The Lavell Edwards Stadium was packed Saturday night as community members and visitors attended the patriotic event, Stadium of Fire. This year, Tim McGraw headlined the show.
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces were able to watch the program around the world as it was broadcasted to our nation’s troops through the American Forces Television Network.
This year many men and women were recognized for their service and sacrifice. In attendance were three LDS returned missionaries who survived the bombing in Brussels, Richard Norby, Joseph Empey and Mason Wells.
Additionally, U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati who was held captive in Iranian prison for several years was presented to the crowd and met with a standing ovation. Hekmati was introduced during the 2015 Stadium of Fire, with prayers that he would be free and in attendance in 2016. The crowd was enthusiastic at his appearance.
Many families were in attendance this year.
Karen Teckham has been attending the Stadium of Fire with her family for about 20 years. She said her favorite part is the opportunity to have family bonding, although this year she was particularly excited for Tim McGraw as well.
“We’ve had good seats and the cheap seats. We usually have to hit the cheap seats,” Karen said. “But I feel like they are just as good because you can hear and see so well.”
Karen’s daughter-in-law Kayli Teckham joined the tradition when she began dating her husband. “My husband’s family, they’ve always gone and it was sort of their tradition,” Kayli said. “As soon as I started dating him I began going every year.”
Kayli said the concert is definitely her favorite part. “I always love the fireworks,” Kayli said. “I also like to see the new routines they put together for the dancers. My sister-in-laws have all danced in that a few years, so it’s fun to watch.”
Kayli feels the performer is always family-oriented making the event perfect for people of all ages.