As The Heritage Tourist, I support participating in appropriate cultural heritage organizations in the areas I visit; but I also strongly urge each of you (us) to support the cultural heritage organizations in our local communities. This may be in large and/or small ways, it may be for extended time periods or on an annual basis. We each must pick and choose, of course, but providing some support is the best way to assure that the organization that you would like to visit on your Heritage Tourism trip is still there to provide what you are looking for when you go there. If we each participate, to the extent that we can (and maybe even a little more) – ‘what goes around, comes around.’
In May, for the third year in a row, my wife and I have been pleased to participate in activities of the Entrada Institute Saturday Sunset Series of programs in Torrey, Utah while visiting our daughter and son-in-law there. The series kicks off each year with the Annual Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival in May. This year, my wife and I were invited to be judges in the High School Cowboy Poetry contest. We were pleased to be able to ‘give back’ by doing so.
The four Entrada events in June are highlighted by the Women’s Redrock Music Festival and the Wayne County Fair (Entrada supports and promotes these events which are separately sponsored). Programs other weeks during the summer season range from Dinosaur, to Lost Canyons, to Mozart, to the Cattle Industry in Wayne County. This year there is a weekend on the History of Photographing Capital Reef National Park. The list goes on and on. [The photo image is of the Poster of the Summer Series program]. They close the year with an Annual Fundraiser. My daughter and son-in-law began serving on the volunteer board this past winter.
I use Entrada Institute as an example of fine organizations across the country serving local and regional cultural heritage needs. This is a small rural/tourism community. It is a mix of rural ranching interests and a few services to meet the needs of an international tourism base. It takes a broad range of interests by interested local, professional, retired, and visiting regulars to make this kind of outstanding summer program available. If they can do it here, it can be done anywhere – with that key core of dedicated, passionate volunteers. Does that include you? I hope so! Thanks!
Dr. Bill Smith is the author of The Heritage Tourist, a monthly column in The In-Depth Genealogist which focuses on the social context of travel and history when applied to our genealogy. He can be found blogging at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories. Dr. Smith is also author of the family saga novel, “Back to the Homeplace,” set in a rural community in the southern Missouri Ozarks, drawn from his family history and genealogy passions and life experiences.