The fourth annual Panguitch Lake Heritage Arts Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, August 10 and 11 at the Panguitch Lake LDS Chapel grounds located at 25 UT-143 (Highway 143). The free, two-day learning and entertainment celebration features live music, arts and crafts demonstrations, storytelling, square dancing, workshops in music, art and storytelling, creative vendors and a Dutch oven dinner — all held against the backdrop of Panguitch Lake, one of Utah’s hidden gems. The event harkens back to summer festivities that took place in the area in the 1890s.
“The Panguitch Lake Heritage Arts Festival echoes with the same excitement visitors felt when they came to enjoy this exquisite location more than a hundred and twenty years ago,” said musician and arts innovator Clive Romney, who has been working closely with Garfield County Tourism and local residents to organize this year’s event. “In those early days, people came from Nevada, California and Arizona and stayed at the lake for a month or more, escaping the heat to enjoy theatrical plays, ceremonial Indian dances, nightly fish fries and even a floating dance floor on the lake.”
This year’s featured headliners including storyteller / musician Clive Romney, Kanab-based newgrass / folk band The W Duo, native American dancer / flute player / storyteller Nino Reyos, and Joshua Baird and Tara Timpson — a husband and wife team who entertain with mandolin, banjo, guitar and vocals.
The schedule of events for this year is as follows:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 (4-9pm)
4pm Music, Art & Storytelling Workshops
6pm Dutch Oven Dinner (pay the amount you wish)
7pm Square Dancing
SATURDAY, AUG. 11 (10am-7pm)
Arts & Crafts Demonstrations (including blacksmithing, wool spinning, treadle lathe woodworking, banjo making and the pioneer-era craft of fashioning human hair into artistic flowers, trees and other designs)
“Two of Panguitch Lake’s best selling points have always been its cooler temperatures and its excellent fishing,” Romney said. “Local residents are working hard to make the Panguitch Lake Heritage Arts Festival yet another reason to visit, to take in the area’s beauty and to enjoy some fine entertainment and learning in the process.”
The Panguitch Lake Heritage Arts Festival is sponsored by Utah’s Bryce Canyon Country, KB Oil and KB Express, Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts, Jones Paint & Glass and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. For more details, visit http://www.panguitchlakefestival.com/
Panguitch Lake is situated at an elevation of 8,215 feet, which explains its reputation as an oasis from the heat. (By contrast, St. George’s elevation is 2,860 feet!) The lake is known as one of the best trout fishing sites in Utah and is only 25 minutes from Panguitch and one hour from Cedar City.
A visit to the Panguitch Lake Heritage Arts Festival makes an easy day trip or weekend trip from many other cities in Utah and nearby states: St. George (1.75 hour drive), Mesquite (2.75), Salt Lake City (4.25), Las Vegas (4.25), Flagstaff (4.75), Logan (5.5) and Bakersfield (7.5). Accommodations include lakeshore cabins, campgrounds and hotels in surrounding areas.
Panguitch Lake is located on Utah State Route 143, also known as the Brian Head-Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway. Special attractions close to Panguitch Lake include natural wonders like Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon and Zions, as well as activities like the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Anasazi State Park Museum, hiking and horseback riding.
The word panguitch is an Indian word meaning “water animal” or “fish.”