As summer winds down in Utah (is anyone else sick of walking into work sweaty?), festival and event season ramps up. The sweet sound of hay rides and children screaming for more cotton candy is upon us. Unless you get hay fever, take a deep breath, cuz this fall roundup of concerts and events in Utah is about to blow your mind like deep-fried green Jell-O.
August 12 – October 15
So many brats, so little time. If you can’t make it to the real Germany for a brew and a dispassionate debate, checking out the Utah locals in their dirndls and lederhosen is the next best thing. Utah’s iteration made it into Men’s Journal’s Top 10 Oktoberfests list, and for good reason: Ride up the gondola for views that rival the the Bavarian Alps, grab a stein and cheers the night away, or, if bouncy houses and face painting is more your speed, they’ve got that, too. You’ll be shouting Halo! and Danke schön and the two or three other German phrases you can muster in no time.
August 19 – October 21
“I’m sick of my kids,” you said. “If they could just leave me alone for an hour ” you said. You couldn’t wait for the school year to start, but now you miss them like crazy. It doesn’t make any sense, but that’s how it works. So why not getaway for a weekend staycation? Spend a little QT with the whole fam in Kanab with live music against a radical red rock backdrop all through the fall. This is the perfect time to go, too when the temps have cooled down into the pleasant range when the sun goes down.
September 7 – 9
It started in someone’s backyard, and now, 28 years later, it’s grown into one of the biggest story festivals in the West. The festival unites some of the best storytellers across the country for a weekend of high entertainment. And, if the first thing you think of when you see the word “stories” is Instagram, that’s all the more reason to go.
If you wanna see a bunch of dogs, you can go stand on a neighborhood sidewalk for three minutes. If you want to see cats, you go on the internet. But that’s boring. Old news. Right about now you could really go for the big, noisy, smelly barnyard variety of animal. Think cattle, goats, ducks and sheep. (No matter how recently you’ve seen a hog, they’re still startling IRL.) Oh, and do you like Martha Stewart + Snoop Dogg–level cook-offs? Does 4-H remind you of that Dixie Chicks song and childhood? Well then come on down to the Utah State Fair, where every year they somehow manage to outdo themselves. Pro tip: When you walk by the flying squirrel vendor, you’re going to want to adopt one because there’s never been anything so cute. Sleep on it. Consider the ramifications of owning a pocket-dwelling rodent ninja warrior you can never leave by itself. That’s not personal experience talking, we swear
September 8 – 10
“I want a vivacious cultural celebration with $3 admission and I want it to have the best food I’ve ever eaten.” If that sounds like asking too much, you’ve never been to the Greek Festival in downtown Salt Lake City. You might pass out from too many gyros, but the good news is no one will judge you. Next time chase them with water instead of baklava, mkay?
Wanna shop, eat and vote Democrat with the cool kids? Just purchase a Subaru, attach a BUY LOCAL FIRST sticker in the window and head to the 900 S 900 E neighborhood in SLC. Put on for neighbors, by neighbors, this local fest is where to find all the best local artisans in one place. And let’s be honest: By this point in September, you’ve already started thinking about Christmas, so this is the perfect place to stock up on gifts, too.Comment on this story
For the overachievers who want to sneak out while the kids are at school, guess who is comin’ to town? Gary Vee, Tony Robbins, Kevin O’Leary (aka Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank), and Joseph McClendon will fly into town for a hot second, blow your mind and then bam, like thieves in the night, steal away with all your self-doubt in one of those huge knapsacks robbers always carry on their backs in cartoons.
Want to do even more? See our full events page here.