Expose your pupils and ear canals to an impressive 10-hour lineup of mainstream country acts performing across multiple stages. Headlined by the platinum-album-selling, award-winning Montgomery Gentry, Country Throwdown also plays host to up-and-coming acts such as Ashley Ray, an ex-cheerleader with a guitar pick in one hand and a beer in the other, on the Blue Bird Café Stage. To pregame for the festival, view the full stage-by-stage set list here and enjoy a free seven-song Country Throwdown Tour digital sampler here. To fully immerse yourself, check out the Country Throwdown iPhone app.
Bumper cars collide, mini roller coasters swerve along tracks, and tubes weave around slides at a soft play area inside The Hollywood Connection's 160,000-square-foot facility. Roller or inline skates glide to pop and rock tunes in a rink illumined with cyber lights and IntelliBeam, and the laser-tag arena glows in neon paint, black lights, and fireflies that carry demands across enemy lines. Elsewhere, golf balls tumble down greens toward 18 holes with themes such as the Old West, an underwater cove, and the prehistoric era. An arcade hosts more than 100 driving, racing, and combat-simulator video games, and a 15-screen Carmike Ritz movie theater treats up to 2,000 viewers to new releases on digital, 3-D-capacity screens. Visitors can reenergize between attractions with popcorn or snow cones from the snack stand (open Friday–Sunday), nab cones from the ice-cream parlor, and shape stacks of nachos into pompadours at the '50s-themed diner.
At any given time, Momentum Indoor Climbing probably has more visitors clung to its walls than standing on its floor. With 20,000 square feet of climbable terrain, the indoor climbing gym challenges sportspeople of all ability levels. During lead climbs, routes up to 50 feet high guide climbers over verticals, slabs, overhangs, and arêtes. Visitors can also develop skills in a safe environment at top-roping stations, as well as a bouldering area outfitted with foam and vinyl padding for soft landings. Crack climbing challenges the most seasoned of mountaineers, recreating the fissures found in desert sandstone and the crows' feet on the faces of Mount Rushmore’s presidents.
Momentum's team members also lead skill-building classes and youth programs, and help clients stay in shape with fitness training that incorporates yoga and Pilates, cardio conditioning, and strength training. Additional amenities range from locker rooms to daycare to companion pet rocks.
With multiple performance areas set up throughout the picturesque park, this year's Salt Lake City Jazz Festival trumpets in an impressive lineup of jazz acts tuned to a variety of tastes. Sheila E. and The E Family take to the stage Friday night, plucking their signature sound from a family tree dripping with virtuosos. Performers such as Pete Christlieb and Linda Small tickle ears without invading personal space, and The Orbit Group mingles jazz, hip-hop, and the unique sound of a snowflake hitting the earth to form its inimitable style.
The paranormal investigators at Grimm Ghost Tours get up close and personal with Salt Lake City’s most infamous specters during their bone-chilling ghost tours. On these tours—which helped them win the A-List Award for Best City Tour in 2012—they guide guests toward local haunts while sharing the city’s grisly past in true tales of murder, mystery, and violence. Groups may leave the city limits behind during the Outer Reaches tour, shuffling off to the unimaginably dark corners that were once Ted Bundy’s hunting grounds. Guides also tell the tainted history of other spooky local sites, sending chills down the spines of guests who explore old Fort Douglas, the Hancock mansion, and the haunted scotch bottles of the Premiere Gentile Gentlemen’s Club. All of Grimm’s paranormal jaunts combine aspects of a bus and walking tour, quickly shuttling those with a morbid curiosity from one site to the next.
For participants looking for a more intense paranormal experience, Grimm Ghost Tours offers ghost hunts at a haunted site, during which they teach guests the techniques and mortal perils of the ghost-hunting business. Once the sun sets, the brave guests join their tour guides as they use specialized equipment to scour their destination for clues and signs of life after death.
In his final appearance as associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, David Cho joins 2010 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition silver medalist Serhiy Salov in the acoustically pleasing confines of Abravanel Hall. Together, the note-channeling duo performs Sibelius' Third Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 before breaking into a superbly amusing Laurel and Hardy impersonation. While descending the stage of his farewell performance, David Cho will step into the orchestra pit and, like a classically trained butterfly, emerge as the musical director of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. The architecturally impressive Abravanel Hall is worth the trip in and of itself, as its luscious acoustics allow symphony-goers to pinpoint staccato eighth notes and falsetto pin drops.