George Streetfest collaborates with St. George Children’s Museum and City of St. George Dec. 2, as the monthly First Friday community event in historic downtown takes on a holiday flavor with the arrival of Santa, the annual Gingerbread Tour, live music and more.
The imminent return of the Gingerbread Tour has prompted a flurry of designing and baking, as downtown merchants vie for the coveted trophy currently held by the 2015 victor, 25 Main. As usual, the winner of this year’s Tour will be determined by ballots cast at downtown locations. Click here to download Gingerbread Tour Map 2016.
Ballot collection and tallying – to be overseen by students from Dixie State University’s accounting and statistics department – will take place at 8 p.m. on Dec. 2, with the winner of both the “People’s Choice” and “Mayor’s Choice” awards announced by Mayor Jon Pike on Main Stage at 8:45 p.m.
Holiday music on Main Street Stage gets underway with the event launch at 6 p.m., featuring performances by the Dixie Hills Jazz Band and the school’s Vocal Academy. Next on the bill is former Miss Maryland Shannon Birch, a coloratura soprano vocalist who is also a professor of music at DSU, and Southern Utah University Women’s Choir conductor. Birch will be followed by southern Utah native Lisa Mac, whose powerhouse vocals expressed through her original compositions blend blues, pop, soul and funk. It will be Mac’s first appearance on Main Stage, following a popular run as a Streetfest busker. Rounding out the evening will be Misty Frampton, another acclaimed buskerturned-headliner who will be strumming her ukulele and performing a festive mix of holiday favorites.
Teens and youths can enjoy crafts, games, hot chocolate and cookies courtesy of the St. George Leisure Services Department, in the parking lot adjacent to the Tabernacle on Main Street. While there, kids and parents can take advantage of rides on the carousel in Town Square, where Santa will be tossing out candy canes from his sleigh. Capping off the holiday observance at Town Square will be performances by a trio of choirs and an orchestra from local schools.
The December edition of The Desert Pulse Jazz Garden will feature appearances at 6:30 p.m. by Josh Larsen, and Less Than Lucid at 8:30 p.m. Larsen, a local singer-songwriter, will display his eclectic repertoire, which spans country, rock, pop, R&B, alternative and progressive rock genres. Also based in St. George, Less Than Lucid counts among its influences The Beatles, Collective Soul, Kenny Wayne Sheppard and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among many others. The five member group will interpret their favorite classic rock and blues tunes, interspersed with original compositions (including several penned by Josh Larsen). If weather conditions dictate, the Jazz Garden will be held indoors the historic Ancestor Square Clock Tower building, downstairs from the Painted Pony.
Of course, the highlight of the Dec. 2 event will be the selection of the Gingerbread Tour winners. Visitors to Streetfest are invited to stop in and view each of the gingerbread creations hosted by 20 downtown merchants and vote for their favorites. Maps will be distributed to attendees inside George Magazine; participants who collect stamps from each Tour location will be eligible to drop their maps at the George Store and enter a raffle for valuable prizes, to be announced on Main Stage throughout the evening.
All of the gingerbread creations will be available for purchase via silent auction. Requested minimum bids are $50, with all proceeds from the auction to benefit the St. George Children’s Museum. SGCM Co-Executive Director Anita Wotkyns expressed gratitude for the connection with George Streetfest, saying, “Georgefest has become such a beloved community event that draws thousands of children and their families to downtown each month. Of course, the Gingerbread Tour is one of the most popular events in St George, and is always a hit with the young and young at heart. So we believe this will be a perfect partnership, and look forward to combining our energies to create a wonderful, family-friendly evening for all local residents and visitors to our beautiful city.”
With DJs from Canyon Media doing the raffle giveaways from 6 to 8 p.m., and personalities from St. George News assuming the duties from 8 to 10 p.m., the program promises to be lively and fun, adds George Streetfest Executive Producer Melynda Thorpe. “The holidays in St. George are always a magical time, and the perfect opportunity to observe special traditions,” she noted. “In just over a year, George has become a tradition for many local families, who love to come downtown and share music, food and drink, games and dance. In December we offer our best selection of family activities and entertainment and hope the event becomes an annual tradition for everyone in southern Utah.”
During Streetfest, Arts to Zion/Gallery 35 will showcase a new exhibit by local watercolorist Karen March, along with the largest collection of original watercolors in southern Utah, created by members of the Dixie Watercolor Society. While enjoying the new installation, art-lovers can get a sneak preview of the art to be displayed during the “Arts to Zion” Art and Studio Tour – slated for Martin Luther King weekend/January 2017 – and take advantage of early-bird pricing on tickets for the Tour. Arts to Zion/Gallery 35 is located at 35 N. Main St. in downtown St. George.
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.