By Adam Loose
Thousands of Utah residents will gather to enjoy activities and fireworks to help kick off the summer with a weekend packed with fun at the annual Orem Summerfest.
The celebration started Thursday evening and ends with a bang Saturday night.
“Summerfest is an annual celebration for the residents of Orem; naturally all residents of the county are certainly invited,” Summerfest volunteer chairman Reed Price said. “It is a celebration of family and we try to provide some fun events for families to kick off the summer.”
Approximately 75,000 people are expected to participate in the Summerfest in some way. A wide variety of events and activities provide fun for a wide variety of people.
“I think it speaks to a lot of different groups,” said Orem Public Works Director Chris Tschirki. “There will be some good music, good food, fun rides, parade. It’s just a fun all-around activity and event for the community to come together.”
This year, entertainment includes performances by country rock and traditional rock bands, carnival rides, bike rides, a 5k, golf, art in the park, car show, a baby contest and more.
Although different activities will appeal to more specific groups, some events are clearly favorites.
“The fireworks are always fun,” Orem native and BYU student Kristen Olsen said. “They make it worth it.”
“In my opinion, I think the fireworks here at this event are among the best around, including what happens at the Freedom Festival,” said Tschirki, who attends with his family. “They are very good and last a long time. We will go and watch the fireworks every year if we aren’t there already.”
Each year, Summerfest coordinators try to bring something new to the event.
“This year we added a new event where we teamed up with the Habitat for Humanity,” Price said. “They are having a Tour de Habitat bike ride through Orem. There are three different opportunities that we have to sign up for a bike ride.”
The funds from participants will support the Habitat for Humanity’s Utah County affordable housing program.
Playing off this year’s theme and the completion of a new stage in Orem city center park, the boards of local theaters, Orem SCERA and Hale Center, will be grand marshals of the grand parade.
“We have a stage that the city recently finished at Orem city center park so we will have our entertainment moved to that new stage,” Price said. “Our theme is ‘All the World a Stage’ so it ties right in with that new stage.”
A full listing of the events can be found online at summerfest.orem.org.
“If you want to have a great fun family adventure, come to Summerfest,” Tschirki said. “You and your family will have a great time.”