BRYCE, UT – In its 11th year, Bryce Canyon’s Annual Geology Festival (GeoFest) was a great success. “We didn’t come to Bryce because of the GeoFest, but it was such a great addition!” and “This was fantastic for the kids!” were typical of comments made by its many visitors. Dr. Rebecca McKean’s keynote presentations, “Life and Death in the Cretaceous Interior Seaway” and “An Adventure in Fossil Hunting” were very well received, and were of particular interest to young women in attendance, as Dr. McKean talked about her interest in finding fossils beginning in grade school and how her early interest developed into a career as a paleontologist.
This year’s GeoFest also featured Roland Lee, a noted southwestern artist, who spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings on Bryce Canyon’s rim conducting plein air painting demonstrations, surrounded by visitors of all ages trying their hand at watercolor renditions of the landscape (and even of the artist himself). On Friday and Saturday, Roland made two presentations in the Bryce Canyon Lodge, “Painters of the National Parks-Geology through the Eyes of the Artist” and “40 Years of Painting the National Parks”, sharing in fascinating detail the step by step creation of paintings he also brought and displayed.
Zion and Capitol Reef National Parks, the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Parashant National Monuments, Snow Canyon State Park, and the Dixie National Forest all staffed booths with information and interactive displays that were abuzz with interest. Other activities included guided hikes and ranger programs on the unique geology of Bryce Canyon, playing with a stream table to explore how streams and rivers change the landscape, as well as digging for, and being able to keep a variety of fossils. Many were also seen walking around the festival with dinosaur tattoos and color-your-own buttons.
Next year’s GeoFest is scheduled for 27-28 July, and plans are underway to make the 2018 GeoFest as spectacular as the last. Hope to see you there!
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