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.
Running from March 17–20, the Sportsmen's Exposition brings all the trappings of the sportsman's life under one giant convention-center roof. Experts in a myriad of outdoor sports, such as fishing and big-game hunting, provide tips for upcoming trips into the wild, and interactive exhibits allow expo-goers to test fly rods, climb a rock wall, and pit arrow-launching skills against fellow bowmen with a 3-D pop-up archery contest. A fully stocked indoor fish pond, meanwhile, lets kids master catch-and-release skills to test out on older siblings when they get home. The event has hundreds of exhibitors selling top-of-the-line outdoor gear and touting sporting destinations from around the globe. The convention center has ample parking and is easily accessible by TRAX. Children age 15 and under are admitted free with a paying adult, and active military members are admitted free with military ID.
As featured on the Travel Channel, Castle of Chaos conjures screams and scares for all those who enter its nightmarish realm. Spooks await visitors within the mansion, asylum, and dungeon at the Friday the 13th-themed Taylorsville location while the Riverdale facility coaxes guests into its creepy 3-D carnival and a haunted house modeled after the seven deadly sins. Riverdale participants can also settle into a coffin for a simulated journey from mortuary to graveyard or explore a menacing midway's games, live entertainment, and concessions. Continually rearranged rooms at both houses ensure that feng shui is maintained and repeat scare-seekers will frequently embark on new trips of terror.
X-Dance, sponsored by Skullcandy, is a four-day celebration of adrenaline in its cinematic form, showcasing incredible film footage of action aficionados as they conquer the elements aboard bikes, boards, and skis. Cypher Vision meticulously documents the wave-wrassling abilities of the world's best surfers with an innovative camera capable of shooting 1,000 frames per second and getting very wet. Other equally kinetic films shine a spotlight on record-breaking free skier Grete Eliassen, speedy snowboarder Jeremy Jones, and motocross stunt specialist Robbie Maddison. Many of these daredevils will be on hand to answer questions after their films are shown. Passholders also get to attend FirstCom's music-licensing panel, which will show aspiring filmmakers how to access FirstCom’s massive catalog of licensed tunes so that their awe-inspiring base-jumping footage can be scored to something more extreme than “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
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.
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.