Brigham City invites folks to "Tune in to Heritage," at its annual Heritage Arts Festival.
The free downtown festival, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 16, includes plenty of music from the past. Festival-goers can tune into everything from fun fiddling to rock 'n' roll classics. The city will also be filled with the sound of perfectly tuned engines -- humming in antique and classic cars.
Even the sounds of traditional crafts invite people to tune in to the music of life, from the ring of a hammer hitting metal to the whooshing of a torch or the soft brushing of wool being carded.
"We want to keep the heritage arts alive, so people can see how it's been done for centuries," said Donna Pett, with the city's recreation department.
Sixteen artisans will be at the festival to demonstrate skills, including a maker of art prints, a spoon carver, a wood turner, a blacksmith, a jeweler, an origami artist, a leather worker, Shoshone and Blackfoot bead workers, and a beekeeper.
Here's a sampling of the people sharing their talents:
Marianne Breitenbeker, basket weaver
"I love weaving," said Marianne Breitenbeker, of Brigham City.
She learned to make baskets in a class for adults offered by the local school district, and later became the teacher. Yes, she's heard jokes about "underwater basket weaving."
"It is simple," she said of basket weaving. "However, it takes concentration, and there are difficult patterns."
Her hands are sometimes underwater, soaking reeds to make them pliable.
Breitenbeker describes her baskets as "plain-weave, standard colonial-style easy baskets."
She has baskets in her living room holding cloth, one to hold mail, and another to hold toiletries in the bathroom. She also has a tote basket for traveling.
"I made it to fit under the seat in front of me on an airplane. It has traveled to Vegas and Florida and New York. It's gone with me to pick up children from missions in Thailand, Hong Kong and Chile," she said. "It's pretty beat-up."
Roger Child, glass artist
The craft of Roger Child predates Utah's pioneers. Glasswork actually dates back to the ancient Romans and Egyptians, he said, working over earthen or clay kilns.
"What I do is called lamp working," he said. "What I do is use a small torch to melt the glass, and then I use it to reshape the glass."
Child, of West Haven, makes glass beads and marbles. He also does some sculptural work.
"I enjoy making a lot of sea life," he said, like sea turtles and fish.
He's been working with glass for 14 years, and mostly learned by reading books and magazines, and watching videos. In addition to sharing his skills at the festival, he's vice president of a new group called the Wasatch Area Lampwork Artists.
Richard James, broom maker
Richard James, of South Weber, says he started the mountain man rendezvous now held at Ogden's Fort Buenaventura, but later disqualified himself as a re-enactor because "Mountain men were NOT fat old men."
Now he concentrates more on colonial America.
"One of the things the colonial craftspeople did was make brooms," he said by email. "I felt I was contributing to the mood of a colonial gathering if I could present myself as such a craftsman. Besides -- I have old cabins in my backyard that need to be swept out only with a broom of the correct period."
James finds wood for handles along creek beds in Utah; the broomcorn for the bottom is purchased from back East.
"I work off of a broom maker's table that has reels of wire and cord for tying," he said, although, originally, wire wasn't used because of the expense. "I use it because it makes a better broom and does not show. In tying up a broom, I put the top course on with natural twine of some sort."
Sewing is necessary, and done with a special needle.
"I have to make them in a forge, pounded out and the eye punched on an anvil," he said.
He used to trim the finished broom with a broad-edged axe from the 1800s.
"My mentor always held it over my head that he had a broom trimmer, but I would never have one as they had not been made for these many winters. But now I have graduated from an axe to a true trimmer," he said.
James' brooms are owned by people across the country. Some use them as decorations, some in colonial settings, and some just because they prefer them to modern brooms.
"And some ... are bought by witches," he said.
James is nearly 80 years old.
"I have found one fellow whom I feel is of the quality that I will teach the skills to," he said. "With good fortune, we will be at the Brigham City event in the roles of mentor and apprentice."
Marilyn Johnson, Navajo weaver
Marilyn Johnson grew up on a reservation in New Mexico, and says her family earned a living by weaving.
"It wasn't exactly taught -- you just watch it, and see how they do it," she said. "When it gets kind of hard, you ask and they'll tell you."
As an adult, she found other work, but her heart and hands eventually returned to weaving.
"I like doing it," she said, explaining that it's a change of pace from everyday work. But that doesn't mean it's easy.
"It takes a lot of work," said Johnson, who lives in Brigham City.
The sheep have to be taken care of, then sheared. The wool is washed, carded and made into rolls, and spun twice. Then it's washed again, and can be left natural or colored with vegetable dyes. Finally, the weaver sets up the loom and gets started.
"It takes about an hour to do one inch," said Johnson, working on a small loom.
Mike Stone, wood carver
Mike Stone, of Brigham City, is one of several wood carvers at the festival. He specializes in creating caricatures.
"Cowboys primarily," he said, although he's carved some fishermen, duck hunters and other characters.
He dabbled in carving 30 to 40 years ago, but got serious about 2 1/2 years ago.
"Just a few weeks before I retired, I became aware of a class being held," he said. "I took the class and jumped right in after that."
He uses custom-made knives, and sometimes meets with friends to carve. He may even bring a few friends along to help demonstrate.
The Brigham City Heritage Arts Festival, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 16, has something for everyone. Admission is free.
Music on the Bill of Rights Plaza, 20 N. Main St.
1 p.m., Get Back. Not a tribute band, but a Beatles cover band, with members from Salt Lake City to Logan.
2 p.m., In Cahoots. Craig “Creek” Johnson and Lannie “The Marshal” Scopes, of Cottonwood Heights, play cowboy music from “Ghost Riders in the Sky” to their own songs.
3 p.m., Peter Breinholt. Breinholt, based in Salt Lake City, writes his own acoustic music. He has six albums, writes guitar songbooks and film scores, and has performed across the country. He’s even combined his voice and guitar talents with symphonies and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
4 p.m., CrosStrung. Utah’s Cluff family, including champion fiddle-playing in-law Dan Riggs, plays traditional music from Celtic to old-time and bluegrass, with country, swing and gospel mixed in.
5 p.m., Dizzy Desoto. Dizzy Desoto, who plays rock ’n’ roll from the golden era of Elvis and Buddy Holly, is actually North Ogden musician/actor Darren Ewing.
“Dizzy Desoto is a character I created two years ago, when I was trying to teach my two daughters how to play drums,” he said.
A third-generation drummer, Ewing knew a few rock ’n’ roll classics on guitar, and played them so his girls could drum along. He had such a good time that he contacted some musician friends, and now they’re Dizzy Desoto and his Rockin’ Good Times Band.
“We don’t really have a set list — it changes depending on what we’re in the mood to play, so it’s always fresh,” he said, adding that audiences can count on hits by Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry. “It’s an interactive show. We bring hula hoops to all of our performances.”
On the lot
Car show in the Historic County Courthouse parking lot, 1 S. Main St.
Vehicles on display, with awards for best interior, best custom, best original, best paint and overall Best of Festival. Download a registration form online, or call 435-734-2746 for more information.
On the lawn
Children’s activities on the Historic County Courthouse lawn
Kids can try games played in the past, get their face painted or join a scavenger hunt.
On the docket
Quilt show, Historic County Courthouse hallways
Quilts by local quilters, as well as a trunk show with Bonnie Miles of American Fork, who has been a “serious” quilter for more than 25 years and leads quilting tours and retreats. Her trunk show starts at 11 a.m., and again at 2 p.m., in the County Commission Chambers.