Beehives and Kettle Corn at the Height of Summer

Utah Arts Festival

'Look at the sun hitting those mountains,' said Laura Love from the main stage at the Utah Arts Festival. 'What mountains are those?'

She didn't wait to find out, and instead dove into a song from her great album, 'Octoroon.' Later, she came back to the crowd.'

'Oh, someone has told me they are the Wasatch. What great mountains.'

Laura Love rocked the crowd until after 10 p.m., then stepped down for the fair's hottest attraction, Cirque du Flambe, a pyrotechnics side show. Unfortunately, the show was hampered by high winds and the best fire displays were canceled the night I was there.

This was the 25th anniversary of the Utah Arts Festival, and the show featured 125 crafts artists from Utah and beyond, as well as 104 Utah artists in a show called 'Changing Perceptions.' The official mascot of the festival? The beehive, as in the beehive hairdo. As visitors to Utah know, the beehive is sort of like the state symbol.

The fair used to be held downtown, which was a superb place, but a few years ago it was moved out to the state fairpark, just a few miles west. Here there is more parking and more shade. This year the stages were moved farther apart and the after-hours fire show was added for festival go-ers who did not want to go home at 10 p.m.

But Laura Love, who has been to Utah several times now, was by far the best of the art festival's attractions. With a huge bag of kettle corn and a glass of honey-sweet lindenflower wine, which is made in Mt. Pleasant, Chris, Michelle, Laura, Jannell and Steve and I wandered over to the main stage to see Laura Love, then broke into unstoppable dancing when her 'Afro-Celtic' chords hit home.

Well into her show the sun set, a stray shower passed over, and summer continued.

For more information, head to www.uaf.org.

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