University Place in Orem is adding its name to the list of venues that will be opening with full, fun activities for summer.

On Wednesday, University Place announced its community-centric summer activities which will be held outside at The Orchard, the outdoor gathering location and park at University Place.

The Orchard is scheduled to host more than 30 free events from June through August.

This year’s lineup of events will include annual favorites the community has come to expect, such as the July 24th fireworks show that brings in nearly 7,000 people, and also new events like the African Heritage Festival, to encourage and highlight diversity.

“This new festival comes at a critical time in building a broader global community,” said Annette Knight with the Ngoma y’Africa Cultural Center, which is based out of Provo. “Our mission is to preserve and increase understanding of African culture through the arts such as storytelling, languages, music and dance – all of which we are excited to share at this year’s festival.”

The African Heritage Festival will be from 3 to 8 p.m. June 5, featuring the talents and music of Ngoma Y’ Africa Cultural Center.

The theme of the festival is “Healing through the UBUNTU SPIRIT of oneness and acceptance.”

There will be live performances, along with African food and vendors at The Orchard.

Other highlighted events through the summer include:

• Live Game Night Series — 6-8 p.m. June 3, 24.

Each of the two evenings will have a different theme. The first will be Live Clue with Scooby Doo, followed by Lawn Games in Wonderland. Families, students and college-aged kids are invited to spend the evening outside playing various games, among favorite characters, so be sure to bring a camera.

• Orem Summerfest Kick-off Party — 7 p.m. June 7.

For the fourth year in a row, Orem Summerfest will kick-off at University Place with its annual storytelling event. World-famous storytellers Kim Weitkamp and Sam Payne will be providing an evening of great stories. Bring a blanket and/or chairs to listen to stories on the grass at The Orchard. Yard games also will be out, along with free ice cream while supplies last.

• Family Fun Night: Beach Party — 7-9 p.m. June 21.

Come and tour some Pacific Island traditions. Activities and games will be available the first hour, followed by live performances including the very popular Polynesian fire dancers the second hour.

• Clog America: American Folk Dance Show — 6:30 to 9 p.m. June 28.

Part of the Freedom Festival lineup of events to celebrate the Fourth of July, Clog America is returning for its third year to University Place. Clog America is America’s premiere Folk Dance Ensemble representing the U.S. in international folk festivals throughout the world. Bring blankets and/or chairs, and watch as these dancers tell the story of America’s Folk Dance history through clogging.

• Outdoor Movie Night Series — 7:30 to 11 p.m. July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.

This fan-favorite series happens every Thursday evening in July. The lineup includes “Rogue One,” “Enchanted,” “The Lego Batman Movie,” “The Parent Trap” and “Jurassic Park.” The movies start around 9 p.m., with activities and games before. Bring blanket and/or chairs. This year Lisa’s Passion for Popcorn will provide free popcorn to movie goers during each event (while supplies last) and also have their specialty flavored popcorn available for purchase.

• Renaissance Day — 6 to 9 p.m. July 10.

Another fan-favorite summer event at University Place. Come and watch knights in full armor sword fight while bagpipes play traditional music and Irish Dancers jig to the music. There also will be authentic European food available for purchase.

• Family Fun Night: International Food Festival — 6 to 8 p.m. July 19.

For this one night, restaurants on the University Place campus will bring their most popular culinary dishes to The Orchard for outdoor dining. Feast on food including Italian, Mexican, American, Chinese and more. Restaurants will set up outside in The Orchard and have various dishes for sale of their unique offerings from around the world.

• Pioneer Day Celebration — 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 24.

The most well-attended event of the year at University Place, come and celebrate Utah’s heritage with food, live music, activities and of course fireworks! Bring your chairs and blankets and come listen to many great local bands play, while participating in activities and munching on favorite foods from various vendors.

There will be giveaways and prizes, and a very messy pie-eating contest. Entertainment, food and activities will be available all day, leading up to the grand finale of the day – fireworks.

The night will end in a spectacular firework show choreographed to some of the audience’s favorite songs.

Visit for a detailed list of times and activities.

• Harry Potter Birthday Party – 6 to 8 p.m. July 31.

For all the wizards, muggles and Potterheads, come and celebrate Harry Potter’s actual birthday (which is also J.K Rowling’s actual birthday). There will be wizard-themed activities and games, and those attending can meet characters from the wizarding world.

• Family Fun Night: Superhero Night — 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 16.

Bring the kids to meet over 20 of their favorite superheroes in real life. Costumes are encouraged, cameras are welcome as those attending spend the evening with some of the most beloved and favorite superheroes.

• End of Summer Concert Series – 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 5,12 and 19.

University Place has revamped a popular series from years past, back before The Orchard existed. Enjoy the last of the summer evenings listening to local bands from Utah and Salt Lake counties. Bring blankets and/or chairs and enjoy these cover bands as they play favorite oldies and modern hits.

All events are subject to weather, and the latest guidelines from national and local health departments. Masks and social distancing are encouraged. For more details and a full schedule of events, visit

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at, (801) 344-2910, Twitter


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