PROVO, UTAH – The 37th Annual Stadium of Fire set LaVell Edward Stadium — and at one point one of the people in it — on fire Saturday night.
With a nearly three hour show, the 2017 America’s Freedom Festival in Provo included country stars, a comedian, a daredevil, local talent and, of course, fireworks.
Headliner Little Big Town — including members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook — closed out the performance portion of the program with their smooth country hits. The four-man country group sang “Boondocks,” “Pontoon,” “Girl Crush,” and more.
Besides Little Big Town’s performance, here’s what you missed at the 2017 Stadium of Fire.
The night’s a Hayes
County singer Hunter Hayes opened the program. Besides singing his hit songs “Wanted” and “Crazy,” Hayes also shared a new song, “Rescue,” with the audience.
“I live for this. I write 100 songs just so I to get a 10-song record,” Hayes told the audience. …”Hopefully I can make a best friend out of somebody I’ve never met through a song, through the magic of music. Music is that thing that connects us all; it’s that universal language.”
Make me — insert firework blast — laugh
Comedian Brian Regan opened his act by explaining why he was doing everything wrong as a comedian at that moment.
“There’s some rules in comedy,” he said. “One of them is never do comedy outdoors. Another one is never do comedy in front of kids. A third is never do comedy in a stadium, so let’s do this.”
Regan of course broke all his rules of comedy as he delivered his punch lines between firework blasts at the Stadium of Fire, a point he incorporated into his routine. He also appropriately focused his jokes on sports and stadium humor, including his problem with sports journalists’ awkward leading questions and the mathematics of “must-win games.”
This man is on fire
The Human Fuse lit himself on fire, blasted out of a cannon and twirled to a spot where firefighters from the Provo Fire Department helped put out of the fire with fire extinguishers.
This man is on ! We were front and center for the Human Fuse’s launch and landing at the Stadium of Fire. We’ll post more pictures from the show tomorrow, but until then check out our on-the-field Instagram story. Tag your friends you went to the show with in the comments. #wefelttheheat #humanfuse #stadiumoffire #freedomfestival
We “Gigg” it
Sami Murphy, a 13-year-old singer from Houston, Texas, was a finalist for Gigg’s Stadium of Fire Talent Competition. She was selected by online voters to perform at LaVell Edwards Stadium as part of the Stadium of Fire’s pre-show.
Taking home the trophy
Caleb Paul, a singer/songwriter from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the other finalist in the talent competition. By the vote of the loudest cheer, Paul won the grand prize: $15,000 worth of studio recording time with VALO, a Warner Chappell company.
La La Provo
The opening dance number started with a music video and continued the performance of the football field. It was a tribute to the Oscar Award-winning film, “La La Land.”
Young dancers from across Utah joined forces to put on two dance numbers for the Stadium of Fire: one to kick off the show and the other to close the show with laser beams.
Skydiving by the Rocky Mountain climbing
One popular Stadium of Fire tradition is the Rockwell Airtime skydivers. This year, five parachuters descended on LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Flyover on a jet plane
Two F-15s flew over the Stadium of Fire and exited the stadium’s air space with a blast of fireworks.
Song and stripes
Aaliyah Rose, a 14-year-old Provo singer, sang the National Anthem after the arrival of the colors and introduction of Utah’s servicemen.
Red, white and blue
During the Stadium of Fire, the entire audience recited the Pledge of Alliance together.
Recognizing a survivor
Melissa Cochran, a Bountiful resident, was recognized between performances for surviving the London bombing in March. She lost her husband Kurt in the terrorist attack.
Light it up
The Stadium of Fire concludes with a firework show over the stadium.