Utah Summer Games officially kicks off with opening ceremonies

Beatles tribute band, The Return, will be performing at the opening ceremonies of the Utah Summer Games, undated | Photo courtesy of Group H Entertainment, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – Although the Utah Summer Games is well under way, the official kick off will take place Thursday night during the Opening Ceremonies at Southern Utah University’s Eccles Coliseum.

The ceremonies have become a tradition in Cedar City, seeing that the Summer Games are in its 29th year.

The Opening Ceremonies are tailored after the Olympics, starting with the walk of the athletes.

“They get to march the track and wave at all the fans and be recognized for their efforts,” Casey McClellan, director of the Utah Summer Games, said.

To signify the start of the games the caldron will be lit in the stadium and will remain burning during the remainder of the games.

Entertainment will begin with a British invasion as the Beatles tribute band, the Return, takes the stage.

The Return plays Beatles hits while dressing up in costume to portray the different time periods of the band. The music is sure to be enjoyed by every generation.

The band is back by popular demand, as they performed in Cedar City earlier this year in late March.

“We had a great time, the crowd was pretty amazing at the last concert we were at and we had a blast and I think everybody there did as well,” Michael Fulop, member of the Return and portrayer of George Harrison said,so we are really looking forward to coming back.”

The bands first appearance was filled with a lot of energy and excitement, McClellan said.

“They had people out of their chairs dancing and singing, so we just kind of thought, you know, lets reach out and see what people may think about them coming back.”

The Return will play a longer set then their earlier appearance in Cedar City, which will allow the audience to enjoy earlier and later hits of the Beatles career.

The night will end with the popular firework show that has been a community favorite.

Visitors to the opening ceremonies will also witness helicopter flyovers by Upper Limit Aviation and an appearance from Leo the Lion, professional soccer team Real Salt Lake’s mascot.

Before the ceremonies begin, an athlete social will be held on the quad, just west of the multipurpose building at SUU. For all athletes wearing their athlete shirts, they will enjoy free food along with activities from Summer Games sponsors.

People not participating in the games are also welcome to enjoy the social, and food will be available for purchase.

Following the athlete social, a pre-show to the ceremonies will take place at Eccles Coliseum with a local band, featuring SUU head football coach Ed Lamb.

Come enjoy the show, support the community and athletes from all around as the Utah Summer Games officially begins. Tickets are still available for purchase online or at the SUU ticket office.

Event details and ticket information

Athlete social

  • When: Thursday, June 12, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where:  SUU quad, west of the Multipurpose Building
  • Food cost: Free for athletes, $2.50 for non-competitors
  • Athlete Social info | Telephone: 435-865-8421

Opening ceremonies

  • When: Thursday, June 12, 8:30 p.m., pre-show at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where:  Eccles Coliseum, 99 South 1100 West, Cedar City, UT 84720
  • Tickets: $10 reserved seating, $7 general admission, $5 each for groups of six | Ticket Office | Telephone: 435-586-7872

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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