EVE SLC is a sprawling New Year's Eve celebration?so sprawling that it takes three days. Its epicenter is the Salt Palace, where DJs spin in two ballrooms, filled with thousands of beach balls in honor of the event. However, it reaches across the city, too, with art exhibits, film screenings, and comedy shows at venues from Clark Planetarium to Off Broadway Theater. The event even stretches into the sky, with jaw-dropping fireworks displays.
Each year, more than 3,500 people descend on Soldier Hollow in Midway to celebrate the arts and cultures of various Native American nations. For three days, crafters sell handmade jewelry, paintings, and museum-worthy pottery. Fry bread, roast mutton, and Navajo tacos abound, fueling shoppers as they browse or cartwheel over to watch dancers and drummers face off against each other in colorful, handcrafted regalia. The dancers don flowing garb for grass dances that recall prairie grass rustling in the breeze, while jingle dresses inlaid with hundreds of tiny tin cones reverberate in time with fleet footwork.
Gangrene Film Festival has been ground zero for the short-film community for 15 years, showcasing comedic vignettes from independent filmmakers from around the world. And each year, the festival gets weird with live entertainment that coalesces around a single theme. While 2013, for example, featured rock-and-roll hits played on tubas, the 2014 edition of Gangrene celebrates a space-lounge motif with a 20-piece big band playing the Latin-tinged, space-age lounge pop of composer Juan Garc?a Esquivel.
After the film festival itself triggers its last giggle fit, the Gangrene Film Festival Creative Symposium takes over. Leaders in a variety of media, including writing, music, filmmaking, and visual arts, host seminars about how to make money in their industry. Presenters include fantasy novelist Paul Genesse, who wrote The Golden Cord, short-film screenwriter Blake Casselman, and filmmaker Ali Barr.