Honoring veterans and those with disabilities, Trail Hero includes 3-day music fest, more at Sand Hollow

Trail Hero Music Fest at Sand Hollow State Park, Utah, October 2022 | Photo courtesy of Trail Hero, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — From free beach drag racing to a three-day music festival, the eighth annual Trail Hero is set to take place at Sand Hollow – a fun-filled charity event for the whole family.

Trail Hero Music Fest at Sand Hollow State Park, Utah, October 2022 | Photo courtesy of Trail Hero, St. George News

“This is one of the biggest off-roading events in the country,” said Brandi Farra, director of entertainment and sales for Trail Hero. “And it’s right here in our backyard.”

Included in the event is the Trail Hero Music Fest, which will take place Oct. 5-7, with camping open Oct. 1-8. Top billboard artists will take the Monster Energy Main Stage three days in a row, beginning with Uncle Kracker on Oct. 5, Saving Abel on Oct. 6 and P.O.D. on Oct. 7.

To support the event’s mission to give back to both veterans and those with disabilities, free concert tickets are available for all veterans and kids under 12 years of age.

But that’s not all.

This family-friendly event will include free activities such as a rock climbing wall, barrel racing, bull riding, jump houses and more. Spectators can watch events for free, including a Pro Rock Crawling Competition, SXS Rally and a Tuff Country Challenge.

A vendor show will feature over 140 business vendors and 10 food vendors. Rich Klein, president and founder of Trail Hero, said many of the food vendors are coming from outside the area, giving foodies unique options not typically seen at other Washington County events. A charity golf tournament will take place on Oct. 2 at Sand Hollow Resort, along with a free drive-in movie on Oct. 4. Tickets start at just $20 for a single-day general admission pass. 

Trail Hero Music Fest at Sand Hollow State Park, Utah, October 2022 | Photo courtesy of Trail Hero, St. George News

The event is specifically designed for all ages and abilities, and that’s something both Farra and Klein are passionate about.

“The purpose of the event is to provide motorized access to people with special needs and to veterans,” Klein said. “Some people don’t go for hikes because they physically or cognitively can’t. They can’t jump on a horse, can’t ride a bike to go experience the outdoors, and this off-road vehicle is an extension of their body; it’s their legs.”

Through Trail Hero and its community outreach programs, they’re allowing everyone, regardless of ability level, to experience the excitement and freedom that comes with off-road trail riding. While Trail Hero is the largest public off-road event in the U.S., Klein said only 11% of Trail Hero participants are from Utah. The rest travel from 48 different states and 13 different countries.

“We’re impacting not only the local economy, but we’re also impacting local charities and community efforts, which we’re really passionate about,” Farra said.

About Trail Hero

Klein started Trail Hero in 2016 and has continued the event every year since, including the years impacted by COVID-19. While he launched Trail Hero to serve a variety of purposes, one of his main goals has always been to keep the sand dunes near Sand Hollow open for motorized access while creating a buffer between public and residential lands.

Off-roading during the Trail Hero event at Sand Hollow State Park, Utah, October 2022 | Photo courtesy of Trail Hero, St. George News

“I wanted to create an economic impact that allowed the area to stay open and Sand Hollow was in desperate need of that fight, so that’s why I picked Southern Utah,” he said about the event’s location.

Prior to Trail Hero, Klein said the whole Sand Hollow off-roading area brought in a total of $1 million a year to the local economy. In contrast, the very first Trail Hero event had a $4 million economic impact in just one week. Continuing to grow, last year’s Trail Hero had a $26 million economic impact. And he plans to watch it steadily increase.

Klein’s greatest motivation, however, has been the charity aspect incorporated for military veterans, a cause that’s close to his heart. With his grandfather being a career military man, he also wanted to enlist. But due to having monochromacy, or colorblindness, he wasn’t allowed to join.

“For me, when I started this, it was all about how I could still serve the people and fight with my brothers and sisters that are able to fight a real war,” he said. “But how do I do that from home? How do I support them? How do I give back to the community and make an impact on people’s lives without having to go overseas? This was the way I figured out I could do it.” 

Part of the charity aspect is the War Hero Trail Hero program, which brings a veteran from anywhere in the U.S. to the event to experience all Southern Utah has to offer for the first time. Other charity events will be built into the week-long program, including highlighting the different military branches.

For more information on Trail Hero, including the full event schedule, the music festival and camping options, visit the Trail Hero website.

Event details:

  • What: Trail Hero Music Fest. 
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 5 through Monday, Oct. 7
  • Where: Sand Hollow State Park, 3351 Sand Hollow Road, Hurricane. 
  • Resources: Website

Written by JESSI BANG for St. George News.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T • 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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