On the longest night of the year, the town of Bluff invites you to a celebration of light for our annual Solstice Burn. This Thursday, December 21st at 7 pm, residents and guests will gather across from the Recapture Lodge and K&C Convenience Store for this desert ritual.
Bluff artist Joe Pachak has built two dancing bears of willow, representing the male and female bear of the Ute Bear Dance. Joe and his team of volunteers have worked tirelessly for the past two months to construct these figures. Joe was inspired and guided in the construction of these sculptures by Ute flute musician Aldean Ketchum.
The bears stand 15-feet tall and have been constructed with locally-gathered materials. Their teeth and claws are fashioned from antlers.
The 28th Annual Utah Navajo Fair will be held this weekend (October 26th -29th) in Bluff. This year’s theme is “Honoring our Elders”.
Back by popular request is the parade down the Main Street (Highway 191) of Bluff on Saturday morning. Be sure to arrive early with your chair to get a good viewing spot.
Please see the attachment for a full schedule of events.
The 13th Annual Bluff Arts Festival recently announced their schedule – and we couldn’t be more excited!
This annual festival brings together Four Corners Artists, locals, and visitors for a three-day weekend of workshops, an Artist Market, performances, and storytelling, to name a few of its classic events.
For the 2017 Festival, the lineup includes a few new additions, including a mural by Whitehorse Highschool students, live music by the Piñon Pickers and dancing Saturday night, and new workshops. Featured artist Gilmore Scott, who created this year’s logo, will work with the students from Montezuma Creek and other participants on the mural titled “Honor our Home.”
For the full event schedule, see here. You can also register for workshops and learn more about supporting the festival.
Riverside Storytelling, sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council, will take place Friday evening and feature the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Fund 2017 Winner, Michael Branch. Michael and Utah Poet Laureate David Lee with guide readings and a discussion about “What it means to live in the desert.”
The Artist Market will take place Saturday-Sunday in the Bluff Community Center. It will include fun “make and take” art projects, Four Corners artists, and live food vendors.
The workshop lineup includes many favorites and some new additions. This year, local artist Joe Pachak will return to build a willow sculpture for Bluff’s annual solstice burn. His animal of choice this year – a bear, of course!
Guest blog by Erica Tucker, Friends of Cedar Mesa
Welcome to this quiet orange corner of Utah! Whether you are just passing through Bluff and enjoying the vistas, or you have days or weeks to spend exploring the canyons, mesas, and river, we hope that you enjoy your time in our backyard. Much of the land surrounding Bluff is public land and protected by the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service as Bears Ears National Monument, so this is truly your backyard too!
This area holds the unique opportunity to explore archaeology sites in a backcountry setting. No trails, no signs, no reservations required for tours. This great opportunity demands a great responsibility, though, to be good stewards of the land.
As a guest blogger from local conservation organization Friends of Cedar Mesa, I’m here to share tips for exploring around Bluff. For those of you new to this kind of experience, our organization has put together a few tips to help you visit with respect. Also check out our short videos!
LEAVE ALL ARTIFACTS: Keep discovery alive so the next person can share the experience. Artifacts include pottery pieces, stone tools and rock flakes. It’s illegal to move or take any artifact, including historic trash, from public lands.
DON’T TOUCH ROCK ART OR MAKE YOUR OWN: Vandalism of petroglyphs and pictographs erases stories of ancient people and destroys the experience for future visitors.
STEER CLEAR OF WALLS: Historic and prehistoric structures can be easily damaged. Please don’t touch, lean, stand or climb on any structures.
KEEP PETS LEASHED AWAY FROM ARCHAEOLOGY: To prevent digging and erosion, pets are not allowed in archaeological sites. Please make sure pets are leashed and kept away from the site.
DON’T BUILD CAIRNS AND ROCKSTACKS: Keep the landscape natural by leaving only footprints. Cairns can increase impacts on sensitive sites and are sometimes constructed with artifacts like grinding or shrine stones.
DON’T BUST THE CRUST: Stay on existing trails and routes to protect the living cryptobiotic soil. Once stepped on, this fragile crust takes years to regrow.
GO TO THE BATHROOM AWAY FROM SITES: Because no one likes finding toilet paper in a cliff dwelling! Bury human waste and carry out the toilet paper.
STAY ON DESIGNATED ROADS:Use existing roads when traveling to cultural sites. Driving off-road can create new routes on top of fragile archaeology and ecosystems.
Guest blogger bio:
Erica Tucker is the Visit with Respect Program Manager for Friends of Cedar Mesa. She loves exploring the canyons and slickrock around Bluff, and is always amazed by the rock art and ancient structures. Erica’s dog often joins her on the trail, but “Roxie” happily waits tied to a shady tree while Erica explores the archaeological sites.
The Utah Navajo Fair and Rodeo has been postponed. There WILL NOT be a fair, rodeo or pow wow in Bluff during September.
The event was originally scheduled for September 15 – 17, 2017. The fair has tentatively been rescheduled for October 27 – 29, 2017.
Please note that Bluffutah.org is not responsible for the management or scheduling of the Utah Navajo Fair and Rodeo. We will post information as soon as it becomes available to us.