ST. GEORGE — In honor of Ironman 70.3 St. George, the site of the North American Pro Championship being held in St. George Saturday, the May edition of George Streetfest on Main — taking place the night before — will temporarily be named “Iron George” and will welcome triathletes, family and friends with exciting entertainment, good food and unique street vendors.
Two popular Utah musical acts will greet visitors at George Streetfest: VanLadyLove of Provo and powerhouse blues singer — and fellow Provo native — Ryan Innes.
“Ironman weekend is always exciting in St. George,” Melynda Thorpe, George Streetfest executive producer, said. “With Streetfest taking place the night before the race, we’ll salute all of the incredible athletes who’ll be visiting our beautiful city, with world-class entertainment, amazing food and beverages, and a number of special surprises.”
George Streetfest is welcoming two new sponsors: Tuacahn Center for the Arts and Iron Gate Winery.
“Tuacahn has firmly established itself as a presenter of quality, family-friendly entertainment, and has become one of the biggest attractions in all of Washington County,” Thorpe said. “It makes sound business sense to partner with Tuacahn, and to share resources in bringing the finest performers to the greater St. George area.”
Thorpe added that she thought it was especially fitting that Iron Gate Winery was being announced as a new sponsor for “Iron George.”
“Based in Cedar City, Iron Gate creates outstanding wines that are regularly enjoyed in the Desert Pulse Jazz Garden,” she said. “We appreciate the opportunity to support and celebrate this great, locally produced adult beverage option.”
Main Street Stage and Historic Downtown District
Following an opening set by Snow Canyon High School Jazz Band at 6:15 p.m. on the Main Street Free Concert Stage, DJ Spinz will kick off the monthly Youth DJ Dance Party. VanLadyLove will take the Main Street Stage at 8 p.m., with DJ Spinz returning with dance tunes until 10 p.m.
Through a mixture of YouTube videos, social media and non-stop touring, VanLadyLove has built a solid national and international fan base. The band’s “Love Matter” EP was named by VH1 staff as one of the Best Albums of 2014. That same year, VanLadyLove was cited as #1 Artist on the Verge at the New Music Seminar in New York City, earning the honor through a vote of top A&R scouts, talent buyers, booking agents and other industry experts. In its first week, “Love Matter” charted on iTunes; subsequently, several songs from the album have had placements on national television.
With a nod to Ironman 70.3 St. George, the “Ironman Kids” fun race for those 15 and under will take place in historic downtown during George Streetfest. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., this untimed run features races of approximately 200 meters and one mile, ending at the same finish line where Ironman athletes will conclude their events the following day.
Also on tap for kids, Art and Soul Gallery & Gift – located in the front lobby of the Print It Shop at 55 N. Main St. – will present its first annual Student Showcase during Streetfest. The exhibit will showcase the work of seventh- and eighth-grade students from Vista Charter School in Ivins, with student artists on hand to discuss their pieces.
Topping it all off with be the popular food trucks and a variety of vendors giving “Iron George” an almost ironclad case for being called the best nightlife spot around.
Desert Pulse Jazz Garden
The Desert Pulse Jazz Garden will have a decidedly Latin feel, as it celebrates “Seis de Mayo” (AKA the day after Cinco de Mayo) with music of the legendary Tijuana Brass.
In remembrance of the day when the Mexican army overcame French forces at the Battle of the Puebla, the Desert Pulse Jazz Garden house band will feature the father and son duo of Darrin and Derek Thomas — playing as the Tijuana Jazz Brass Band — as they revisit the sounds made famous by Herb Alpert and his brass ensemble during the 1960s.
Joining the Thomas trumpet duo will be multi-talented trombone musician Jay Nygaard, along with a group of journeymen instrumentalists that include studio and touring musician Ryan Tilby on guitar; the Desert Pulse Jazz Garden House Band’s own drummer, Shawn Owens; and Dixie State University’s Music Department Chair, Dr. Glenn Webb, who will play the vibraphone, a staple instrument in the Tijuana Brass sound. Jazz Garden Host Carlyle Potter will ably fill out the “bottom sound” on bass guitar.
The Tijuana Jazz Brass Band will play from 6-8 p.m., after which Brigham Young University graduate Ryan Innes will display the outstanding blues artistry that took him to national acclaim on NBC’s “The Voice.”
With a sound that has drawn comparisons to John Legend and Marc Broussard, among others, Innes’ biography notes: “if Michael Buble and Joni Mitchell had a love child raised by Jimi Hendrix and babysat by Norah Jones, that child would be Ryan Innes.”
Opening for Innes, southern Utah’s own singer/songwriter Kaitlin Sevy is scheduled to offer a “best of show” intro performance. A Santa Clara native, Sevy is known for her heartfelt indie folk style as a solo artist. She also performs as lead singer for The Whiskey Tooth Revival, has been a featured artist several times at George Streetfest and such events as Groovefest and most recently joined the Earth Day lineup at Jazzy’s Rock ’n’ Roll Grill.
“We are delighted to have a local artist of Kaitlin’s caliber opening for Ryan Innes,” Thorpe said. “Kaitlin is a talented, versatile performer and a phenomenal solo artist. She is a proud reflection of our local music scene.”
Sevy will take the Desert Pulse Jazz Garden stage from 8-8:30 p.m., with Innes doing two sets between 8:45 and 10:30 p.m.
About George Streetfest
On the first Friday of every month, three blocks in the Historic Downtown area are transformed into an exciting afterhours entertainment hub.
Featuring free live music kicking off at 6 p.m. on the Main Street Stage and running until 11 p.m., the Youth DJ Dance Party with DJ Spinz, blues and jazz at the Desert Pulse Jazz Garden, the George Free Photo Booth and the Food Truck Village, George Streetfest has quickly earned a reputation as Southern Utah’s most electrifying nighttime event.
Given the popularity of the Ironman competition – which draws an international field of athletes to St. George each year – as well as the steadily increasing crowds attending George Streetfest monthly, all Streetfest venues are expected to see capacity crowds in May.
The event is presented by Historic Downtown St. George and Emceesquare Media and is sponsored in 2016 by the City of St. George, St. George Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Canyon Media, St. George News, Etched Magazine, The Independent, Wingate by Windham Hotel, TDS Telecom, The Desert Pulse, Tuacahn Center for the Arts and Iron Gate Winery.
For more information or to become a vendor, visit the George Streetfest website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. George Streetfest organizers are now accepting applications for street market vendors, buskers, food vendors and farmer’s market vendors.
- What: George Streetfest on Main
- When: Friday, May 6, 6-11 p.m. | Desert Pulse Jazz Garden open until midnight
- Where: Downtown Historic District, St. George