By: Amberly Asay
The late night skies will be filled with explosions this summer and thank heavens it will only be in revelry. These events will remind us of our freedom, our country and our family. Provo celebrates America’s Freedom Festival every summer and provides many opportunities for families to come together.
America’s Freedom Festival at Provo is a foundation whose mission is to celebrate, teach, honor and strengthen the traditional American values of family, freedom, God and country.
The Freedom Festival has events all year long but the festivities really begin in June.
On June 14, at Macey’s in Provo there will be a flag retirement ceremony. Then on June 16 at 7pm a bell concert will be at the Carillon Bell Towers. The Carillon has been a symbol of freedom and spirit for 30 years. Participating in the yearly concert, BYU Carillonneur Don Cook will perform patriotic pieces along with folk, Broadway, classical and original pieces for the festivities. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and have an evening picnic while listening to the tones of the bells.
With the festivities in full swing there is no better way to celebrate America than to play its favorite pastime. The Freedom Festival has the Firecracker Softball Tournament allowing adults of all ages to come together and play some ball. The coed teams play June 22 through 23. The men teams play June 29 through 30.
The Freedom Awards Gala is held on June 30 in the Utah Valley Convention Center, tickets are $30 a person. The Freedom Award is present to individuals who have “demonstrated a unique contribution to the cause of the freedoms guaranteed in the United States Constitution and the traditional American values of Family, Freedom, God and Country.” The recipient may be from any nation and recognized for helping God’s children with the blessing of liberty.
Another anticipated event is the Patriotic Fireside held at the UCCU Center at UVU, July 1. The program begins at 7pm and combines inspiration music, theater and patriotism into one free event. The event stirs patriotism within each person and leaves everyone with a memorable experience.
Independence day is a big day in and of itself but with Provo’s festivities it is one that cannot be forgotten. The morning begins with a balloon festival and attendees can enjoy The Darth Vader hot air balloon as well as 25 others. At 9am the Grand Parade will begin, highlighting freedom with band, floats, balloons and performers.
After full day of activities, July 4 ends with the Stadium of Fire. This year the Beach Boys will be on their 50th anniversary tour and will be the star performers. With fireworks, dancing, music, patriotic performances and fun, the event is sure not one to be missed. It begins at 8pm at BYU Lavell Edwards Stadium.
Adam Lutz, 21, from Springville, is anticipating the adventures summer has to offer and is looking forward to the Beach Boys performance.
“I feel the beach boys have a unique sound that everyone can relate to,” Lutz said. “Their music captures the easy going feel of summer.”
These are just a few of the highlights from all of the festivities, for a more detailed list visit www.freedom festival.org for more information.