The Block festival is back in action this weekend with multiple film screenings, music performances and the ever-popular Taco Extravaganza.
And don’t worry, the construction on Center Street shouldn’t affect the festivities.
“People need not be afraid of the Center Street closure,” said festival producer Mary Urban Clarke with a laugh. “It’s going to be OK.”
According to Clarke, the sidewalks around Center Street and Main Street will be accessible and the fences around the construction will be used as a gallery wall for festival art.
“I’ve always wanted something like that,” Clarke said, “but I didn’t think it was going to happen in this way, in particular.”
Clarke said the two films headlining the Lyric Repertory Theatre this weekend — “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” and “The Farewell” — both premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Films like this, Clarke explained, do not always make their way to Cache Valley.
“That’s what we like to do with our festival,” Clarke said, “is make sure that people have the opportunity to see things that played in an art-house theater.”
On Friday, the festival will also feature “Lost Fare” — a fictional film about human trafficking. Writer and director Bruce Logan — who notably worked on “Tron,” “Star Wars: Episode IV” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” — will take part in a Q&A after the screening with representatives from the Cache Valley Children’s Justice Center and the Malouf Foundation.
“Their mission is to bring awareness to this epidemic and to end it,” Clarke said. “Both organizations have done some really intense work — both locally and in the world.”
The Taco Extravaganza returns this year with “street corn” in tow. Clarke described street corn as skewered corn-on-the-cob, sauced and rolled in spices — a popular item at prior festivals.
“People love that,” Clarke said. “It’s like a surprise, ‘Oh my gosh, the street corn is here.’”
The extravaganza will also have Blackfoot, Idaho, dance group Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl performing from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.
“They’ll come in all their regalia and give us an experience that I don’t think we’ve really seen before,” Clarke said.
Several musical acts are scheduled across four venues throughout the weekend as well. Ugly Boys and Mountain Boogaloo are to headline the outdoors main stage Friday and Saturday, respectively. Live-action art exhibits from Hope Clements and others will also be showcased.
“We want people to catch that creative spirit,” Clarke said.
While the outdoor events are free of charge, films and music hosted by The Cache Venue require a pass. Passes can be purchased for $30 online, at the event, or at Morty’s Cafe, Logan’s Heroes, Caffe Ibis and the Island Market. Utah State University students receive a $15 discount, and Utah State alumni receive $5 off tickets.
For more information, visit theblockfestival.org.