‘Georgefest’ celebrates the fools with jazzy first Friday fun

Red Rock Swing Dancers dance to the music of the Dixie Rebel Jazz Band at a previous Georgefest event, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Nicole Winona, Emceesquare Media, Inc., St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The monthly nighttime community event “Georgefest” rings in a new month Friday with “April Fool’s George,” celebrating some of the best music, fine art, food – and fun – to be found in St. George.

A father and his child enjoy the nightlife offered at a previous Georgefest event, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Nicole Winona, Emceesquare Media, Inc., St. George News

“We love celebrating April Fool’s Day, because laughter relieves stress,” Melynda Thorpe, Georgefest founder and creative director, said. “We encourage everyone in southern Utah to come out on April 7, and enjoy some stress-reducing fun at Georgefest. As we love to say, this kind of fun is good for you.”

Opening the entertainment lineup on the main stage at 6:30 p.m. will be singer/songwriter Josh Larsen. A St. George resident and longtime local favorite, Larsen has been crafting original material since he first taught himself to play guitar at the age of 16.

Salt Lake City-based Vintage Overdrive will headline on the main stage beginning at 8:30 p.m. An original rock and blues band, the five-member group will be performing selections from their upcoming EP “Love Will Conquer Fear.”

Mr. CP’s Jazz Band will hold court in the Jazz Garden presented by The Desert Pulse at Green Gate Village. Led by journeyman string bassist Carlyle Potter, the band gets things swinging at 6:30 p.m. with a tribute to legendary musicians Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

At 9 p.m., several of the areas’ finest jazz musicians will stop by the garden to take part in a special VIP jam session. Cool jazz and hot improvisations will last until 10:30 p.m., with the Jazz Garden remaining open until midnight.

While enjoying smooth tunes, those 21 and over can sample craft brews from Wasatch Brewery and Squatters and boutique wines from IG Winery. Tapas from Kanab’s Sego Restaurant and an array of specialty sodas will also be available.

In honor of the new outdoor sculpture garden being installed Saturday morning in Historic Downtown St. George by the Art Around the Corner board of directors – in cooperation with the city of St. George – Georgefest attendees will have the chance to participate in a one-of-a-kind event: the “Georgefest Mannequin Challenge.”

Anyone so inclined is invited to climb aboard one of the designated pedestals and strike a pose for as long as possible. Friends and family members are encouraged to capture the poses and post them to social media using the hashtag #georgefest, creating a one-time-only, digital sculpture garden during the monthly community celebration.

Georgefest Logo | Image courtesy of Emceesquare Media, Inc., St. George News

“We are delighted to partner with Georgefest in such a unique and fun way,” Susan Jarvis, Art Around the Corner board chair, said. “With our new collection of 26 outstanding sculptures being installed on April 8, Georgefest offers a perfect opportunity to create awareness about the show. We hope everyone will get excited about returning to downtown after the pieces are in place, and enjoy the talents of these amazing artisans who add so much to our visual landscape in St. George.”

More interactions with fine art will be possible during Georgefest at Gallery 35, located at 35 N. Main St. The gallery will host a reception celebrating the work of Dixie Watercolor Society member Michelle Manriquez. Following a debilitating stroke at age 40, Manriquez began painting during her rehabilitation. She has since earned multiple Best of Show awards in local watercolor contests, and in 2016 her work was selected for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 37th annual “International Juried Exhibition.”

Manriquez will be joined by fellow Dixie Watercolor Society member Karen March, who will create new works of art in real time during the reception and offering a drawing to win a giclee of her work

For more information, or to become a vendor, visit the Georgefest website, or email [email protected]. Georgefest organizers are now accepting applications for street market vendors, buskers and food vendors.

Event details

  • What: “Georgefest: April Fool’s George.”
  • When: Friday, April 7, 6-1o p.m. | Jazz Garden open until midnight.
  • Where: Historic Main Street St. George | Jazz Garden located at Green Gate Village 76 Tabernacle St., St. George.
  • Cost: Free; vendors vary | Jazz Garden, $5 cover charge.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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