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Utahns in Ivins, Cedar Hills and Park City are taking part in the worldwide celebration of Earth Hour this week by turning off their lights for 60 minutes.

The annual event to bring awareness about energy and climate change begins at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

But, in Park City, the Swaner EcoCenter was scheduled to get a jump on the celebration with two hours of activities Thursday night.

Earth Hour is a fitting opportunity to fulfill the center's goals of educating people about science and the environment, said Sally Upton, an extension professor from Utah State University whose teen council is sponsoring the activities.

"It really is important because it brings everybody together," she said.

Last year, more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries powered down for Earth Hour, an effort coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund. In past years, the event has been backed by the LDS Church, which turned off the lights at its Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City in 2009.

This year, Girl Scout Hallie Martinez, of Cedar Hills, is trying to recruit 100 families to participate in Earth Hour, according to a note on that Utah County city's website.

"Plan to hold an event during that hour," the online listing urges. "Some examples are: Have a treasure hunt by flashlight, play board games, tell stories, sing songs, play outside with glow sticks, or have dessert by candlelight."

Ivins also has posted a calendar for the Saturday night event.

"The message is a demonstration of concern over climate change," the city's web page says.

Twitter: @judyfutah —

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