With over 5,000 attendees at the United Way Dixie’s 2nd Annual Live United LIVE Music Festival, the spirit of community support was spectacular, according to Rebekah Pectol, the executive director of United Way Dixie.
“It couldn’t be possible without the sponsors, local businesses, vendors, performing artists, The City of St. George services and amazing planning committee that gave countless hours into the organization of the event,” she said.
Fantastic weather offered a stunning downtown setting for the outdoor Live United LIVE Music Festival. Crowds gathered at the opening and grew as the day progressed. Music across the spectrum of genres was performed by numerous artists throughout the day-long event. From the presenting of the flags by local Boy Scouts of America and the National Anthem by Casey Lofthouse, the Live United LIVE Music Festival provided continuous entertainment alternating between two stages. Performers from Tuacahn, John Houston’s Gospel Choir, Wooden Tantrum, Marty Warburton and the Home Girls, Steven Swift, Soul What?!, DSU Jazz Trio, Eric Dodge Band, Beans and Wheels, Swagger, Edgar and Sala (now calling themselves Wildflower Studies), Wirelefant, Josh Warburton, and Live United LIVE Music Festival headliner, Howard Jones all kept the crowd dancing and celebrating well into the night.
Live United LIVE made St. George history with the opening of the Jazz Garden in a satellite location. The Jazz Garden offered music festival goers the music of West Coast Jazz Players, adult beverages, and appetizers provided by One Hot Grill. The Jazz Garden, a George Streetfest staple, was able to secure an alcohol permit from the State of Utah to expand its presence for the Live United LIVE Music Festival.
“The crowd was appreciative, supportive and seemed to really enjoy themselves and the live jazz music downtown,” stated Melynda Thorpe, George Streetfest on Main Presenter. “The venue was beautiful, and we were very pleased. The satellite Jazz Garden is something we are excited to begin offering as nightlife culture downtown continues to develop.”
Being able to offer an event of this magnitude to the community for free takes a great deal of coordination and support. United Way Dixie made it happen with an outpouring of assistance from community partners and sponsors.
“With all of us coming together as one to support our community through an event like the Live United LIVE Music Festival, we are able to combine and extend our support towards the nonprofit organizations here that provide such vital services to our area,” stated Pectol. “And what better way to end the night than with a well-known name such as Howard Jones who put on an amazing performance! United Way Dixie is honored to be able to provide a free festival and concert as a way to support and celebrate the great community we live in.”
Through the support of sponsors, United Way Dixie is able to present the Live United LIVE Music Festival while being able to direct the funds raised to the 17 local charities they support. Although this is only the second Live United LIVE Music Festival, United Way Dixie has been serving the area for twenty-one years. With the enthusiasm throughout the community in support of the event, Live Unite LIVE Music Festival appears to have a long life ahead.
In addition to the music and Jazz Garden, activities and food were plentiful. Attendees were able to participate in a ball drop for a car giveaway. Steve Jensen was the lucky winner of the convertible VW Bug. The Live United LIVE Music Festival concluded with a spectacular fireworks display. There was no better place to view the brilliant explosions than being downtown directly underneath at Town Square Park.
Although the Live United LIVE Music Festival was over, Howard Jones remained on the premises for a short while longer for a photo op. The Independent was able to get exclusive photos during the Howard Jones meet and greet. Photos can be viewed here.