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Plans moving forward for return of Summerfest and other celebrations across Utah

Sadie Loveland, right, celebrates her win in the hot dog eating contest for the second year in a row with Miss Orem Glory Thomas as part of Summerfest in Orem on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Loveland ate 15 hot dogs in eight minutes. Orem is celebrating its centennial this year. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

OREM, Utah — The popular city-wide celebration of Summerfest in Orem is expected to fully return this summer and similar events could reportedly follow suit. 

Return of summer fun… without a mask?

Orem residents are now preparing for a full week of “Summerfest” in early June. The official website for the summer celebration has updated their dates this year for June 7-12, 2021.

On the website, event organizers laid out some of the possible concerns, including whether Utah County will grant a mass gathering permit.

“This is ultimately the question that will decide what we can [or] can’t do,” a post on the site reads.

Organizers said they’re planning on having a car show and pool party in the middle of the week, while a carnival component would come back for Friday and Saturday.

Additionally, they’ve identified the carnival and parade as carrying the highest risk for a large gathering.

Last year, Summerfest was moved back to August and officially deemed as “Summerfest Lite.” The truncated event in 2020 still included food, music, fireworks and a parade.

Setting up a plan B

According to the event website, there is still a chance that it could be moved back a couple of months this year.

“This is a decision we believe we need to make no later than March, but it will depend on where we are with getting a Mass Gathering Permit and what the vaccination rates are looking like,” it reads.

The news comes as Governor Spencer Cox has shared some optimism about loosening COVID-19 restrictions in parts of the state.

According to him, maskless gatherings in large groups could be possibly by July 4, if not earlier.

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