‘Best of’ guide to Utah’s summer festivals

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This year, step away from the overcrowded pools and boring barbecues and hit up some of Utah’s best festivals and events.

The following is a “best of” guide for finding some of the hottest summer activities.

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Best Instagram opportunity

If you love sidewalk art, head to the Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival at The Gateway in Salt Lake City June 17 to June 18. Julie Purcell and other talented local artists will be decorating the streets in behalf of Utah Foster Care.

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Best pageant

The Manti Pageant is celebrating its 50th season this summer. Performances begin at 9:30 p.m. June 16 through June 18 and June 21 through June 25. Admission is free and the show is great for people of all ages.

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Best strawberries and cream

If you like strawberries, head over to the 96th annual Strawberry Days Festival in Pleasant Grove June 11 to June 19. This year’s event will feature over 50 events and activities for all ages, including park concerts, rodeos, a carnival and much more. Remember to fill up on fresh strawberries and cream before you leave.

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Best chance to see a flying pig

Provo’s Balloon Fest takes place July 1, 2, and 4, where 25 hot air balloons will fly each morning from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Top pilots around the nation will compete in various games. Everyone is invited to attend.

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Best dances from around the world

Enjoy cultures from around the world at the Springville World Folkfest in Springville this July 25 through July 30, where traveling groups from all over will perform.

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Best firework show

Hit up the Stadium of Fire with your friends on July 2. This year’s concert will feature performances by Tim McGraw and some of Utah’s upcoming artists, followed by one of the nation’s most spectacular firework shows. Tickets are still available and range in prices from $29 to $175.

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Best time to wear a Halloween costume, other than Halloween

Pull out your best costumes because Halloween is coming to Magna, Utah at the sixth annual Halloween in Summer Festival this summer July 15 and July 16. The festival will feature events and activities for all ages.

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Best outdoor movie screening

Starting in August, grab a blanket and head for Rock Canyon Park each Monday night for the Movies in the Park series. Movies start at about 9 p.m. Don’t forget to bring bug spray!

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Best place to watch cars repeatedly ram into each other

Head over to the Utah County Fair Saturday August 15 at 7 p.m. to watch theDemolition Derby. Be sure to spend some time at the fair’s other exhibits and events as well.

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Best days to visit a national park for free

To celebrate the National Park Service turning 100 years old this summer, all national parks will be fee free from August 25 to August 28. Grab a group and head to a park to celebrate this opportunity.

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Best music festival

If you are a music lover, head over to the Timpanogos Music Festival August 27 at 12 p.m. Tickets are now on sale. Artists from all around will be playing in the event.

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Best Swiss tacos

Celebrate everything Swiss at Midway’s Swiss Days festival September 2–3. Events include parades, entertainment, booths and much more. Head over to Midway’s Town Square to enjoy all the festivities.

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