GEORGE STREETFEST HOSTS “BACK TO SCHOOL GEORGE”
Young and old invited to hit the streets before hitting the books
George Streetfest is gearing up for southern Utah’s biggest back-to-school party August 5. “Back to School George” promises a diverse blend of musical entertainment – from 70s classic rock to funk and rap – alongside the usual complement of street vendors, buskers, food trucks, the George Dollar Movie, and much more.
“I can’t think of a better way to close out another wonderful southern Utah summer season than to enjoy outstanding entertainment, food and fun as a community,” noted Melynda Thorpe, George Streetfest Founder & Executive Producer. “Our warm August evenings are perfect for dancing under the stars, and we have a lineup of top-notch performers who will keep the celebration going all night long.”
At 8 p.m., rapper, funk and pop artist Mimi Knowles – the first artist to bring rap to the Streetfest – will headline Main Stage. A native of Maine, Knowles has made a name for himself at battle of the bands competitions throughout the U.S., and was winner of the prestigious Velour Battle of the Bands credited for catapulting Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees to fame. Possessed of a style that incorporates funk rhythms with soulful melodies over hip-hop production, Knowles has opened for such headliners as Boyz II Men and Carrie Underwood (performing for the latter in a stadium before 60,000 people), and will appear this fall with Common Kings and Charlie Puth. Knowles recently finished his first EP, “Something New for A Change,” and is scheduled to release a new single in late August.
Those 21 and over can enjoy the ‘70s classic sounds of The Clique, who will perform from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. at The Desert Pulse Jazz Garden at historic Ancestor Square. The Clique has been playing together since the 1960s, when most of its members were music majors at the College of Southern Utah (now Southern Utah University). Since then the band has recorded several original tunes, and has performed widely throughout Utah and Nevada for nearly five decades. Following The Clique’s set, from 9 to 11 p.m. The Desert Pulse Jazz Garden welcomes the Naked Waiters, one of Utah’s most popular young musical acts. This small, Provo-based acoustic troupe has attracted a huge and devoted following with their unique blend of guitar, ukulele and pitch-perfect harmonies.
While listening to live music on the grass in The Desert Pulse Jazz Garden, Historic Downtown’s quaintest venue, attendees can sample craft brews from Wasatch Brewery and Zion Brewing Company. Boutique wines from Iron Gate Winery in Cedar City and other vintages selected by the St. George Wine Club, along with a variety of tapas prepared by downtown restaurateurs, will be available as well.
As always, George street buskers will keep the action going throughout the evening, while a collection of street vendors will offer handmade wares for sale, and Food Truck Village purveyors can satisfy virtually any palate. Capping off the entertainment lineup will be the screening of the August Dollar Movie, “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” presented by TDS Telecom. The 1989 film classic will be shown at the historic Electric Theater on Tabernacle Street.
Appropriately during Back to School George, attendees can become “schooled” in some intriguing facts about the area’s earliest residents, courtesy of the Arts to Zion Showcase, “Snapshot 1880s: The Way Our Pioneers Worked in Washington County,” currently on display at the Arts to Zion Showcase/Gallery 35. A collaborative effort between the Silver Reef Museum and the St. George Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, the exhibit is the kickoff of Arts to Zion’s year-long series of collaborations with Washington County arts and cultural organizations, in preparation for the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) traveling exhibition, “The Way We Worked.”
“We encourage George Streetfest visitors to stop by and see this fabulous and educational exhibition,” Thorpe said. “A significant mission of Streetfest is to support local arts in all genres; the visual as well as the performing arts. We are delighted that Arts to Zion Showcase/Gallery 35 chooses to stay open and welcome the community during our monthly celebration, and invite everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to experience their exhibitions first-hand.”
George Streetfest on Main, a nightlife event designed to celebrate the best of Southern Utah, is held on the first Friday of every month from 6-10 p.m., with The Desert Pulse Jazz Garden open until midnight April–October. The event is presented by Emceesquare Media at Historic Downtown St. George, and is sponsored in 2016 by the City of St. George, St. George Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Canyon Media, St. George News, Etched Magazine, The Independent, Wingate by Windham Hotel, TDS Telecom, The Desert Pulse, Tuacahn, Iron Gate Winery and Wasatch Brewery.
For more information, or to become a vendor, visit georgestreetfest.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. George Streetfest organizers are now accepting applications for street market vendors, buskers, and food vendors.