Highland celebrates 40 years with the Highland Fling Ruby Jubilee


The Lone Peak marches in the Provo Freedom Festival Grand Parade. The Highland Fling Grand Parade will be on Saturday, Aug. 5 at 10 a.m. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

Rubies are a city’s best friend this year as Highland celebrates its 40th Anniversary with their Scottish-themed Ruby Jubilee Highland Fling.

“We are calling it that because the ruby is the 40th anniversary gemstone,” said Highland city events coordinator Julie Tapusoa. “We are celebrating our past and looking forward to our future, which is our theme.”

The Highland Fling is a unique city celebration because it is centered around the city’s Scottish heritage. The festival has great Scottish traditions lined throughout the week long event.

“We have the Highland games, which are Scottish-heavy events, and we also have the Utah Pipe Band, which is a bagpipe band that plays,” Tapusoa said. “It’s a Scottish tradition. They start out our parade and perform on our stage.”

Mayor Mark Thompson said in his mayor’s letter in the Highland Fling magazine that one of the city’s first permanent residents were from Scotland and gave Highland its name because they felt it resembled Scottish Highlands. The city now honors its heritage with the Highland Fling.

The fling is jam-packed with events this year, even including a few extra events to honor the 40th anniversary. Some of the most popular events each year take place at Heritage Park.

“On Saturday, Aug. 5, we have a lot of things going on at Heritage Park. It’s really popular for everybody to just come out,” Tapusoa said. “We have a firemen’s spray, vender booths, a stage and we have great entertainment this year.”

There will also be Disney characters and characters from Star Wars at Heritage Park that Saturday to hang out with all the kids.

Other events that are popular are the disc golf tournament and the Play Day rodeo. According to Tapusoa, the Play Day rodeo has a new team running the event. They have a lot of new ideas and events to make the rodeo bigger and better this year.

For a fun, family night event, the movie in the park is also getting revamped this year. The movie night will be far more than just watching a movie.

“We are calling it that because the ruby is the 40th anniversary gemstone. We are celebrating our past and looking forward to our future, which is our theme.” — Julie Tapusoa, Highland city events coordinator

“We are making it Polynesian themed, and we are watching ‘Moana,'” Tapusoa said. “We have Polynesian food venders that will be there, and a ‘Moana’ visitor will come and teach everyone more about Polynesian culture, draw from things seen in the movie and teach a little bit of Polynesian dance, so it should be a really fun event.”

Who said fun and games couldn’t include S.T.E.M.? This year, a new activity was added to get kid’s creativity flowing.

“Our kid’s night will be fun. This year we are adding a box arcade activity, kind of a S.T.E.M.-focused activity, where kids can create an arcade game out of cardboard and play their game after,” Tapusoa said. “That’s a new activity this year to encourage kids to be using their creative and engineering brains over the summer.”

If the Highland Fling wasn’t revamped enough, a whole dinner devoted to the city’s 40th birthday was created for the community to come out and have a nice evening in honor of their city.

“The big thing we’ve got this year is our big 40th anniversary dinner,” Tapusoa said. “We are having a nice dinner, a band will be performing and it will just be a really nice evening to celebrate our 40th year.”

The Highland Fling will be held July 29- Aug. 5. To see the Highland Fling magazine, click here.

Schedule of Events:

July 29

  • Highland Fling Kickoff Event – Lone Peak High School, 7 p.m.

July 31

  • Disc Golf Tournament  – Beacon Hill Park, 4 p.m.
  • Movie Night: “Moana” – Heritage Park, 6:30 p.m.

August 1

  • Mayor’s Portrait Installation – Highland City Hall, 6:15 p.m.
  • Backyard Garden Tour – See map, 6-8 p.m.

August 2

  • Backyard Garden Tour – See map, 6-8 p.m.
  • Kid’s Night & Box Arcade – Town Center Splash Pad, 6 p.m.

August 3

  • Baby Contest – Heritage Park, 4-6 p.m.
  • Play Day Rodeo – North Utah County Equestrian Park, 5 p.m.
  • Family Adventure Race – Highland Glen Park, 6 p.m.
  • Fine Art Show Reception – Highland Community Center, 7 p.m.

August 4

  • Fine Art Show – Highland Community Center, 4-8 p.m.
  • 40th Anniversary Dinner – Alpine Country Club, 6 p.m.
  • Strongman Competition – Heritage Park, 6 p.m.
  • Youth Night – Heritage Park, 8 p.m.

August 5

  • Hot Air Balloon Lift Off – Heritage Park, 6:30 a.m.
  • 5K Fun Run – TBA, 7 a.m.
  • LPHS Drill Team Breakfast – Heritage Park Pavilion, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • One Mile Fun Run – TBA, 8 a.m.
  • Highland Games – Heritage Park, 8 a.m.
  • DUP Cabin Tours – Heritage Park, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Historical Society Museum Displays – Highland Community Center, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Vendors in the Park – Heritage Park, 9 a.m. – dusk
  • Games and Activities in the Park – Heritage Park, 9 a.m. – dark
  • Grand Parade – Highland Elementary School to Heritage Park, 10 a.m.
  • Fine Art Show – Highland Community Center, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Stage Entertainment – Heritage Park, 11:45 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Historic Tractor Display – Heritage Park, 12 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Character Visits – Heritage Park, 2–5 p.m.
  • Lone Peak Firemen’s Spray – Mountain Ridge Junior High, 2 p.m.
  • Concert feat. Joshua Creek – Heritage Park, 8:50 p.m.
  • Fireworks – Mountain Ridge Junior High, 10 p.m.

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