Family Roots Expo

by Charlene Paul

If you have ever questioned how you got to where you are now and who came before you, then you will want to be sure to attend the Family Roots Expo, Connecting Families One Person at a Time, on September 15-16, 2017 at the Dixie Center in St. George, Utah. It promises to be two days filled with exploration and education to help connect your family generations. The Expo offers two concerts, eighty classes, Keynote speakers, accredited genealogists, and youth classes for ages twelve to eighteen. The Interactive Expo Hall will be filled with things to see and do, including scrapbooking, calf roping, cowboy poetry, family history through painting, games, an authentic Pioneer Experience complete with candle making, rug weaving, blacksmithing, mountain men, panning for gold, and Native American dancers performing and sharing their native history throughout the day.

When you attend the Family Roots Expo, you find that family history is so much more than searching through boxes of musty old records or traipsing through long-forgotten graveyards for names and dates. Family history is just what the name implies, a history of your family. It answers questions about who you are, what some of the obstacles your ancestors overcame were, where you came from, and how you ended up here. The stories are as diverse and varied as they are numerous. And searching out those stories is an adventure well worth taking.

My ninety-seven-year-old aunt is our family’s historian. She spent the better part of her adult life searching, researching, and writing a portion of our family’s history. It is colorful, entertaining, insightful, and through her writings, I learned that I have Confederate blood flowing through my veins, as well as that of vagabonds, dreamers, and settlers. So far, I haven’t been able to validate my royal bloodline, but I just know if I keep searching I’ll find my aristocratic roots. In the meantime, I will just enjoy her family stories and anecdotes like the following:

“As the crow flies, about two miles southeast of Grandpa’s, all hell had broken loose at a place that was called Rattle Snake Hollow. It was where the Union Pacific railroad had built their tracks over an area made up mostly of gravel. A short section of the tracks was located near one of the main canals that carried the irrigation water to the North Tract. It was here that a few muskrats had established their abode, and as muskrats do, they did. They burrowed holes in the canal bank, causing the bank to wash out. The water from the canal flooded the slough, and shortly it formed a twenty-foot-deep pond. All of this weakened the base that held the railroad track, and when the northbound passenger train attempted to cross around midnight, only the engine, the tender, and one other car got across. The tracks separated, sending four of the other cars and the baggage car helter-skelter in the deep pond of water. The baggage car was carrying the baggage tender, a corpse, and a shipment of fresh strawberries from California. The corpse broke loose and floated out into the pond along with the strawberry shipment. The baggage man was unable to escape and was drowned. The rest of the crew and the other passengers had ridden out the accident in fairly good condition and were not hurt.”  (Yonder Will be Better. Done, p. 46)

You will want to get your tickets for the concerts. On Friday evening, Chris Petersen’s A Salute to Our Veterans concert will entertain with great classic country music. Chris is the real deal. So, dust off those boots, cowboy or military, and enjoy a night of foot stomping country music.

Saturday night, GENTRI will dazzle your ears with their signature sound they describe as “Cinematic Pop.” These three highly trained tenors with their rich, dynamic three-part harmonies will leave you wanting more.

Before the Friday concert, there will be an auction with all proceeds going to the needs of our area veterans. Some of the items to be auctioned off include Four Nights at the Hyatt Place Hospitality, One-year Family Pass from Washington City Community Center, and two chances to secure $1000 worth of Cut and Wrapped Beef from Oak Rose Ranch. There will also be a silent auction with loads of other goodies.

Ticket prices are as follows:

Adult Platinum 2-Day Pass: $69

  • 80 Class Choices
  • 4 Keynote Speakers
  • Chris Petersen’s Salute to Our Veterans Concert on Friday night
  • GENTRI Concert on Saturday night
  • Preferred Concert Seating in the Center Rows

Adult 2-Day Pass: $49

  • 80 Class Choices
  • 4 Keynote Speakers

Adult 1-Day Pass: $29

  • 40 Class Choices
  • 2 Keynote Speakers

Youth 1-Day Pass: Free

  • 4 Class Choices
  • 1 Keynote Speaker

Chris Petersen Veteran’s Concert: $15.00

GENTRI in Concert: $25.00

Expo Hall Experience: FREE to the public

No matter where you are in your genealogical searching and history writing, this year’s Family Roots Expo promises to have something for everyone. Whether you want to trace your lineage back to the beginning of time, or write the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation, this year’s Expo is the place to be. So, mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, September 15-16. Get your concert tickets, dust off your boots, and we’ll see you there.

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