In 2021, for Murray Cultural Arts, the show must go onMar 30, 2021 10:42AM ● By Shaun Delliskave
The Murray Fun Day parade will return, like this one in 1969. Parade entries can sign up until June 1. (Photo courtesy of Murray City)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
With mass vaccinations rising and COVID infection rates dropping, the Murray City Cultural Arts and History division is pressing forward with a full slate of activities for the summer. This summer arts season comes after the pandemic shut down most of the City’s performing art season last year.
“We held a few events last year while carefully following the Utah Health Department guidelines. This year, we will do the same regarding the guidelines that are set for our county. However, we are working to completely fill our season,” Murray City Cultural Arts Manager Lori Edmunds said.
Last year, the City canceled most performances, save for a few socially distanced concerts and the chalk art festival. Murray Fun Days, the City’s Independence Day festivities, were canceled. The City attempted one Murray Amphitheater summer production, “Little Shop of Horrors,” but had to shut down mid-run after some of the performers came down with the virus.
“We recognize that many if not most of our patrons will be immunized; we see the environment for summer’s activities being much different than last year,” Edmunds said. “However, we will strictly follow the Utah Department of Health’s guidelines. We will not be printing tickets this year, and purchases will be readily available online or at the door where patrons can purchase for that evening.”
If you have been waiting to celebrate Murray Fun Days on Independence Day, you will need to mark your calendar for one day earlier, as the main festivities will happen on Saturday, July 3. Tentatively, all events that were consistently held before the pandemic will occur this year, such as the parade and fireworks. Murray City is encouraging all those who wish to have an entry in the parade to apply by June 1. The parade will resume its traditional route from Fashion Place Mall to Murray Park.
“Fun Days will basically look like 2019,” Edmunds said. “Our Fun Days planning was started several weeks ago, and we feel certain the residents will be pleased with our efforts and understand that there will be some who still want to remain at home where they feel safe. We are carefully and cautiously planning.”
A full slate of musicals will be in store for the Murray Amphitheater stage. First on deck will be Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” running June 17-19, 12-23. Based on the film by the same name, the musical includes such popular songs as “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World.” “Shrek the Musical” will cue up in July, also based on the animated film but transformed into a musical. Finally, Disney’s “Newsies” will run in August. “Newsies” tells the story of New York City newsboys’ labor strike in 1899.
“We will be introducing a youth theater production the second weekend of September. We are also partnering with the library and bringing ‘Stop in for Stories’ and Wednesday ‘Summer Shorts’ events to the park,” Edmunds said.
“Stop in for Stories” will take Murray Library’s popular youth storytimes outside to the Murray Park White Gazebo (near the Park Center). Librarians will read to children every Tuesday through Thursday at 11 a.m. in June and July.
“Summer Shorts” will feature a variety of family entertainment acts, such as magic, animal, and science shows. Consult the Murray Cultural Arts website for dates and times.
Lunchtime concerts and children’s matinees will also return to Murray Park this summer, and so will evening family concerts at the Murray Senior Recreation Center.
The capstone event for the Murray Amphitheater will be violinist virtuoso Jenny Oaks Baker, performing on Aug. 11.
For events that require tickets, patrons should purchase them online. Additionally, patrons should expect to take precautions at some events. Presently, masks are required when groups of over 50 people gather together. All concession items will be pre-wrapped.
The full slate of Murray City events and current precautions can be found online at Murray.utah.gov.