Jan. 3, 2020
City of St. George set to celebrate 158th birthday with root beer floats, many freebies around town
ST. GEORGE — The electric telegraph was not yet a quarter-century old. Photography was in its infancy. The first major Union victory in the American Civil War was still a month away. It was 1862, the year a barren wasteland where the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau and Great Basin converge was settled and called St. George.
Fast forward 158 years. On Jan. 11, Mayor Jon Pike and members of the City Council will commemorate the city’s birthday by preparing free root beer floats and cookies during the Heritage Day celebration at the Social Hall Parlor (47 East 200 North) from noon to 2 p.m.
Heritage Day includes several other freebies, including all-day free admission to the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center, St. George Recreation Center, St. George Art Museum and free rides all day on SunTran buses as well as the Thunder Junction train. Musical entertainment at the downtown Social Hall will be provided while root beer floats and cookies are served.
What promises to be a day filled with fun and fellowship stands in contrast to the country’s status Jan. 17, 1862. The United States was a nation divided, nine months into what would be a four-year Civil War. Less than 15 years earlier, the first settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had first entered the Salt Lake Valley. A group later ventured 300 miles to the south, where it founded St. George — now home to approximately 90,000 residents.
Three new City Council members will be serving root beer floats Jan. 11. Bryan Smethurst was appointed in September to fill the spot vacated by the late Joe Bowcutt. Gregg McArthur and Dannielle Larkin prevailed in the general election and will begin four-year terms Jan. 6.
# # #