Provo celebrates 167th birthday with weeklong parties


When did Mormon colonists from the Salt Lake Valley begin constructing a fort in what’s now Provo? Who was Provo’s first mayor? When did federal troops raid the city? Do you know when electricity made it to Provo? It’s time to brush up on your Provo trivia, get out the yellow balloons and invite Mayor John Curtis over for a party — the city turns 167 on Friday.

The birthday celebration officially started on Monday, and so far Curtis has been invited to 31 parties, said Whitney Booth, public relations coordinator for the mayor. The parties are at Provo homes, businesses and schools, and some organizations are putting on events open to the public — there’s at least one of those each day, Booth said. You can find a list of the events here. Provo has a party pack available for download with party hats and birthday signs. And if you want to invite Curtis to your own party, send an invitation to

Then on Friday, there’s a city party at the Provo Pioneer Village, 500 W. 600 North. To celebrate, the village will be open from 5-8 p.m. for tours. At 6:30 p.m., Provo historian Robert Carter and storyteller-musician Elaine Brewster will present a short program about Provo’s history. There’ll be refreshments after.

But putting on a party or attending a soiree isn’t the only way to celebrate Provo’s big 1-6-7 this week.

— Float: Provo kicked off the celebrations by putting out 167 balloons along Center Street. You can get your own yellow balloon at the city center lobby, 351 W. Center St. — but only one per person. The city encourages residents to fly yellow balloons all around town, and even leave the markers at your favorite Provo park, landmark or trail head.

— Win: Provo does a lot of winning (see all the lists), and now residents can get in on the action, too. Post on social media something that you love or appreciate about Provo, and tag it with #happybirthdayprovo. Curtis will pick a few winners every day. And he’s going to be retweeting, liking and sharing those posts.

Color: This year there’s a special coloring contest to celebrate the city. Artist Steve Vistaunet created a coloring page that you can download or pick up in the city offices at the customer service desk. Bring it back by Friday, April 1, and you’ll be entered to win a bag of Provo birthday gifts.


Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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