Streetfest to return in 2019 after successful reboot

This 2016 file photo from the youth dance party at "Georgefest" shows youth enjoying the festival, St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2016 | Photo by Nick Adams courtesy of Emceesquare Media, Inc., St. George News

ST. GEORGE — An ongoing street festival in St. George that was previously maligned by city officials, attendees and business owners is slated to continue next year after new management successfully revitalized the event.

In this 2016 file photo, West Coast Jazz Players musician delivers smooth jazz sounds in the jazz garden during what was formerly known as “Georgefest,” St. George, Utah, April 1, 2016 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Previously operating under the “Georgefest” moniker, the rebranded St. George Streetfest will return to downtown St. George in March 2019 after the City Council approved continued support Thursday.

The nightlife event transforms downtown St. George into a multistage outdoor concert venue and street market, operating on a portion of Main Street south of St. George Boulevard on the first Friday of the month.

The last of this year’s festivals was Oct. 6, triggering a five-month winter hiatus while organizers continue to work to restructure the gathering and make plans for the next season.

The 2018 revamp, which emphasized more family-friendly attractions and a more consistent musical selection on the main stage and “Jazz Garden” area in Green Gate Village, was lauded as a great success by festivalgoers and city officials.

St. George Mayor Jon Pike said festival organizers have done “a very good job of trying to modify a few things to make it work better and flow better.”

Before its relaunch, some area business owners came to refer to it as a “free babysitting” event, as teens and younger children who rarely bought anything were loose to wander the festival unsupervised.

In this 2016 file photo, people walk Main Street during “Georgefest,” St. George, Utah, April 1, 2016 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

After city officials became wary about continuing to support the festival, event planning professional Carrie Bunker stepped in as the festival’s interim executive director and implemented the feedback from the city and community members.

Read more: Following brief hiatus, Georgefest returns with a new name, new management and more offerings

The new, more family-oriented 2018 event included such attractions as jump houses, obstacle courses, ultimate ping pong, pottery and crafts. The nightlife component also continued for adults, with a beer garden for people 21 and older.

Each Streetfest in 2018 also had a theme with activities based around it, such as Oktoberfest, Island Luau and Cinco de Mayo.

Pike said St. George Police personnel also noticed improvement, noting better supervision and security.

Organizers are giving themselves a breather to be able to better plan events, hence the yearly five-month hiatus going forward.

When it returns for its March-October run next year, the city of St. George has pledged, pending legal negotiations, to continue its $2,000 per month sponsorship, with additional in-kind services, such as road closures, power connections, use of the city stage on Main Street and extra police patrols.

The event will also relaunch with yet another new name for the 2019 season, as yet to be determined by festival organizers.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Government, Local, NewsTagged , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  • LunchboxHero November 7, 2018 at 10:21 am

    If I could make a suggestion, the Jazz Garden would probably attract more people if there was seating. Last year they just set up a few tables, with no chairs. And the music was one guy with a guitar singing classic country songs. It was okay, but it wasn’t the jazz we were hoping for.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.