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    Category: family

    DOCUtah, a Southern Utah International Film Festival in its 7th year on and near the campus of Dixie State University, is an independent film-lovers dream!  To select this year’s menu of outstanding festival films, screeners spent several months viewing more than 400 submissions before selecting 62 to run from September 6 – 10, including everything from top-notch educational and entertaining short films to full-length independent movies, each focusing on a wide range of subjects relating to the human experience.  

    Playing at a variety of locations around town, films selected for DOCUtah look deeply at current world events, explore quirky habits of interesting men and women; or, look at the resiliency of the human spirit in overcoming hardship as well as life’s social, emotional, or physical difficulties.

    This year, according to event organizers, “the festival also includes five additional special screenings of films from the award-winning Independent Film Channel’s series Documentary Now!, hosted by the legendary Helen Mirren.”

    According to former football great Phil Tuckett, now DOCUTAH’s Artistic Director and Director of the DSU Film Program, “A small group of individuals went to work to create the inaugural event in September of 2010. Since then we’ve had more than 1,100 films submitted from 70 plus countries and enjoyed meeting many wonderful filmmakers and protagonists. DOCUTAH welcomes the world and at the same time captures the community of Southern Utah and Southern Nevada. DOCUTAH isn’t just a film festival…it’s a five day party with every event not to be missed.”

    If you enjoy “a night at the movies” this is certain to be a pleasurable experience to add to your Southern Utah vacation “to do” list.  If a comfortable, affordable vacation home-away-from-home is also on your list, then register today online at St. George Resort Rentals at  or at for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We can’t wait to meet you … or welcome you back!

    The city-owned and operated Sand Hollow Aquatic Center – known locally as the SHAC – is a water lover’s paradise with a competition and diving pool and a 5,800 square foot leisure pool.  For those with teeny-tiny ones, the leisure pool has a zero depth entry area, interactive children’s water toys, a water walk, a variety of slides, sprays and moving water.

    Our SHAC also is a great place to host your next birthday party with three affordable party package deals, including the Basic Splash Party, the Splash-N-Play bash and the Splash-N-Cake celebration.

    You can also rent the SHAC for private pool parties – including company get-togethers or family reunions – on Friday or Saturday night.   Reservations for semi-private gatherings can be made for Monday through Thursday nights, too.

    Group, semi-private and private lessons can be scheduled at affordable rates.  And, quarterly, ½ year and annual individual and family passes make open swim and lap swimming programs available on a drop in basis to fit your busy work and family schedule.

    The Sand Hollow Aquatic Center is situated at 1144 N. Lava Flow Drive in St. George although it sits squarely on the border of our neighboring communities of Santa Clara and Ivins.

    SHAC is closed on Sunday, but for information about other days and hours as well as a few simple rules see online.

    Our storied hot summer months are made bearable by a dip in the pool – any pool – but once you’ve had your fill of splishing and splashing, you’ll find your comfortable, affordable home-away-from-home vacation condominium waiting for you where you can rest and relax until tomorrow’s Southern Utah adventure calls!  Register today online at St. George Resort Rentals at  or at for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We can’t wait to meet you … or welcome you back!

    The 26th Annual Enterprise Corn Fest is certain to be the best example of small town fun and entertainment.  On Saturday, August 27 at Enterprise Park, the Corn Fest will feature all kinds of exciting events including the Mayor’s walk, music and dancing, booths, live entertainment, a car show; softball, volleyball and soccer tournament, corn eating contest and a Dutch oven dinner – all from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  – during which approximately 4,000 people enjoy cooler weather and great food!

    No question, corn grown and harvested in Enterprise, noted for productive farms and tidy homes and gardens, is some of the sweetest and best tasting crop found here in the desert.  Amazing corn is grown both commercially and privately and everyone takes pride in their crop.  When its time to harvest, they celebrate together and with anyone who wants to join them in this provided the coolest spot in Washington County.  Admission to the Enterprise Cornfest is free.

    The  Corn Fest is small town living at its best, but after you’ve had your fill of sweet delicious corn, toe-tapping music, and everything else the Enterprise community has to offer, you’ll find your comfortable, affordable home-away-from-home vacation condominium waiting for you where you can rest and relax until the next Southern Utah adventure calls you! Register today online at St. George Resort Rentals at  or at for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We can’t wait to help you enjoy your vacation adventure in Southern Utah!

    New Fiesta Fun

    The “old” Fiesta Fun, which opened in 1993 on 10 acres of land just off Main Street behind McDonald’s, is now the “new” Fiesta Fun after a major facelift last year.  “Open everyday, all day, all year long,” Fiesta Fun at 171 E. 1160 South, is where you’ll find lots to do for kids of any age, including batting cages (7 stalls with 5 different speeds for baseball and softball with bats and helmets provided … perfect for any skill level!); mini-golf on a newly designed 18-hole course; state-of-the-art arcade with the hottest video and redemption games anywhere; go-karts where kids can “rev” up some serious fun on an exciting speed track for testing their skills; bumper boats for a splashing good time; and soft play for the little ones to crawl, run and slide.

    After they’ve worked up an appetite, try the Back Porch Café with delicious food and cool drinks.Fiesta Fun Family Center takes pride in providing clean and safe fun for family and friends.

    If family fun is on your agenda for your Southern Utah vacation getaway, we at Five Seasons Vacation Condominiums or St. George Resort Rentals can help you find it.  Register online today for your beautiful, comfortable, affordable vacation home-away-from-home at St. George Resort Rentals at  or at for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We look forward to serving your vacation needs!

    It’s a bit out of the way, but well worth the time and travel to find the Washington City Community Center, including the largest indoor aquatic center in Southern Utah!  The meticulously maintained WCCC, with convenient schedules and friendly staff, features an 8-lane 25-yard competition pool alongside a 10,174 square foot beach entry leisure pool.  Kids of all ages will also enjoy a lazy river, 3-story hydro tube slide, play sets for all ages, splash pad, and an enormous 317 gallon dump bucket designed to keep you cool!

    After your dip in the pool, you’ll enjoy a state-of-the-art fitness facility with a 1750 square foot aerobics room with such offerings as yoga, spinning, flex, turbo kick, Zumba and other all-ability group exercise classes – offered daily with trained and certified fitness instructors ready to get your heart pumping and your body toned.

    Also on WCCC’s aerobics menu is a large availability of cardiovascular and weight training equipment; and an indoor track for all-weather walking and running.

    WCCC also provides childcare-for-a-fee and a large meeting room for family gatherings, wedding receptions, club or business meetings.

    Five Seasons Vacation Condominiums or St. George Resort Rentals also offers beautiful accommodations to “get your heart pumping.”   Register online today for your beautiful, comfortable, affordable vacation home-away-from-home at  or at   We look forward to serving your vacation needs!

    In Utah, there are two major July holidays … two days to leave the stresses of the workplace behind to play in the sunshine; enjoy friends and family; or take a long nap in the hammock!  The Fourth of July, as everyone knows is the day the final wording was approved for the Declaration of Independence and the official celebration of America’s birthday.

    But, for those who live outside of the Beehive State, the 24th of July is officially called Pioneer Day … which celebrates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.  Pioneer Day is generally a day of parades, fireworks, rodeos, and other festivities in most of Utah and in parts of neighboring states with strong LDS populations, which help commemorate the event. And, be aware most government offices and many business are closed.  Although the holiday has strong links to the LDS Church, it is officially a celebration of everyone, regardless of faith and nationality, who are or consider themselves to be pioneers.

    If you are vacationing in Southern Utah in July, you are invited to take part in our celebration of America’s independence or of our pioneer heritage.  Register today online for a beautiful, comfortable and affordable vacation resort rental at St. George Resort Rentals at  or at for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We can’t wait to meet you … or welcome you back!

    “Show me one thing of beauty in the whole area and I’ll stay,” said pioneer bride Wilhemina Cannon to her husband David.  Longing for the green trees and rolling grassy hills of her childhood home, Wilhemina was not happy in the barren, stark and harsh desert of southern Utah, and had made up her mind.  She would not – could not – endure another miserably hot, insect infested, bone dry summer in this desolate place.

    No question!  Geology, temperatures, and the problems associated with too much or too little water have shaped Utah’s Washington County, described in the History of Washington County:  From Isolation to Destination by Douglas A. Alder and Karl F. Brooks as “a region of colorful rocks, spectacular scenery and great contrasts in rainfall, vegetation, animal life and geologic features.” 

    In any direction, you’ll see evidence of ancient land movement and erosion creating such distinctive landmarks as Pine Valley Mountain and the above-ground Hurricane Fault line which runs about 50 miles through the county (most visibly along the I-15 freeway and on both sides of the highway leading to the City of Hurricane). 

    Red rock formations are everywhere in and around St. George, described by author Juanita Brooks as a place where “… the good Lord took everything left over from the creation, dumped it here, then set it on fire.”  We have evidence of huge lava flows at the base of Pine Valley Mountain and several extinct volcanoes, clearly visible along Hwy. 18.  To the east of the Hurricane Cliffs are the colorful mesas and plateaus of Zion National Park, with its famed steep-walled and narrow canyons carved by low volume streams with intermittent flow but carrying loads of abrasive silt and sand.  The St. George area also has the lowest elevations and the historic high temperature in the state (118 degrees on one July day in 2009).

    Sand Hollow State Park

    This gloriously beautiful state park is one of several manmade reservoirs designed to capture and preserve what little water falls from the heavens above here in our hot, dry, desert location.  Officially opened for public use in April 2003, Sand Hollow State Park surrounds the 1322-acre Sand Hollow Reservoir, which rapidly became a popular off-road site for fishing, boating and ATV riding on nearby sand dunes. 

    You’ll find Sand Hollow State Park outside of the city of Hurricane, off Exit 16 of the I-15 freeway, but be warned … as is often the case for most of our outdoor recreation spots, you are likely to be extremely uncomfortable on the lake during the summer months of June, July and August when daytime temperatures generally reach 105-110 degrees.

    Being uncomfortable is something you don’t need to worry about when you register online today for a clean, comfortable, and affordable vacation home-away-from-home at St. George Resort Rentals at  or at for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We can’t wait to meet you … or welcome you back!

    The Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, on the campus of Southern Utah University, will kick off its 54th season of “entertaining, enriching and educating audiences” in the all-new $36 million Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 7, 2016.

    The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts (to be known simply as The Beverley) will incorporate visual arts, live theatre, and dynamic arts education to dramatically enrich the cultural life of Cedar City, the region and beyond. The Beverly, located at the corner of University Street and 300 West in Cedar City, will be a year-round destination for thousands of patrons of the arts, including those attending any or all of the eight summer shows.

    The Beverley will include USF’s new outdoor theatre, The Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, which will feel very similar to the now retired Adams Theatre but with updated amenities and modern accessibilities, including an elevator and increased ADA seating. 

    The Festival’s other new Eileen & Allen Anes Studio Theatre is a flexible, black box space, with seating capacity to about 200 people. The Festival’s indoor Randall L. Jones Theatre is still immediately next to the new Southern Utah Museum of Art. 

    A large covered plaza welcomes patrons and includes a state-of-the art museum which features 5,300 square feet of exhibition space composed of four galleries. The Beverley offers many large public gathering spaces, which will be used for receptions and special events. The Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre has a covered terrace on the lower level of the theatre and a rooftop garden on the back deck of the second level. Landscaping for the Center includes a sculpture grove, tree-lined walkway, a Greenshow stage and enhanced seminar grove.

    Named for the long-time arts and education champion, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts is made possible of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation which had given millions of dollars to this project and other programs at Southern Utah University. In addition to the Sorensons’ contributions, the over $36 million center is being made possible thanks to the generosity of hundreds of benefactors. A gift of $5 million for the New Shakespeare Theatre and Festival outreach programs was received from the Ralph and Betty Engelstad Famiy Foundation of Las Vegas, Nev. The George S. and Dolores Dore’ Eccles Foundation also committed $4 million toward the project. Additionally, the State of Utah, Iron Country and Cedar City have all energetically supported this effort to create this newest center for the arts in Southern Utah. 

    In 1962 the Festival attracted 3,276 visitors. Today the audience is over 100,000 and expected to increase during the 2016 season with the impressive new facilities and the nationally acclaimed professional productions.  Enthusiastic patrons come from around the globe to attend the Festival’s professional performances, including drama, comedy, Shakespeare, contemporary theatre and more. It is interactive free green shows each evening, backstage tours, give-and-take seminars in a beautiful outdoor grove with experts, artists and actors … and its all within an easy drive to the beauty of three national parks and breath taking scenery. No wonder it is called a festival!

    The Utah Shakespeare Festival is a definite “must see” on your list of “things to see and do” in southern Utah, so now’s the time to reserve a beautiful, comfortable and affordable vacation home-away-from-home.  Register online for a week or a month at St. George Resort Rentals at  or for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We look forward to seeing you.

    The cotton factory in Washington City is a clear reminder cotton was once a major industry in pioneer Dixie and the reason Brigham Young sent reluctant settlers to build homes and communities here in the southwestern-most corner of Utah.  Those hearty early pioneers – many who were originally southerners from such home states as Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee – brought cotton seed with them to this then-remote locale and began raising cotton in 1857, despite facing trials such as heat, thirst, disease and the constant need for repair to irrigation dams.  But while their crops thrived, the realities of transporting their heavy bales to northern Utah meant days – even weeks – away from their families, farms and church duties … and the cost, not just in time but in dollars and cents, was prohibitive.  Within a short period of time, it became evident the solution and the only effective way to keep cotton growing lucrative, was to build a factory nearer to the crop.

    Brother Brigham decided the best way to bring his plan to fruition was to dismantle underutilized woolen milling machinery near Salt Lake City and transport it by wagons to Washington City.  Under the direction of Appleton Harmon, “the project was pursued with haste.”  The first floor of the factory was completed within a year, despite many of the pioneers who were involved at the time in the construction of the St. George Tabernacle as well as constructing dams, clearing land and building homes for their families. 

    By 1868, the cotton factory was fully operational and within two years, a second floor was added using donated funds from the people who had plans to buy out Brigham Young, their benefactor.  But at the end of the Civil War, cotton flooded the market so growing it in this part of the country no longer made sense. After 30 years, the cotton factory was closed in the spring of 1898.

    For decades, the cotton factory sat unused and fell into disrepair until the mid-1980’s when Norma Cannizzaro adopted the property and made its restoration her personal crusade. In her enthusiasm, she invested a considerable sum in repairing the exterior and renovating the interior as an events center, but nearly a decade later she admitted she could no longer support the project.

    Hyrum and Gail Smith purchased the grounds in 1993 with plans to create a historical village with the cotton factory as its centerpiece. But, they too, encountered difficulties, forcing them to put the factory back on the market.

    In 1998, Star Nursery, a successful local business, purchased the cotton factory to house its second St. George location. Star Nursery adapted the main floor of the building for its garden shop but carefully preserved the building’s pioneer construction, leaving the exterior and upper floors of the factory unchanged.  In support of the needs of the community, Star Nursery still makes the second floor available for public use and tours.

    As vacationers here in southern Utah, it’s a sure bet you aren’t concerned about gardening, but a walk through the historic cotton factory is a must-do.  Another “must do” is to register online today for your beautiful, comfortable and affordable home-away-from-home at St. George Resort Rentals at  or for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.   We look forward to seeing you.

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