ST. GEORGE – George Streetfest, the monthly community event in Historic Downtown St. George, takes on a holiday flavor Friday with the arrival of Santa, the annual “Gingerbread Tour,” live music and more.
The imminent return of the gingerbread tour has prompted a flurry of designing and baking as downtown merchants vie for the coveted trophy currently held by 2015 victor, TwentyFive Main. More on this follows.
Holiday music on the main stage will begin at 6 p.m., featuring performances by the Desert Hills High School Jazz Band and the school’s vocal academy. Next on the bill is former Miss Maryland Shannon Birch, a coloratura soprano vocalist who is also a professor of music at DSU and the Southern Utah University Women’s Choir conductor. Birch will be followed by Southern Utah native Lisa Mac making her first appearance on the main stage. Rounding out the evening will be Misty Frampton strumming her ukulele and performing a festive mix of holiday favorites.
For teens and youths, a DJ Dance Party will feature the unique holiday Hawaiian-style sounds of Gardenia. Dancers will meet in front of Judd’s General Store on Tabernacle Street where they can dance from 6-10 p.m.
Younger kids can enjoy crafts, games, hot chocolate and cookies courtesy of the St. George Recreation Department. Their venue will be in the parking lot adjacent to the Tabernacle on Main Street. While there, kids and parents can take advantage of rides on the carousel in Town Square, where Santa will be tossing out candy canes from his sleigh.
Capping off the holiday observance at Town Square will be performances by a trio of choirs and an orchestra from area schools.
The December edition of The Desert Pulse Jazz Garden will feature appearances by Josh Larsen at 6:30 p.m. and Less Than Lucid at 8:30 p.m. As a result of anticipated weather conditions, the Jazz Garden will be held inside the historic Ancestor Square Clock Tower building, downstairs from the Painted Pony.
The highlight of December’s First Friday event will be the selection of the gingerbread tour winners.
Visitors to Streetfest are invited to stop in and view each of the gingerbread creations hosted by 20 downtown merchants and vote for their favorites. Maps will be distributed to attendees inside George Magazine; participants who collect stamps from each tour location will be eligible to drop their maps at the George Store and enter a raffle for valuable prizes, to be announced on the main stage throughout the evening.
St. George News readers can start voting early with an exclusive downloadable “Gingerbread Tour” map.
Ballot collection and tallying – to be overseen by students from Dixie State University’s accounting and statistics department – will take place at 8 p.m. with the winner of both the People’s Choice and Mayor’s Choice awards announced by Mayor Jon Pike on George Streetfest’s main stage at 8:45 p.m.
All of the gingerbread creations will be available for purchase via silent auction. Requested minimum bids are $50, with all proceeds from the auction to benefit the St. George Children’s Museum.
George Streetfest Executive Producer Melynda Thorpe said:
The holidays in St. George are always a magical time, and the perfect opportunity to observe special traditions,” she noted. “In just over a year, George has become a tradition for many local families, who love to come downtown and share music, food and drink, games and dance. In December we offer our best selection of family activities and entertainment and hope the event becomes an annual tradition for everyone in southern Utah.
During Streetfest, Arts to Zion/Gallery 35 will showcase a new exhibit by local watercolorist Karen March, along with the largest collection of original watercolors in southern Utah, created by members of the Dixie Watercolor Society.
For more information, or to become a vendor, visit georgestreetfest.com, or emailmailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. George Streetfest organizers are now accepting applications for street market vendors, buskers, and food vendors.
- What: George Streetfest and Gingerbread Tour.
- When: Friday, Dec. 2, 6-10 p.m.
- Location: Historic Downtown St. George | In case of inclement weather the jazz garden will be moved inside the Ancestor Square Clock Tower building, 2 W. St. George Blvd.
- Cost: Free; vendors vary
- Resources: Downloadable “Gingerbread Tour” map