Members of the U.S. Air Force present the colors in the 2017 Freedom Festival Grand Parade.(Photos by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

PROVO, UTAH – Crowds lined the streets on University Ave. and Center St. in Provo Tuesday for the parade hosted by America’s Freedom Festival.

But the parade didn’t just start on the Fourth of July for many spectators. Because of the popularity of the parade, many parade-goers camped overnight in order to get a good view. Parade rules allowed people to “stake their claim” on a spot as early as 3 p.m. on July 3.

From fancy floats to Utah icons, this parade had a variety of sites to see. Scroll through a few highlight photos from the 2017 Grand Parade:

Grand Marshal

(Photos by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

Provo Mayor John Curtis was chosen as the Freedom Festival Grand Marshal. Curtis will be leaving the office after this year, but is currently running for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District.

Govenor Gary Herbert

Gov. Gary Herbert along with his wife Jeanette waved to the crowd during the 2017 parade.

Stay cool

A parade participant from Lone Peak High School squirts the audience with water and is sprayed down in return. Provo had temperatures nearing 100 degrees on Tuesday.

Patriot’s Award

With its reading themed float, Central Bank won the Patriot’s Award. The award is given to the most outstanding corporate-created float.

Freedom Award recipient Gabe Adams

Despite being born without arms or legs, Gabe Adams has touched hearts around the world with his story. An orphan in Brazil, Adams has come to know the miracles of “family” in his life — which is why he was awarded one of the Freedom Awards this year.

A part of the community

SCERA, a community theater in Orem, displayed what the company has to offer: plays, movies and treats.

March to the rhythm

Timpview High School’s marching band was one of many Utah County marching bands participating in the parade.

It’s the bike life

The Highway Patrol motorcycle brigade inspired a roll of cheers.

Sweepstakes Award

With a humble abode (a castle) protected by dragons, Utah Community Credit Union claimed the Sweepstake Award. It is awarded to the best overall entry.

Best view

A young parade attendee watches the parade from atop a friend’s shoulders.

Go, go, (to) Joseph

An actor from the Sundance Summer Theatre waves to the audience. Sundance will begin performances for “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” beginning on July 20.

Grand Marshal Award

With lavender aplenty, Spanish Fork earned the Grand Marshal Award for having the most creative design.

She’s got it

Rosie the Riveter made an appearance on one of the many war vehicles.

Festival Award

For it’s outstanding depiction of the Freedom Festival celebration, American Fork took home this patriotic award.

Songs from the past

Songs from the past made an appearance over a loudspeaker when this female trio drove by.

That’s what it’s all about

When a jeep carrying veterans stopped running near the end of the parade route, men lining the parade left the sidelines and came to push the jeep to the end of the route.

Independence Award

Utah County Fair took this award for being the most outstanding entry from a nonprofit organization. The float showcased fair life, including the livestock.

Called to (walk in the parade)

Missionaries serving in the Utah Provo Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took a break from proselyting to give high fives to attendees along the parade route.

Mayor’s Award

Freedom Festival, Grand Parade

A box of colorful crayons and inspirational words, “outside the lines,” earned Springville the award for the most outstanding city entry.

Wolverine Green

UVU’s Willy the Wolverine added green to the mixture of red, white and blue.

True Blue

The Cougars brought its own version of Pride Rock to the parade.

Judge’s Special Award

Payson’s mountain seen was a vision from Utah Valley’s backyard. It won the Judge’s Special Award, which is given to the float with the most outstanding showmanship and dramatic image.

High fives for everyone

A police officer rode the edge of the road to give children high fives along the parade route.

Human hamster wheel

Run, run as fast as you can — but you won’t go anywhere. Runtastic Events had a human-sized hamster wheel on its float.

Freedom Award

BY capturing the theme of the parade — which according to Freedom Festival’s website is, “To celebrate, teach, honor, and strengthen the traditional American values of God, family, freedom and country” — Little Miss Lindon earned this honor.

The kilted clan

The kilted clan filled the air with bagpipe music. Check @UV360 on Instagram for a picture of the most patriotic bagpipe player in all the land.

Fly like an eagle

Miss Salem’s float included a gigantic eagle flying in the background.

Heritage Award

With iconic landmarks — such as the Delicate Arch — the Salt Lake Chamber captured Utah’s legacy and earned the Heritage Award.

One Response

  1. Loved looking at your pictures of the parade. As we are in Thailand serving a mission for the L.D.S. Church it was fun to share the day enjoying pictures from home. Sometimes it takes living away from home to truly appreciate the values and blessings that come from living in the U.S.A. We are daily made aware of the blessings of home, as we witness the lives that others lead in another country. Blessed and grateful does not begin to express how we feel about our home country and after having lived away, we will never celebrate the 4th of July with the same feelings again. It truly is a Promised Land and it is a gift from God to be able to live there.

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