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It started with organic syrups over shaved ice, she said, and branched into ice pops — all of them vegan and nut-free. "We’ve had fun with it," she said.
DeBirk offers flavor combinations you typically won’t see in your grocer’s freezer. One of her most popular is a cucumber citrus cilantro. "I still get the strange look, like ‘That’s a popsicle?!?’ " she said.
The best of the rest
Here are a few other happenings at the Utah Arts Festival:
Music headliners » The range of acts includes Utah homeboys Royal Bliss, New Orleans band The Iguanas, world music from African Showboyz, Mexican-influenced band Y La Bamba, “junkyard” musician Shovelman, The Sensations Soul Band, blues rocker Kenny Neal, bluegrass band The Steeldrivers, “The Voice” contestant Ryan Innes, collaborative experiment Sound Mass and singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.
Local music » A wealth of Utah bands will be performing, including King Niko, Holy Water Buffalo, Big Blue Ox and Orquesta Latino.
Street theater » BBoy Federation will be performing street dance moves around the grounds, and the Salt Lake City drum group Kenshin Taiko will play Japanese-style percussion at The Round (by the Library).
Fine Art Exhibition » The All-State Utah High School Art Exhibition will bring its touring show, featuring works from 16 up-and-coming artists, to the prime space of the fourth-floor gallery of the City Library.
Art Yard » Children can get hands-on with arts and crafts projects, and the instrument petting zoo (sponsored by Summerhays Music Center) lets kids try out band and orchestra instruments. There’s also a stage for kid performers to show their talents.
Film » The Fear No Film Festival includes some 40 short films from filmmakers both homegrown and far-flung. The shorts programs at the City Library auditorium will have some adult content, but there’s a kids’ program playing at the Art Yard.
Literary arts » Comic-book authors Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan (“Boilerplate”) return to teach interactive workshops. Also, the Big Mouth Stage will feature performance poets and a Team Slam performance. And the “Mailbox Diaries” display will allow festivalgoers to add their own entries on the subjects of grief and love.
The Leonardo » Salt Lake City’s art-and-tech museum is open to festivalgoers, with exhibits on the second-floor galleries and workshops in the Art Lab. (Admission to the new exhibit, “101 Inventions That Changed the World,” is $5 in addition to the festival admission.)
Urban Arts » Take part in a community art project by painting a piece of a 20-foot puzzle mural, or help local graffiti artists on the “interactive graffiti wall.” Spy Hop will be running its Found Sound Studio, mixing noises from around the grounds into music, and creating “an undercover animation project.”
Utah Arts Festival
Where » Library Square, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City.
When » Thursday through Saturday, June 20-23.
Hours » Noon to 11 p.m. each day.
Admission » $12 a day for adults; free for kids 12 and younger; $6 for seniors 65 and older; $35 for a four-day pass.
Discounts » $10 opening-day special Thursday only; $6 lunchtime special, Thursday and Friday, noon to 3 p.m.; and a “y’all come back” pass, good for 2-for-1 admission on a return visit, available upon exit.
At the Utah Arts Festival, DeBirk will be selling six flavors of ice pops — named Indy Pops, in honor of her daughter. "She’s my best sampler," DeBirk said, though Indy’s little sister Willa, 6, helps out, too.
The six flavors are: cucumber citrus cilantro, coconut lime with fresh mint (sweetened with agave nectar), strawberry balsamic with black pepper, pineapple/serrano chile, Utah peach and raspberry lemonade.
Wasatch Pops joins a food lineup that includes barbecue, crêpes, pizza, cheesesteak sandwiches, kabobs, hot dogs, fruit juices, nuts, gelato, ice cream and ethnic dishes from Greece, Japan and Peru.
As a first-timer on the festival’s food row, DeBirk did some scouting. She went to the Utah Pride Festival early this month at Washington Square, near where her cart will be, to check out how the vendors there handled the crowd.
"When I saw the lines, I decided to double up," she said. She now plans to make between 300 and 500 ice pops to sell each day to hot festivalgoers. "I’m probably overprepared," she said.
She will be selling from an old-fashioned cart, with an umbrella to ward off the June sun.
"I wish I could bring our trailer," she said of Wasatch Pops’ trademark camper. "At least it’s got air conditioning."
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