Utah Summer Games Open Ceremony celebrates with dance, music entertainment

By Holly Coombs
Iron County Today

With more than 8,000 athletes from all 29 counties of Utah, the 32nd Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games kicked off with the Opening Ceremonies last Thursday at the Southern Utah University’s Eccles Coliseum with fireworks, dance and music entertainment.

Southern Utah University President Scott L. Wyatt welcomed the crowd to the games.

“This year we have 38 different games and 9,000 athletes competing this week and over the next couple,” Wyatt said. “So, welcome. Let the games begin!”

The event began with a march of city, state and community leaders and the athletes. There is also the time-honored lighting of the cauldron and the celebration of the ushering in of athletes where 100 American flags line the backdrop. And for the night’s finale, a spectacular firework display that can be seen throughout the entire city.

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Two marriage proposals were a success with them displayed on the big screen along with dance number by the Canyon View High School, Snow Canyon High School, Cedar High School, Parowan High School, Enterprise High School and Milford High School drill teams, Polynesian fire dancers from, the Paiute Tribe and the night entertainment ended with band, Party Crashers.

The Opening Ceremony celebrates the athletes and sportsmanship shown throughout the Olympic-style competition that brings in nearly 10,000 athletes, 1,000 volunteers, 50,000 spectators and 38 different competitions.

Starting in 1986, this three-week long event has continued to grow and add new games each year and 2017 is no different with dodgeball now included in the lineup of competitions.

This year’s games also include the biggest youth basketball tournament in its history and the start of Dodgeball in the games. The Miller Summer Games officially began this week and will run through Jun. 17.

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