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Festivals and events are returning to Salt Lake City this summer

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SALT LAKE CITY — More than a year ago, many of us began working from our homes instead of at the office. At the same time, many if not most summer events in Salt Lake City were also sent packing. 

But with COVID-19 vaccines now available and more permissive guidelines issued for the vaccinated, summer events can return. And they are! And even though these events may look a little different this year, they are still something to look forward to. 

Summer 2021 events in Salt Lake City

Living Traditions Festival: May 15-June 26

The 2021 Living Traditions festival will consist of smaller events peppered throughout May and June; as opposed to their typical one large event. The modified festival will kick off May 15 at Washington Square. Events are free to the public. 

Although some of the festival has moved online you can still enjoy the main framework of the event in an outdoor setting: artists demonstrating their unique cultural heritage through traditional song, dance and food.

The festival’s food market will return featuring more than “a dozen culinary artists who present their unique and varied cultural delicacies.” COVID-19 restrictions will be in place. 

Updates and more information about the Living Traditions Festival will be posted on their social media pages

Pride Week 2021: June 1-7

In a typical year, Pride Week celebrates the LGBTQ+ community in a way that takes over downtown Salt Lake City. Current CDC guidelines will make the celebration a bit smaller this year.  However, Pride Week will still go on. 

Assuming the guidelines don’t radically change in the coming weeks, here’s the COVID-19-safe lineup for Pride Week:

Pride Story Garden–Our History, Our Stories, Our Communities

This is an interactive outdoor exhibit on Washington Square that will continuously grow over a five-day period. To keep crowds safely distanced, the Story Garden will employ maze-like barriers and tickets will be date and time-specific.

Pride in the Sky

A “loud and proud” nighttime fireworks display for all ages and communities.

Rainbow March & Rally—Raise Our Voices:

The rally will start at the Capitol and proceed down State Street and Harvey Milk Boulevard 

Pride Month Proclamations and Flag raisings:

Community leaders and legislators will come together to recognize June 1 as the start of Pride Month. 

Interfaith Service:

A collaboration of different faith groups to bring a variety of spiritual communities together and connect with and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

All of the proceeds from the Pride Week Celebration support the Utah Pride Center’s outreach, mental health, educational and other programs. 

The center expects to release more information about the events come April. Of course, all planned events are subject to current COVID-19 restrictions, so stay up-to-date on any changes to Pride Week events by following the Utah Pride Center on social media

Utah Blues Festival: June 10-12

The Utah Blues Society has written down the date in pencil. In a normal year, the Utah Blues Festival attracts an all-ages crowd of 3,500 toe-tapping people to the Gallivan Center for three days. 

However, other blues festivals across the country have had to postpone their events due to the pandemic. Blues musicians and fans hope Utah won’t have to go the same way.

Utah Arts Festival: Aug. 27-29

Organizers had to take a long, hard look at how they could hold a safe, in-person event in summer 2021. They conducted multiple surveys and the feedback they received from artists, partners, staff, and the community was clear: people were excited about the possibility of a live in-person event. 

The surveys found respondents would feel comfortable attending an in-person event in August, so organizers moved the dates of the Festival back. In addition to the later date, the Festival may look a little different than years past to be in line with recommendations from the Utah Department of Health and the CDC. 

This year, participating groups will be smaller and people will have to make reservations in advance.

For those who might not feel comfortable attending an in-person event by August, the Festival will have a virtual element as well, including an online marketplace to view and purchase art.

2021 Twilight Concert Series

While the Salt Lake Arts Council says they are planning on a summer concert series, the exact shape it will take hasn’t been hammered out just yet.