ST. GEORGE — A second monthly festival will begin its residency in the Red Cliffs Mall parking lot starting Friday.
“Mallfest” will be a community celebration hosted in the J.C. Penney parking lot every third Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight. The event will include food vendors and trucks, kid-friendly games and live music.
St. George Streetfest director Ed Tracey told St. George News that past surveys have indicated that the creation of Mallfest could be the perfect opportunity for another family-friendly, community event in St. George.
“The one thing that people are unanimous on is that we need more festivals, we need more big events for families to go out and participate in and get involved in,” he said.
Tracey said he has had a long-running relationship with Red Cliffs Mall, having working with them to organize the “Ball at the Mall” New Year’s Eve event. He said representatives from the mall approached him, asking about the possibility of hosting a monthly festival in the parking lot.
Red Cliffs Mall has seen a resurgence, Tracey said, with the addition of H&M, Uprise Adventure Park and the possibility of a movie theater, and the mall offered festival organizers a “true family-oriented” space for the event.
“When I took over Streetfest last year, one of the things that I kind of did away with – at the chagrin of some folks – is we made it a more adult-oriented event,” he said. “We did away with all of the bounce houses and the rock climbing and all that sort of stuff and made it a true, more adult-oriented event.”
Mallfest is expected to bring back the children-centered attractions that Streetfest no longer offers. The event will include face painting, bounce houses and balloon twisting. The festival will still have a beer and wine garden, and there will be a stage for live music, but there will be more kid-oriented activities at Mallfest.
Tracey said vendors who participate at Streetfest will obviously have the opportunity to participate in Streetfest as well, but he said he wants to “give new vendors, new food trucks or food vendors an opportunity to participate.” Streetfest currently has a waiting list for vendors hoping to participate in the event.
In past years, the event wasn’t profitable and organizers often lost money, he said, adding that this is the first year since the debut of Streetfest that organizers have made money at every event.
“When I say we’re ‘in the black,’ even if it’s by a dollar, we’re still in the black,” Tracey said “We don’t keep any of the money; we give it back to the community, which is what it was intended to do in the very beginning.”
Creating an event like Streetfest or Mallfest is a time-consuming effort that requires the help of countless volunteers. All of the positions – including Tracey’s – are unpaid, and all of the proceeds are donated back into the community.
Every month, a portion of the profits go to local nonprofit partners. The organization has donated $500 checks each month to organizations such as Root for Kids, Cherish Families and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Mallfest will be held every third Friday from March through December, with a two-month hiatus in January and February. Streetfest is held every first Friday during the same months at the intersection of Tabernacle Street and Main Street. Both events begin at 6 p.m. and music continues until midnight.
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