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Payson is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Provo–Orem Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 18,294 at the 2010 census. The current mayor is Rick Moore, who in the 2009 election was the first write-in candidate to defeat an incumbent mayor in the state of Utah. The Latter-day Saints first settled in Payson in 1850. It was originally named Peteetneet Creek, after Chief Peteetneet, a Timpanogos Indian chief who lived near Payson's current location. It was later renamed Payson by Brigham Young. The Payson Tabernacle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated by Wilford Woodruff in 1872. In 1873 a high school was established in Payson, the first such institution in Utah south of Salt Lake City. It closed in 1876 due to the rise of Brigham Young Academy. An opera house was built in Payson in 1883. In the late 1800s, a factory making horse collars operated in Payson. Payson is the site of the annual Scottish Heritage Festival, held every July. Other annual festivities include a salmon supper, held every August, and the annual Onion Days festival, held every Labor Day weekend. The city also has band concerts in the Memorial Park, and has had such concerts since the early 1950s. Payson is where most of the 1984 hit movie Footloose was filmed, in settings such as Payson High School and Sudsie's, a local car wash.
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