides on the Paiute and Great Western trail systems. Four days of guided riding, with a choice each day of up to 30 different rides. Elevations range from 5,000 feet to 11,000 feet. Riders come from as far away as Germany and Costa Rica. This is a good way to acquaint yourself with the trails of central Utah.
Where: Sevier Valley Center, Richfield
When: Sept. 17-22
Cost: $140 per rider (includes some meals)Information: www.atvjam.com