area is also rich in the arts. The Uintah Arts Council provides
year-round cultural events that enrich lives of young and
old alike and bring out Vernal's best. The popular Community
Concert Series is now entering its 15th year, with performances
by local musicians being part of the fun. The Outlaw Trail
Theater brings the Wild West back to life with original and
popular productions that add the zest that only live entertainment
can provide. The Western Heritage Museum in Vernal is a terrific
way to learn about settlements of the area and its rich history.
Our community orchestra provides an opportunity for you to
dust off your old horn and join the fun with your fellow music
enthusiasts, while providing great entertainment for the community.
We host a summer art show and an autumn photography show that
gives local artists an opportunity to show their work.
The Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo, one of the largest and best PRCA
rodeos in the United States, is held each July at the Western
Park outdoor arena and attracts cowboys from a large portion
of the United States. The Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo has been
voted one of the best outdoor rodeos for several years. July
also hosts statewide Pioneer Day celebrations. Vernal kicks
off Pioneer Day with a pancake breakfast followed by other
events and a parade.
The Utah Field House of Natural History Museum State Park has
several exhibits including those dealing with dinosaurs, geography
and Native American history. The nearby Ute Indian Reservation
is also a source of summer activities with regular events and
pow-wows. More information to come on Ute Tribal Enterprises.
The Uintah and Ouray Reservation is located in northeastern
Utah, 150 miles east of Salt Lake City, and 40 miles west of
the Colorado border. Elevation varies from 5,000 feet to 13,000
feet. The Uintah Mountains, running east and west, are located
along the reservation's northern border. The Green River runs
along the western border of the reservation's southern segment,
which at one time was the Uncompahgre Reservation.
Ute territory encompassed most of Colorado and Utah as well
as portions of New Mexico and Arizona. Bands of Utes roamed
this region, and by the late 1600s, they were following buffalo
herds on the plains with their belongings packed on horses.
As the west opened for settlement, the Ute lands were encroached
upon more and more and fighting began. Following a major battle,
the settlers asked the government for removal of the Utah bands.
President Lincoln placed them on the Uintah Valley Reservation
In 1881, Ute bands in Colorado were also restricted to the Uintah
Valley Reservation. Two more bands were sent to the newly established
Uncompahgre Reservation in eastern Utah in 1882. In 1886, the
Uintah and Ouray agencies consolidated as the Uintah and Ouray
Ute Reservation, which expanded in 1882 to include the more
southerly Uncompahgre Reservation and the Hill Creek Extension
Tribal enrollment is 3,174. The Northern Ute Indian Tribe operates
five enterprises: Ute Lanes (bowling), Tribal Feedlot, Water
Systems, Loan Program, and Ute Petroleum. Cattle raising is
an important activity on the reservation, and the Tribal Feedlot
is where the tribe maintains its cattle. Water Systems manages
water and sewer needs for four communities. The Loan Program
provides loans to tribal members, and Ute Petroleum is the tribe's
Mineral resources are an economic asset, and total Ute Indian
oil production averages over 1,000 barrels a day. Most of the
reservation's communities have a post office, general store,
and clothing stores. Auto repair shops are also located on the
Nearby Flaming Gorge on the Green River is a local tourist attraction,
as is Fort Duchesne, formerly an army post. The annual Northern
Ute Bear Dance, a ladies'-choice social dance unique to the
Utes, is held in late April or early May. The tribe also offers
an annual pow wow in the summer. Children attend public schools
on or near the reservation.
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