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30-year Anniversary to feature Parkites

Dan bischoff, Of the Record Staff

The Utah Arts festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary at the Library Square in Salt Lake this Thursday through Sunday. Hundreds of artists and musicians from around the country will travel to Utah to showcase their talent and take part in the gala. Among them are a few Parkites.

The huge event started with a budget of $36,000 and has risen dramatically to $1.2 million today. It is consistently rated among the top 50 art festivals in the country, according to Robyn Nelson, Executive Director of the Utah Arts Festival.

"Thirty years is quite a milestone for an effort that started on a shoe-string and put performers on the backs of flat-bed trucks," Nelson said. "The festival made it that first year and has continued to thrive and survive over the years because of one thing the dedication and hard work of thousands of individuals in this community who have donated their skill, talent, labor, money and passion each and every year."

Carol Wade, an artist who lives in Park City, will make her debut at the festival this year. Wade made her return to the Beehive State after moving to Park City from Big Fork, Montana this last December. She taught graphic design at BYU until she moved in 1979. Since then, she has lived in the Atlantic area on a boat then in Montana. She wanted to live in a place that had skiing. Her son lives in Salt Lake and she has had her artwork displayed in the Phoenix Gallery on Main Street so Park City was a perfect fit.

Wade’s art has done well at the Park City Arts Festival in the past. Her artwork uses paint acrylics with an expressionistic western theme. She paints a lot of cowboys, horses and rodeo.

"I like to do people gestures that capture a relationship and a mood," Wade said.

Wade has been busy this summer. On Monday she was driving from an arts festival in Portland. She is looking forward to her first appearance at the Utah festival.

"It will be quite different than Portland’s. I hope its more like Park City’s festival, I think people in Utah are more supportive of the artists. Since I’ve been away from Utah for so long I think it will be really fun to run into old friends."

Park City’s Rich Wyman will also be part of the Utah Arts Festival for the first time. He will be playing Saturday at 7:15 p.m. with a five-piece band.

"Every year they send me the application and I toss it. Something about this year just made me want to do it. I’ve done every venue in Park City. I’m doing it more out of curiosity than anything else. It’s just something I haven’t done, it’s a new experience. They get a lot of people and I’m excited to play with a band since most of my shows are solo."

Other Parkites involved in the festival are Angie Price who will exhibit jewelry and local fiction writer, Joe Totten.

In the 20th anniversary over 86,000 attendees came to the Festival, more is expected this year. Since 1977, the festival has had over 4.5 million people attend, displayed the work of over 4,000 artists, served over 1 million drinks and painted more than 225,000 faces. The festival requires 50 tents, 2,256 plastic folding chairs, 449 plastic tablecloths, 510 feet of vinyl fencing, 1,218 signs, 102 two-way radios, 334 200-pound cement weights, 262 44-gallon trash cans, 140 water barrels, 76 portable toilets, seven golf carts and 976 volunteers, according to a press release.

Among the performers seen at the festival for the first time in Utah this year are Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre, Kronos Quartet, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Laurie Anderson, David Sanborne, Yassou N’Dour, The Staple Singers, The Roches and Philip Glass.

The 2006 Utah Arts Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary at Library Square on Thursday, June 22 through Sunday, June 25. Admission is free for children 12 and under, and $5 for senior citizens (ages 55 and above). Adult admission is $8. From noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, admission is $5. For more information about the festival, call (801) 322-2428 or visit http://www.uaf.org. The festival is also looking for volunteers to set up and tear down the event.


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