Jim Evans, executive director of the America’s Freedom Festival in Provo, says people have been calling since the start of the year to find out if the festival is taking place this year.
Evans, with a broad smile and shining eyes, replies, “Yes, and we’re happy to be back.
“We are so lucky to be able to host events this year,” said Evans. “There is electricity in the air. I invite everyone to come and enjoy.
One of the first questions that arise as the festival prepares for a week of non-stop celebration, in times of drought and intense heat, is fireworks safety.
“We have been monitoring the condition and nothing has been told about the staged fireworks,” Evans said. “Fireworks producers know the height and drift of the wind and due to the location of the stadium, firefighters have approved the launch plans.”
Evans said he had been to LaVell Edwards Stadium a dozen times over the past few months and sat in the empty stadium and pondered what would happen there and what it meant to the community. He says he’s ready and residents need to know that the Stadium of Fire show will be for everyone; a sort of variety show.
This will be the 40th anniversary of the Stadium of Fire, with Lee Greenwood and Collin Raye. Evans anticipates a large and lively crowd.
Masters of ceremonies for the event will include current affairs personalities Dave McCann, Deanie Wimmer and Mike Headrick.
In the weeks since tickets went on sale, Brigham Young University continued to add more seats available for the event, according to Evans. It started with 20,000, then 26,000 and now Evans has said there are up to 30,000 seats and he thinks there could be more before the event.
“A lot of family traditions had to be put on the back burner last year. I don’t think any of us would take what we have for granted, ”Evans said. “We are one of the best celebrations (July 4th) in the United States”
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Although Evans and the Freedom Festival are under no obligation to disclose how much it costs to put on such productions, it is evident from the number of sponsors, help from Utah County, and the individual donations that it is. a big company.
Evans said they need to put in place a mechanism for a perpetual endowment to have events for years to come.
“This year we have created a Founders Club where individuals or organizations can donate as an endowment to continue the festival into the future,” said Evans. “We are happy to have done this. “
With all the donations, Evans said the festival couldn’t happen without all the volunteers throughout each of the events that make it possible. In the past, Evans said there have been as many as 3,000 volunteers helping to make events happen.
The Freedom Festival office itself is run on a tight budget for so many events that take the whole year to organize. Evans noted that there are two full-time and two part-time employees with two interns and the rest are volunteers.
Even more events
When you talk about Freedom Festival, there is much more than the fire stadium. According to Evans, the parade will have some big news this year.
A large group of Idaho horses will participate in the parade for the first time, along with the city’s magnificent floats, bands and marching groups.
Former Governor Gary Herbert and Jeanette Herbert will be the Grand Marshals for the July 5 parade. Ahead of the parade, the Freedom Run is expected to have 4,500 participants this year, Evans said.
“Everyone is welcome to celebrate with us,” Evans said.
The annual Patriotic Service, at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, is usually held indoors, but will be held outdoors at LaVell Edwards Stadium this year and will feature millennial choirs and orchestras. The guest speaker will be Tad R. Callister, General Authority Emeritus of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The event is free and is a busy festival event.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Freedom Awards gala. The event champions people who are champions themselves, Evans said.
For more than 40 years, the Freedom Awards gala, as part of its celebration, has presented the Freedom Award. The award went to some of the world’s best-known freedom fighters, humanitarians and everyday heroes.
This year’s winners include Leonard Bagalwa. A refugee himself, Bagalwa helped found the Utah Valley Refugee Foundation.
Utah’s military siblings, the Puro Sisters, are five women who serve their country. From the Air Force to the National Guard, they saw a lot in their young lives. Daddy Steve Puro calls his daughters ‘Daddy’s Patrol’ and when asked what he thinks about having his daughters in the military he replies, “This is the scariest thing you’ll ever be proud of.” . “
President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be honored for his years of service as BYU President, his service as a judge, including the Utah Supreme Court and his tireless study of the Constitution and his service in the LDS Church.
Other free events held July 2-5 as part of the Freedom Festival include the annual Balloon Fest which has 25 registered balloons and, according to Evans, a waiting list of others to join.
The popular colonial heritage festival is in full swing, at Scera Park in Orem, with artisans and craftsmen from the village demonstrating life in 1776. Located in Orem with the liberation cries and the military outpost of the freedom vehicles , the colonial festival can be a two-hour walk or a two-day excursion through history. If you have kids, make sure they go to colonial school.
In Provo, you’ll find the downtown streets teeming with over 200 food and craft vendors and entertainment venues.
There’s something for everyone, from the kids’ parade to Clog America and the Summer Beach Party.
From next week until July 5, the party never stops.
Over 200,000 households received Freedom Festival magazine this year with all the details of these events. If you need more information, visit http://freedomfestival.org.