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TV Special, Fireworks To Celebrate Utah Statehood


To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Utah’s statehood on Monday, the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts is hosting an evening TV special, followed by fireworks across the state. 

“The event is really a launch to a year-long series of events that we will post on our website, thrive125.utah.gov,” said Katherine Potter, the deputy director of the department. “That includes the virtual events and exhibits, and curriculum videos and resources for teachers, and architectural maps to buildings that have been standing for 125 years or more. There will really be a wealth of resources.”

According to Potter, the program Monday will include a variety of performers. 

 “So it's a snapshot of our arts and cultural community,” Potter said. “We've asked different groups to perform together, maybe groups that have never performed together. We have original compositions by Kurt Bestor. We have performers from Unity Gospel Choir, Ballet West, Utah Symphony, the Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band, which is a group of young jazz musicians accompanied by Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin and David Osmond, and more.”

Potter said there will be six performances in total. The program will air on PBS Utah at 6:30 p.m. and will be rebroadcast at 8:30 p.m. Following the first airing there will be fireworks across the state at 7:30 p.m.

Potter hopes the program will inspire people to get excited about the arts and help an industry heavily impacted by the pandemic. New events and programs will be added each week to the website.

“We are working in partnership with Utah Humanities to present a number of panel discussions and webinars with local groups and local historians to talk about statehood, but not just to talk about the journey to statehood, also to talk about what Utah was like before statehood,” she said. 

Other events Potter is looking forward to include panels about people coming to Utah for refuge.