Monday, August 16, 2010

Cedar City Utah Color Country

Cedar City's Historic Main StreetImage via Wikipedia Almost thirty years ago my wife and I decided to take a chance and try living in a small Southern Utah town.  Moving away from family and friends was a challenge but from the day we arrived, we felt like we always belonged here.  Though making a living in a rural economy isn’t always easy; the recreational opportunities and natural beauty nearby help to make this a place you never want to leave. I know Cedar City will always be a place I can call home 
S.R. 14 Between Cedar City, Utah and Cedar Bre...Image by Ken Lund via Flickr 
Cedar City has always been the gateway to Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon’s North Rim National Parks. Lesser known, and less crowded, are Great Basin and Capitol Reef National Parks, Also there are Cedar Breaks, Pipe Springs, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, and Snow Canyon State Park within an easy drive. A joint effort by the BLM and Iron County created Three Peaks Recreation Area. It provides facilities for camping, off-road enthusiasts, horse-back riding, and an archery and rifle range all within a few minutes of the city center. Cedar City is surrounded by large areas of National Forest and BLM land with many other sightseeing and recreational activities. Skiing at Brian Head Resort, snowmobile trails, hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting can all be found here

Adams Memorial Theater, Cedar City, UtahImage via WikipediaCedar City has become known as the Festival City. The Utah Shakespearean Festival began as a small college production nearly fifty years ago. It has grown to two theaters running six different plays from mid June to Labor Day and a fall season with three different productions lasting until the end of October. It is now recognized as one of the premier Shakespearean festivals in the country and attracts over one hundred fifty thousand visitors each season. Cedar City has added its own Neil Simon Festival in the new Heritage Theater for a few weeks each summer. Other smaller productions take place at the Heritage, University Theaters, and other venues throughout the year. The Utah Summer Games with a wide variety of athletic events take place each June. For the last few years the Groovefest Music Festival has been a great place to enjoy some of the best independent artists in the country. The July and Fall Jamborees each close a two block section of Main Street and provide a selection of entertainment, food, and other vendors for an evening. The Cedar City Livestock & Heritage Festival celebrates Iron County’s agricultural roots. 
Braithwaite Liberal Arts Center and Old MainImage via WikipediaCedar City is home to Southern Utah University, one of the best small universities in the nation. With excellent four year programs in business, education, and nursing to name a few. 
One of our greatest assets are the people themselves. Cedar City was settled by Mormon pioneers sent to work the large iron ore deposits west of town. Farming and ranching also played a large role in the city’s history. Those first settlers had to rely on each other to survive the early years. Those traditions continue to this day. The people in Cedar City are some of the most giving and genuinely hospitable I’ve come to know. Many of our accomplishments depended on the generosity of the locals. SUU’s Centrum Arena, the Sandra L. Maxwell Cancer Treatment Center, the Cross Hollow Events Center, and the Randal L. Jones Theater, all relied heavily on donations from the public to become a reality. The Happy Factory was founded here. This grass-roots foundation distributes hundreds of thousands of wooden toys, produced with donated labor, to hospitalized children worldwide. These are only a few examples of the kind of folks that live here.    

Come have a look around for yourself when you have a few free days. It may give you a better idea of what Cedar City and Iron County have to offer. Then you will understand why so many, like me, have chosen to make this our home.
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