Any other day or night when fireworks go off, it might be cause for alarm. But not on Independence Day.
Thousands of people will have the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day early with well-known musicians Brad Paisley and David Archuleta on Saturday. Chad Lewis, a BYU graduate and former NFL star, will host the event which includes the fireworks show, more than 1,000 dancers and a fly-over of LaVell Edwards Stadium by Hill Air Force Base. BYU basketball coach Dave Rose will also be honored at the event.
Last year, more than 46,000 people attended and organizers expect a similar turnout this year. Suzanne Stratton, an event manager with Marriott Center Special Events, said she believes this is one of the most exciting events of the year.
“It is always a great show,” Stratton said. “It’s a great family tradition people have year after year.”
Emory Cook, communications manager for the Freedom Festival, said he doesn’t think Paisley and Archuleta know what to expect before they come to the stadium.
“I think they don’t know what they are getting themselves into, how special this is, until they are here and experience the atmosphere,” Cook said.
Paisley and Archuleta aren’t the only ones performing at Stadium of Fire. Recently the Stadium of Fire invited bands to submit a video online and compete for a chance to win $10,000. Three finalists will play at the show and audience members will vote via text message and choose the winner. The names of the finalists are: Artie Hemphill and The Iron Horse Band, The Whits and Eve Asplund.
Last year, fireworks in the show had some technical issues and one burned a hole in performer Jenny Oaks Baker’s dress. Event organizers said they are not worried about safety problems with the fireworks and they are sure the team in charge of them will take extra precautions to prevent a similar mishap.
“It’s the largest stadium fireworks show in America,” Cook said. “I’m always thrilled by the fireworks, everyone is.”
Many people find places outside the stadium where they can watch the fireworks even though they do not attend the show.
Stadium of Fire organizers plan on transmitting the show to military personnel overseas so they can watch and celebrate Independence Day.
“The show will be broadcast to over 1 million military personnel all over the world on the American Forces Network,” Cook said.
Cook saidthe show is only one of about 20-25 events put on by the Freedom Festival organization. Other events include the popular freedom run and the grand parade. These events can be found at freedomfestival.org/events.
Tickets are still available and can be bought on byutickets.com and stadiumoffire.com.