The official kickoff to summer in Salt Lake City is the Utah Arts Festival. Because of all the fun we had last year at the Festival, we're equally excited about it this year!

Below are 8 things not to miss at this year's Utah Arts Festival:

1. The Big Deal Brunch

The Utah Arts Festival knows that you're a big deal, and they want to celebrate you. On Sunday, June 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., join them on the Hospitality Patio for brunch, juice, coffee, and two spirited beverages. Enjoy the sounds of The Mark Chaney Quartet, and get a backstage peek at the Festival before it opens to the public at noon. Your $50 ticket also gets you admission to the Festival for the day. Proceeds from the event benefit the Utah Arts Festival. All ages welcome. Buy tickets online or contact the Development Director, Aimee Dunsmore, at, or call (801) 322-2428 for more info. Big Deal Brunch 2. Dance

One of Utahns' favorite artforms is dance. One of my personal favorites, Samba Fogo, will be there to highlight the fun and intensity of Brazil with Brazilian beats, colorful costumes, acrobatics, and other dance moves. Performances from various dance groups will be held every day of the festivalFind the complete schedule of dancers online.  Repertory Dance Theatre 3. Australia's Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit does their entire performance swaying above the crowd on 5-meter flexible poles. Watch a sneak peek of what they'll be doing at the Festival. You can catch their performance on Sunday, June 29 at 6 p.m. at The Round/Crescent Wall. Australia's Strange Fruit The Field - Photo credit Henry Krul 4. The Artist Marketplace

Walk through the Artist Marketplace and you just might discover your new favorite artist. Painting and artwork in this area include 2D mixed media, 3D mixed media, ceramics, digital, drawing and pastels, fiber, glass, graphics and printmaking, jewelry, metalwork, painting, photography, sculpture, wearable art, and wood. Artists appear throughout the duration of the festival. 5. Fear No Film

This series of short films includes options for all ages, so make sure you catch a flick while at the Utah Arts Festival. Films show every day of the festival, and you can view the complete schedule on the Arts Fest website. The Utah Short Film Of The Year competition happens on Friday, June 27 from 8-9 p.m. Here you can watch short films that have won honors throughout the state, and vote for your favorite afterward.

6. Instrument "Petting Zoo" (and other fun activities in the kids' area)

Kids love the arts too, and this special section is geared specifically toward them. Kids love touching and playing with instruments, and this is one time where you won't find yourself saying "Don't touch!" Music teachers are on hand to show the kids how to play the instruments. Kids can work on and help contribute to installments such as the Sculpture Garden, where they create their own crops to plant in a garden using up-cycled materials, and Tiny Tractor, where kids can paint a simple cardboard creation into a fancy, colorful tractor. The kids' area is available throughout the duration of the festival. 7. Food, Food and More Food!

A favorite attraction for many is the large variety of food available at the festival. From 4-11 p.m. each day, watch Master Chef Robert "Sully" Sullivan of Utah Food Services create culinary works of art. Other chefs will prepare gourmet dishes to taste. And remember, it's state law that you present a valid ID when purchasing alcohol (no matter how old you look), so check your wallet before heading down to make sure you didn't forget it, as the Uinta Brewing Company Tent will be in full swing during the festival.  8. Local Musicians

Every day of the festival you can find local musicians and other music headliners on stage. On Saturday June 28 at 9:05 p.m. you can catch Terence Hansen and his unique double-necked guitar. On Saturday and Sunday check out MarchFourth Marching Band as they perform to high-stepping stilt acrobatics and dazzling dancers. Check the Utah Arts Festival website for a complete schedule of local musicians and music headliners.

The Utah Arts Festival runs Thursday, June 26 to Sunday, June 29 and is located in downtown Salt Lake City at Library and Washington Squares (200 East 400 South).

Admission Ticket prices are as follows, and can be purchased at any of the Ticket Box Offices:

Thursday: $10 adult single ticket

Friday - Sunday: $12 adult single ticket

4-Day Festival Pass: $35 ($30 online pre-sale)

Children 12 and under: FREE

Seniors (65+): $6

Weekday Lunchtime Admission Special (Thursday and Friday only, noon-3 p.m.): $6

4-Day Festival Pass: Come all 4 days for just $30, a savings of $16! Purchase online through June 13 to receive your pass in the mail. 4-Day Festival Passes may also be purchased at the on-site festival box office Thursday, June 26 only.

Bike Valet Special: Receive $2 off regular adult admission when you ride your bike and park at the Blue Sky Bike Lot (located on 400 South between State Street and 200 East, midblock).

Y'all Come Back Pass: Pick up a Y'all Come Back Pass at the box office when you purchase a ticket to receive a 2-for-1 admission on your return visit to the festival. Come all weekend.

View a map of the festival so that you know exactly where you're going for certain activities and events.

Want to know more about festivals and events happening in Salt Lake City this summer? Check out "Summer in Salt Lake," and enter to win a pair of Visit Salt Lake Connect Passes.