Campfire Concerts help injured wildlife, offer community fun

CEDAR CITY — Cedar City community members are invited to gather around a campfire, sing songs and enjoy an evening with family and friends in the great outdoors at the Southwest Wildlife Foundation’s Campfire Concerts in Cedar Canyon on Friday.

This is the sixth year of the Campfire Concerts, Martin Tyner, CEO and founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation said, and the event has seen an increase in attendance over the years.

The concert is free to the public, but donations will be accepted. The money from these donations will go directly to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation for the rehabilitation of injured wildlife. These donations are welcome, Tyner said, but are not the center focus of what the Campfire Concerts are all about.

“The purpose of the Campfire Concerts is to provide a free … program at Cedar Canyon for the people of Utah,” he said.  “The park is for the benefit of the community.”

The Southwest Wildlife Foundation averages more than 100 wildlife rescues a year, Tyner said. The Foundation receives information from other organizations like the BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service and local police, which they then use to rescue animals, nurse them back to health and then release them back into the wild.

Musical entertainment for the Campfire Concerts is organized by Tim Cretsinger, president of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation and owner of Groovacious in Cedar City. Cretsinger said the Campfire Concerts offer a unique chance for people to come out and listen to local music.

“It’s an opportunity to see some talent that you may not have seen yet,” Cretsinger said. “Even if you have, it’s a great setting.”

Musical guests at Friday’s Campfire Concert include the band Wilhelm and solo artist Jason Burton. Both musical acts offer good music and an intimate experience to be shared with family and friends, Cretsinger said.

While the Campfire Concert is primarily an acoustic music event, Cretsinger said the recent addition of a PA system allows those attending to hear the music better than in previous years, especially when the crowds are large.

“This should amplify (the music) a little bit to make it easier for people to hear but still keep that cozy campfire feel,” Cretsinger said.

The Southwest Wildlife Foundation is planning to host a fundraiser at The Grind Coffeehouse in Cedar City, Tyner said. Beginning Sept. 1 and continuing throughout the month, patrons can view and purchase art and photography there. The proceeds from the fundraiser will assist the Foundation in its efforts to aid injured wildlife and will also benefit the Cedar Canyon Nature Park, he said.

The Campfire Concert will begin at 8 p.m. Friday in Cedar Canyon Nature Park, located 1.5 miles east of Main Street on Highway 14, across from the Cedar Canyon Nature Park’s Coal Creek Bridge. Those planning to attend the Campfire Concert are encouraged to bring their own camp chairs and, if they would like, hot dogs or other food to cook over the fire. Marshmallows and roasting sticks will be provided.

Event details

  • What: Southwest Wildlife Foundation Campfire Concert
  • When: Friday, Aug. 29 | 8 p.m.
  • Where: Cedar Canyon Nature Park, 1.5 miles east of Main Street on Highway 14, across from Cedar Canyon Nature Park’s Coal Creek Bridge, Cedar City
  • Admission: Free | Donations accepted
  • Details: Southwest Wildlife Foundation | Telephone: 435-586-4693

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