The local chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers hosted the National Convention in Kanab on August 7 -9. The event was a big success with participants coming from as far away as the Washington, D.C. area, though most were from Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada.  Several of the participants commented about the natural beauty of the area, the friendliness of the people, and they would definitely be returning to visit and see more. This was a great opportunity to show off our beautiful area to about 250 visitors for three days.  

The Sons of Utah Pioneers is an organization dedicated in part to;  “Preserve the memory and heritage of the early pioneers of the Utah Territory and intermountain west. Honor present-day pioneers worldwide in many walks of life, who exemplify these same qualities of character. Teach these same qualities to the youth who will be tomorrow’s pioneers.”

The convention attendees were treated to an opening banquet at Angels Landing at Best Friends Animal Society on Thursday, August 7. Friday, they chose between tours to Pipe Springs, Little Hollywood tour of movie locations, Montezuma’s treasure at Three Lakes, or the Historic Homes tour in Kanab. That evening, they had a Dutch oven dinner at the North Events Center in Orderville, followed by a dedicated showing of the pageant, “Land of Our Destiny”.  

Spouses and guests were treated to a showing of the artwork of Julie Rogers on Saturday, where she shared her inspiration for many of the portraits she has painted. Houston’s Trails End Restaurant prepared a banquet lunch, followed by keynote speaker Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld, President of Dixie State University. 

Many commented this was the best National Convention they had attended. That would not have been the case were it not for the dedicated services provided by; Vicki Hooper, Director of the Kane County Volunteer Center, and the coordination of the many volunteers; Ken Gotzen-Berg and the resources of the Kane County Travel and Visitors Center; and the communities of Orderville and Glendale with performers from Kanab and Alton, who presented a wonderful performance of the pageant, “The Land of Our Destiny.”  Some who attended the convention came just to see the pageant.  

Ken Gotzen-Berg, Kane County Director of Tourism, reported that the week the Sons of Pioneers were here, Kane county had its highest recorded hotel occupancy ever, even beating Western Legends Round-Up week. Gotzenberg commented, “This shows that Kanab does have the capability of hosting events of that siz, but we’ll need additional facilities, such as larger meeting spaces, hotel rooms and restaurants to accommodate these events. It also wouldn’t hurt to have more table and chairs.”

There were far too many volunteers to attempt to mention them by name, but without their dedicated service we could not have pulled this convention off, and more importantly made it such a memorable event for all who participated.  

I am proud to be a resident of such a great community.