CEDAR CITY – “Festival City, USA” is the moniker earned by Cedar City though the years as it plays host to countless festivals and year round events. Events like the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Utah Summer Games and Cedar City Half Marathon help fill up hotel rooms, local restaurants and help boost the local economy. In recent years more sporting events and major races are joining the line up of events in “Festival City, USA”. With the addition of these events, comes a need for community support in the form of volunteers.
“Volunteers are the ‘face of a race’ and the ambassadors for our cities,” said Bonnie Char, Public Relations Specialist for Cedar City Brian Head Tourism Bureau. “Volunteers can make or break an event. We want the athletes to have a positive experience and come back year after year to participate. Organization is vital, but it’s the volunteers that bring all the elements together for a smooth extraordinary event.”
Byron Linford, Shawna Smith and other organizers are hoping to call on community members of all ages to help make Cedar City even more welcoming and hospitable. This year four events are in need of volunteers to come forward and help: Fire Road Cycling Mountain Bike Race (July 9), Cedar Express 31 Mile Relay (Aug 27), the Red Rock Relay (Sept 9) and the Cedar City Half marathon (Sept 17). Each of these events requires a lot of behind the scenes efforts. Shawna Smith, the founder and organizer of the Cedar Express Relay notes, “You don’t have to be a runner to be involved in a relay. We need help well before the race starts – in the planning stages, along the route, and even after the race is over.”
Volunteers are needed for registration, traffic control for safety, hydration stations, medal presentations – every aspect of a race or event can benefit from the personal extra efforts that community members can provide.
“These events have a profound economic impact on our community in ways many people don’t realize. In addition to the ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling you get for helping out – usually there is a free tee shirt involved. The best part is, there is a whole lot of fun to be found in the process of being part of the buzz and hype of it all,” Char said.
Individuals or groups interested in volunteering to help with these sporting events should call the Volunteer Center of Iron County at (435) 867-8384.