ST. GEORGE – Making national headlines in 2011 and bringing people of all ages, races, social conditions, and gender together, the spring celebration of social merriment moves to the fall as the Holi Festival of Colors makes its way to the Dixie Sunbowl for the very first time, Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m.
On Sept. 5, Caru Das appeared before the St. George City Council to make his case for a Festival of Colors to be held at the Dixie Sunbowl, and without a single question, the approval was passed unanimously, according to the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple Facebook page.
The festival is celebrated with a day filled with brightly colored, organic powder, nonstop live music, dance, yoga, mantras and cuisine. A unified “color throwing” will take place every hour where brightly colored chalk will be thrown into the air in a tradition dating back thousands of years in India where flower petals and scented powders were thrown in gratitude of god, or Krishna.
Meant to be a celebration of shared life – neither religious nor secular – it is a gathering of people united in their desire to celebrate unity and friendship despite differences. The festival brings home the lesson of spiritual and social harmony.
“These Color Festivals are epic and I couldn’t be more excited about it coming to St. George,” said yoga instructor Alison Hinton. “This is such a great opportunity for the people of Southern Utah to experience an incredibly fun and uplifting event, and I feel honored to be a part of it this year at the Sunbowl.”
There will be “Color Throws” every hour starting at noon. Attendees of the Color Fest may avoid long lines by preregistering for tickets and buying colors online.
The ingredients found in the bags of color are corn starch, permissible food grade dyes and fragrance – making the beautiful, vivid colors safe, environmentally friendly and nicely scented. Due to safety concerns, the use of any outside color is prohibited. Outside colors will be confiscated and will not be allowed on the festival grounds.
Dust masks will be available for purchase for 25 cents, as well as bandannas for $6. Organizers of the color fest remind attendees not to throw colors directly in others’ eyes or mouth, and that drugs, alcohol and smoking are not permitted on festival grounds. To ensure everyone has a happy and safe time, protocol to be observed at the festival can be found here.
- Noon – Music by Prem
- Noon – 1 p.m. – Yoga with Jai Krishna
- 1-2 p.m. – Yoga with Alison Hinton
- 1:30 p.m. – Lokah Bhakti Dance
- 2-3 p.m. – Yoga with Melissa Blaiklock
- 2 p.m. – Music by Mighty Govinda
- 3-4 p.m. – Yoga with Stuart Landsee
- 3:30 p.m. – Music by Ananda Groove
- 4-5 p.m. – Yoga with Lokah Bhakti
- All-day – Vegetarian food and drinks from Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe
Optimizing your color festival experience
Last year tens of thousands of people attended the Holi Festival in Spanish Fork and had great experiences. Some attendees can however, end up ruining their clothing and personal belongings, or missing out on key points of the festival. According to BYU’s Daily Universe, there are ways to plan ahead and optimize your experience at the Festival of Colors.
Wear proper attire
Over time an unspoken tradition has developed that those in attendance wear white clothes. The white clothes offer an extreme contrast to the colored powder thrown during the event. With multiple colors of powder being thrown in every direction, clothes can be damaged and stained. This includes outerwear, under garments and shoes.
Protect your eyes, mouth and nose
A bandanna and sunglasses can go a long way in protecting a person’s eyes, mouth and nose. Many in attendance throw chalk in every direction and an unsuspecting passerby can easily catch a face-full of chalk.
Buy powder ahead of time and from the proper place
Powder is available for purchase at the festival and online. The powder is available for pick-up before and during the celebration.
Get to the festival early
Don’t miss the main event. Those in attendance should know parking is limited and it may take extra time to walk to the festival.
Take care of your camera
To prevent camera damage, cameras should be carried in plastic bags and some people suggest using shrink wrap to cover all but the camera lens.
Bring old bed sheets and a change of clothes
After leaving the festival, participants’ clothes will be covered in multiple colors of powder. A change of clothes and a trash bag to carry the colored clothes will be helpful in preventing messes in the car. Beyond new clothes, old bed sheets for car seats can be useful. While participants can change their clothes, there will still be plenty of residual powder on their body and in their hair.
Clean up properly
Before jumping in the shower, as much dry powder should be removed as possible. If the powder is not removed, hair can be dyed while washing. The same tips can be applied to cleaning clothes. Before putting clothes in the wash, participants should shake out their clothes vigorously to remove as much powder as possible.
Event details and contact information
- When: Saturday, Oct. 19, noon to 5 p.m.
- Where: Dixie Sunbowl, 150 South 400 East, St. George
- Admission: Adults $3 – kids are free
- Website: Festival of Colors | Facebook: Holi Festival of Colors in St. George
- Contact: Caru Das – 801-787-1510 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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