Country Music Performer Morgan Evans Featured in Utah Summer Games Opening Ceremony

Published: April 29, 2024 | Read Time: 4 minutes

Poster for the USG Opening Ceremony held on June 7, 2024 at 8:30 pm in the Eccles Coliseum featuring Morgan Evans. One of Utah’s summer traditions will feature a notable country music performer in 2024.

Southern Utah University will host the Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games Opening Ceremony, Presented by State Bank of Southern Utah on June 7 at Eccles Coliseum, The Opening Ceremony will feature country singer Morgan Evans as the musical act for the show. This year’s event will blend several fan favorites along with new elements all in a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, which inspired the movement for the Utah Summer Games.

“We are so excited to welcome the entire state of Utah to Cedar City for one of Utah’s favorite summer traditions,” said Jon Oglesby, Executive Director of the Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games. “This year’s ceremony pays tribute to the moment in history 40 years ago that inspired the Utah Summer Games in Cedar City. The original visionaries built a solid foundation for us to continue expanding over the next 40 years and beyond as Utah’s official state games.”

A notable addition to the 2024 ceremony is the increased presence of State Bank of Southern Utah, who has agreed to a multi-year partnership to be the presenting sponsor of the Opening Ceremony event. A longtime supporter of Southern Utah University and Cedar City, support of a long-standing community event like the Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games fit within the mission of the Cedar City-based banking institution.

“State Bank of Southern Utah has been involved and volunteered with the Utah Summer Games since its inception,” said Eric Schmutz, President and CEO of State Bank of Southern Utah. “State Bank promotes those things that bring our community together, and such is the case with the Utah Summer Games in celebrating human performance, collaboration, and comradery, which closely aligns with the bank’s purpose and cause. State Bank of Southern Utah will always be involved with the Summer Games in more ways than a sponsor, as we are also a committed partner through volunteering and active participation.”

One of the hallmark traditions of The Opening Ceremony experience has been high-level entertainment, with country performer Morgan Evans fitting the bill. An Australian-born country star with a truly international reach, Evans has spent most of the last decade in the U.S., with a steady upward build to show for it. Releasing his Top 10 U.S. debut Things That We Drink To in 2018, he’s gone on to score a Platinum-certified No. 1 with the country-pop charmer Kiss Somebody, a Gold- certified fan favorite with the buzzy Day Drunk and has racked up 800 million streams (and counting) – all while proving himself a captivating performer, equally adept at thrilling crowds by the tens of thousands all by himself, or with a band.

The celebration of the 1984 Summer Olympiad will be felt in theming, music, and other elements during the event, including the torch bearer, Doug Padilla. A California native, Padilla competed for Team USA in the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, running with USA Track-and-Field in five world championship events. A longtime fixture in Utah running, he first came to fame as a student-athlete at BYU, winning the NCAA championship in the Indoor Two-Mile, along with earning eight All-America citations in his collegiate career.

“The 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles inspired the creation of the Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games and fed the momentum of the state games movement in Utah,” said Oglesby. “It was important to pick a noted Utah Olympian to carry our torch in an Olympic year, and Doug’s tie to the 1984 Olympics gave us the perfect opportunity to simultaneously celebrate both a noteworthy Utahn and a foundational moment in our Utah Summer Games heritage.”

The Opening Ceremony will highlight competitors in the 2024 version of the Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games, with athletes walking the Eccles Coliseum track. The event’s well-known fireworks show will also continue, with the accompanying music paying homage to the 1980’s and to the 1984 Summer Olympics.

The Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games Opening Ceremony, Presented by State Bank of Southern Utah will begin at 8:30 p.m. at Eccles Coliseum, with doors opening at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are on-sale at Attendees are also encouraged to visit the Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games Block Party, Presented by KSL 5 TV, which will take place before the Opening Ceremony from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the SUU Practice Field west of the Eccles Coliseum home stands.

Tags: Utah Summer Games CurStu FacStaff Community Events

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Nikki Koontz