5 summer festivals worth celebrating

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Geoffrey McAllister
Every fourth of July hot air baloons launch from various locations in Provo, filling the sky. The hot air balloon launch is one of the main attractions in the Provo Freedom Festival.

Nearly every city in Utah Valley hosts a festival during the warm summer months. Some of the biggest include these five:

1. Provo’s Freedom Festival

America’s Freedom Festival in Provo produces more than 25 educational programs and community events. The biggest and most popular events are the Stadium of Fire and the Grand Parade.

The Grand Parade is July 4 and starts at 9 a.m. It will follow the same route it has in previous years, starting at 960 N. University Avenue and ending at 900 East. That night the Stadium of Fire starts at 8 p.m. and features Journey, with emcee Montel Williams and special guest Olivia Holt.

2. Pleasant Grove’s Strawberry Days

Strawberry Days is known as the longest-running continuing event in Utah. Its most popular event is the rodeo. The rodeo is June 17–20. This year WI-FXM will perform stunts at half time.

Don’t forget to grab some strawberries and cream at the rodeo to cool down. The treat is a Strawberry Days staple.

3. Alpine Days

Alpine Days runs Aug. 3–8 at Creekside Park in Alpine.

Melanie Ewing, Alpine Days event coordinator, said Alpine Days is known for its movie in the park under the stars and its rodeo, parade and firework show.

Ewing said they are doing more this year to get teenagers to attend.

“Carnivals, water slides, zip lines and a foam party will all be part of the festival this year,” she said.

4. Spanish Fork Fiesta Days

Spanish Fork’s 73rd annual Fiesta Days Rodeo is July 21–23. Preshow activities start at 7 p.m., with the rodeo officially starting at 8 p.m. Some of the events include bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, mutton bustin’ and bull riding.

The past 34 consecutive rodeos have sold out, so get tickets early.

5. American Fork’s Steel Days

Steel Days has been a tradition since 1945, when the steel plant became a source of economic stability for American Fork. It includes events such as the baby contest, a movie in the park, the grand parade and fireworks and a picnic in the park.

Kristin Page is a volunteer who plans the picnic in the park. Normally the movie in the park and picnic are partnered together; however, Page said this year the picnic will be Saturday, July 11, from 5 to 7 p.m., just before the firework show.

This year the festival will feature a petting zoo.

“Parents and kids can come out and just enjoy a fun, free evening,” Page said.

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