Updated: Aug 16, 2021
By: Jon Shumaker
Belly Dancers getting ready for a show
There is another reason to go to southern Utah, other than the natural beauty. It is the festivals! The city of Cedar City bills itself as the festival city that is worth the trip. To add a bit of contrast when you are hiking about the mountains and trying to capture the same red rock formations in a slightly different way in the middle of July, go and checkout the Utah Midsummer Renaissance Faire. This is a 4-day free event at Main Street Park in downtown Cedar City. With entertainers, craft folk, kid’s activities, fencing, and food vendor with all your renaissance desires. A costume is not necessary but why not have a little fun and dress up with your snake!
Rainbow in Cedar City, UT
The largest city in the county is in the valley, framed by the picturesque mountains, this is the perfect setting for faire fun. Roam the streets of the fair next to knights, black plague doctors, and minotaur’s. Your little squires might enjoy magicians, plays, dancers, and other performers at the main stage or the slides. They just might want to get painted into their favorite character or an animal.
The food choices are the typical choices and some with a twist. Make sure you try the classic food of all faires, the oversized turkey leg. For a small brewed crème soda or root beer, get a bottle of Bison Brew’s fresh and mellow sodas, and you can get unlimited refills for a little more. This is the perfect faire drink in the hot Utah sun. For a unique take on thin crust pizza from a local shop in Cedar City, go to Dough Dough Bird Pizza. They start with freshly made pizza dough weighed to an exacting standard. Then the dough is pressed to an 1/8 an inch. The thin crust is then smeared liberally with their house pizza sauce and the chosen toppings. The wood burning oven then adds the hint of smoke to a mouthwatering pie.
Fountain pen by Writefully Your Pens & more
For those who enjoy writing with a pen and want a special experience every time you journal. Indulge in a pen by Writefully Your Pens & more. They make handcrafted pens, pepper grinders, and other wood crafts. If you have a beautiful journal with handmade paper, this is the place for you. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ever heard of Pot People, probably not but Miss Sara makes charming decorative and useful creations. Those that want a cute stash pot that is a piece of art, go to My Faerietale for a useful conversation piece. These are handcrafted one-of-a-kind, white clay figurines on clay pots that lift for a convenient storage space beneath. She is on Facebook, Etsy, and at www.myfaerietale.net.
Stash Pots created by Miss Sarah
For those who like to cook but want to make the flavoring a bit easier, A Spice Above has delicious dips, spreads, and dressing powders. Preparation is easy, by mixing the powder into a base such as mayo or cream cheese at https://aspiceabove.com.
If you are looking for high quality handmade towels, The Bloomin’ Loom Weaving Studio and Nelson Wool Works has it all. These spin wool and then make all their pieces on loom. These are high quality towels that will last many years.
Miss Erieli spinning wool
The art of spinning wool might be thought of as a lost art, but Fiber Bard by Erieli Knits is bringing a small handheld wool spinner to all who dare. She is a passionate gal who loves what she does and has an infections quality with her passion. She spins yarn on a manual device if one just wants a quality pro yarn without all the work. Her website is www.erieliknits.com. Is it time to find a new hobby?
Hand wool yarn spinner
For those looking for hand built quality weapons, checkout Raven Loft Designs at www.ravenloftdesigns.net. These are the swords for those serious in cosplay. Most weapons you will find are lower grade stainless steel imported from China that will not withstand combat, but these fine quality blades and axes for those that want an authentic costume.
This is a popular fair that brings out all those who enjoy cosplay and those looking for something to do. If you get tired of Faire food, there are many small restaurants within a few blocks and within 20 miles to many good natural wonders. For a perfectly cooked Thai experience, go to Bunnisa’s Thai Cuisine. This is a local family-owned restaurant that serves huge portions for a good price. For a classic American diner, All American Diner has your favorite breakfast all day and a customizable stuffed burger. Make sure you get these solid onion, onion rings! For locally made ice cream, try The Pizza Cart or Palette Bakery. Palette Bakery makes unusual custom flavors of creamy ice cream with a high melt factor. You will have time to enjoy your double scoop cone without getting a sticky hand.
Now for my favorite topic, the local coffee. My favorite spot to work or have a chat with high quality coffee Bristlecone has light meals (even a few gluten free, low carb options) and an expansive selection of coffee. There are comfortable couches to sit for a business meeting or your first date (even have a few board games to break the ice). The folks that work here offer world class service. For a good place to study or read, Grind Coffee House has plenty of comfy chairs to enjoy a good book and many seating options.
View from Brian Head
People might go to southern Utah for natural wonders but look around and you might find a few hidden experiences, such as a local festival or smaller park. A couple of the local canyons that are highly recommended are Cedar Breaks National Monument, Flanigan Arch, Kanarraville Falls, Brian Head (for the view), and Kolob Canyons. Flanigan arch is a part of the Zion National Park, but the only access to the park is via a few days hike on a trail. This is a less explored part of the park that has some interesting, abandoned cars. When a park location was being chosen, the surveyor choice Zion over Kolob Canyon due to visitor capacity limitation, but Kolob was his preferred area. The popular choice is Bryce Canyon, but the views are spectacular and take the Navajo Loop (with Wall Street). On highway 89 in Hatch, UT, go to Outlaw Saloon- Western Bar and Steakhouse for quality steak and local brews. Also, in Hatch is Sevier Coffee Company. This is a surprising addition to such a small town. Have fun and be safe in your explorations.