Nomads show off van life at Legacy Park – St George News


ST. GEORGE – Utah had its own Nomadland Saturday at Washington County Legacy Park.

Van Fest USA hosted Southern Utah’s first “Van Life” festival all day and all night, welcoming so-called nomads who live in their vehicles.

Nomads at Van Fest USA demonstrate the way of life in Legacy Park, Washington County, Utah May 8, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Much attention was paid to the lifestyle after the film “Nomadland” won the Oscar for Best Picture on April 25.

The festival brought nomads of all kinds from across the country to the fairground. Visitors visited over 100 custom vans and buses that have been converted into residences.

Billed as a “parade of homes for the life of a van”, the festival featured workshops from industry professionals, influencer meetings, a live concert, food trucks and vendors.

As previously reported in St. George News, more often than not, these nomads choose to live in their vehicles rather than being forced to do so by dire circumstances.

Many of them also raise their families in vehicles.

Jeff Bertucci and his wife Shannon raise their children Izzy, Giovanni, Luciano and Ariana on a 1997 Bluebird Flatnose bus. The vehicle is 30 feet long and 200 square feet of living space. They have lived there full time with their families for two years.

“My wife and I have always wanted to travel,” said Bertucci. “It’s awesome! It’s so much fun that we can go wherever we want to travel and have our house with us.

He added that being able to work remotely allows them to live a nomadic life.

The Bertucci children learn lessons and gain perspectives that they would never have the chance to experience in a more sedentary lifestyle.

“They are discovering the world,” said Bertucci. “The things that they have seen so far in their short life compared to what I have seen cannot even be compared. Different people do things in different ways and learn how to do it successfully. “

Life on the road requires an essential skill.

“We adapt, often,” Bertucci said. “And we still make it work.”

There were almost as many dogs as there were people at Van Fest USA in Legacy Park, Washington County, Utah May 8, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

David Clausen and his wife are so-called Nomadland surveyors. They do a few surveying and mapping jobs a year, which allows them to live in a custom Chevrolet van.

“It was my grandfather’s van, and when he passed away my grandmother said I had to have it,” Clausen said.

While the pandemic has forced many people to become homeless, it has also created a whole new world for people who want to enjoy the freedom to move around.

“More and more these days you see people being able to work from home and I think the pandemic has opened up that situation,” Clausen said. “Whether it’s a remote office or a mobile office, people are finding ways to live in their vehicles.”

As we walked into the festival on Saturday, there were almost as many dogs as there were people.

“I think dogs also like to be nomadic,” Bertucci said.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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