Livestock, agriculture and cowboys recognized in Cedar City’s heritage celebrations

CEDAR CITY – For the 10th year in a row the “Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival” drew hundreds to the Cross Hollows Events Center Diamond Z Arena to celebrate roots of the community grounded in agriculture and livestock. The Festival was bookended by Cedar City’s annual sheep parade Saturday morning and cowboy church on Sunday.

Cedar City Livestock & Heritage Festival, downtown Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 25, 2014 | Photo by Leanna Bergeron, St. George News
In this 2014, file photo, sheep parade down Main Street, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 25, 2014 | Photo by Leanna Bergeron, St. George News

The sheep parade is a time-honored tradition of driving the sheep down the mountain and through the streets to bring them in for the winter.

The city was founded on agriculture straight from the beginning, festival committee member David Nyman said.

Beginning with horse and cattle, then moving to sheep, the industrious settlers did everything they could to ensure survival for their families, he said, including sending the women up the mountain with the sheep for the summer while the men stayed behind to work the land and trade for goods that would sustain their livelihoods.

There was so much to do at the Livestock and Heritage Festival it would be an impossible task to see and do everything. ]From vendors and cowboy poets to car shows and rodeo activities there was something to delight children and adults of all ages.

The livestock and agricultural community dates way back to the very beginning of our community, Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson said.

“They’ve always been great partners, great assets,” she said, “in fact, the original Cooperative Cattle Association donated money that was used to buy a furnace (to place) in Old Main at Southern Utah University.”

The festival is a celebration of people who were raised as hard workers and have a dedicated commitment to the community with roots that go back to what built the foundation of Cedar City, Wilson said.

Tractors new and old were on display at the Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival, Cross Hollows Event Center, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Tractors new and old were on display at the Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival, Cross Hollows Event Center, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Rounding up and wrangling all the vendors was no small task, festival committee member Ruth Warman said. In fact it was quite a challenging endeavor, although she has been playing the same role for the past 9 years, she said.

“My biggest challenge is knowing where to put everybody,” Warman said, “because I do not map it out ahead of time.”

The sheep parade and the festival aren’t the only two events that contribute to the celebration of what the city’s heritage in agriculture and livestock have contributed, Nyman said. Each year the committee chooses a grand marshal to represent the face of community agriculture in Cedar City.

There have been 10 chosen so far – one for each year of the festival. A big dinner was held Thursday to celebrate the new marshal, LeGrande Ernest “Sandy” Webster, Nyman said, as well as recognizing those who preceded him.

In Cahoots; Hired Guns, Cowboy EnterTrainers Lannie 'The Marshal' Scopes and Craig 'Creek' Jackson performed Saturday at the Diamond Z Arena at the Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival, Cross Hollows Event Center, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
In Cahoots; Hired Guns, Cowboy EnterTrainers Lannie ‘The Marshal’ Scopes and Craig ‘Creek’ Jackson performed Saturday at the Diamond Z Arena at the Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival, Cross Hollows Event Center, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Saturday evening a “dirt dance” was held for all ready to get loose and boogie down to live music in the dirt-floored arena.

“The cowboys all come here to dance to a western band,” he said.

The final event takes place at the Frontier Homestead State Park, Nyman said.

“In the morning, out there in the park is the ‘Cowboy Church,’” he said. “It’s a nondenominational church with nondenominational talks and things and whatever people feel like – (there is a) fair and music and we call it the ‘Cowboy Church’ and that concludes our weekend.”

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Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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