10 events to celebrate the Fourth of July in Utah Valley


Young volunteers help fill a hot air balloon for Balloon Fest on July 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

This Fourth of July is heating up. Utah residents began celebrating Freedom Festival months ago with the local elementary schools performing at “Hope For America” and celebrations will continue through the Fourth of July. Here are 10 Utah Valley events taking place at home on the patriotic holiday:

Balloon Fest

Up, up and away they go. This early morning tradition is a free event that allows your family to get up close and personal with approximately 25 hot air balloons. Watch the entire hot air balloon process as balloons are dragged from their bags, blown up and then lifted into the air. Just cross your fingers that the weather cooperates both on the ground and in the air.

When: July 2–4 from 6–8 a.m.
Where: Bulldog Field, 1100 N. Freedom Blvd. in Provo
Cost: FREE
Site: freedomfestival.org

Freedom Run

Run like the British are coming! Or enjoy a easy jog to start off your Fourth of July. The annual Independence Day race includes a 10K, 5K or the Mayor’s one-mile Fun Run. Lace up for race day at Kiwanis Park, 820 N. 1100 E. in Provo, at 7 a.m. on Monday morning. There is no day-of registration, so register and pick up your packet at Provo Rec Center on Tuesday, July 3. Participants are encouraged to park at the Marriott Center and walk to the race start line.

When: July 4 at 7 a.m.
Where: Kiwanis Park, Provo
Cost: $20 for the 1-mile run, $35 for the 5K and $40 for the 10K
Site: freedomfestival.org

Follow the Flag: Flag Ceremony by Dawn’s Early Light

The flag will unfurl on Grove Creek Trail. This American flag is the largest American flag to ever fly — it covers about a quarter of an acre. The flag will wave across the canyon, which is 600 feet from cliff to cliff, above Pleasant Grove.

When: July 4 at 7:30 a.m.
Where: Grove Creek Trail in Pleasant Grove
Cost: FREE
Site: Facebook

Parade attendees help a vehicle carrying veterans when the vehicle stopped working during the 2017 Freedom Festival Grand Parade. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

Freedom Festival Grand Parade

Line the streets for Utah’s Independence Day parade. High school bands, professionally crafted floats, giant helium balloons and more are all part of the popular parade. The parade begins at 960 N. University Ave. and proceeds south to 200 South. and then turns east to 200 East. From there it turns north to Center St. and then turns east and ends at 900 East.

When: July 4 at 9 a.m.
Where: University Ave. and Center St. in Provo
Cost: FREE
Site: freedomfestival.org

Freedom Days

Shopping, eating and fun — just what Americans like to do. Enjoy a three-day carnival as well as pop-up vendors on Center St. in Provo. Plus, there will be live performances by local musicians.

When: July 2: 5:00pm-11:00pm
July 3: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
July 4th: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Where: Center St. in Provo
Cost: FREE
Site: freedomfestival.org

Colonial Fest

Take a step back into history with Colonial Fest. Visit colonial artisans, exhibits and demonstrations. Then join in the great debates, public trials and storytelling in the Old South Church. Even chores are fun as children help perform daily colonial chores and play era-appropriate games. Military enthusiasts can walk through the military outpost.

When: July 2–4 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: SCERA Park
Cost: FREE
Site: freedomfestival.org

Cries of Freedom

Can you hear these voices of freedom sing? Now in its 11th season, the “Cries of Freedom: The Musical” shares the history of  freedom-seeking people. And for the first time, the production will be indoors.

When: July 2–4 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: SCERA Center for the Arts
Cost: FREE
Site: freedomfestival.org

One of Utah’s young dancers participates in the opening dance number at the 37th Annual Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

Stadium of Fire

Once a year LaVell Edwards Stadium fills up with people who are outside of its typical football crowd for the Stadium of Fire. OneRepublic headlines the 2018 Stadium of Fire. The pop rock band has multiple hits including “Apologize,” “Love Runs Out,” “I Lived” and “Counting Stars.”

When: July 4 at 8 p.m.
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium
Cost: $35–$250
Site: freedomfestival.org

Thanksgiving Point’s Fourth of July

Settle in before fireworks light up the night sky. Lehi City and Thanksgiving Point partner for a free Fourth of July celebration. While fireworks don’t begin until 10 p.m., the gates open at 4 p.m. so you can stake out a spot on the lawn. Plus, there are games, music and prizes leading up to the fireworks show.

When: July 4 at 4 p.m. (fireworks at 10 p.m.
Where: Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point
Cost: FREE
Site: thanksgivingpoint.org

Pleasant Grove Fireworks Show

Let freedom ring! Pleasant Grove’s annual fireworks show begins at dusk. Check out the map before you go to see where you can set up camp.

When: July 4 at dusk
Where: Discovery Park, Pleasant Grove
Cost: FREE
Site: plgrove.org

Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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