The Utah Pride Festival kicks off summer in Salt Lake City. Last year, our then-mayor Jackie Biskupski, who identifies as a lesbian, marked the festival’s fourth decade by declaring the first week of June officially Pride Week. Between the parade and the festival, the event drew over 125,000 people-- an immense number considering the metro population of just 1.2 million. Of the large US metros, Salt Lake’s per capita LGBTQ+ population is consistently in the top ten; the city has been called a ‘mecca’ for people coming from less supportive communities. If you go to Pride Fest, consider finishing the night off with at Sun Trapp, a somewhat divey but truly delightful gay bar that hosts fundraiser after parties.
Towards the end of June, the ever-popular Utah Arts Festival draws over 70,000 people to see hundreds of visual, music, film, and performance artists. Other smaller, worthwhile, events centered around the arts include Kimball Arts Festival, DIY festival, Craft Lake City, the Made in Utah Festivals and Busker Fest.
Another big event is FanX, Salt Lake City’s version of Comic-Con, which had over 100,000 attendees last year over the course of the event. If you go to Fan-X, consider finishing the night off at Brewvies cinema gastropub, where you can see a Front Row Film Roast (Salt Lake’s version of MST3K; local comedians provide hilarious live commentary on movies like the Goonies, Wrath of Kahn and Princess Bride).
Oktoberfest at Snowbird is widely considered a must-do for the early fall. The event attracts over 60,000 visitors over multiple weekends, and showcases a number of local breweries. Other events that are centered around the local beer scene include Utah Brewfest, Tour de Brewtah, the annual Food Truck and Beer Battle, Zoo Brew at Hogle Zoo, and Birds and Brew at Tracy Aviary.