Provo Grand Parade honors Independence Day

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A heart-shaped balloon with the American flag floats along Center Street. This year’s Grand Parade invited floats, performers, balloons and more to travel along the streets of Provo on Independence Day. (Emily May)

Provo’s annual Grand Parade invited floats, marching bands, government officials, veterans, businesses, helium balloons, horses and more to travel along the streets of Provo, waving to the thousands of people watching on Thursday, July 4.

The Grand Parade began around 9 a.m. at 1000 North University Avenue. The parade proceeded south until 200 South, turned east until 200 East, traveled north until Center Street and concluded around 11 a.m. on the corner of Center Street and 900 East.

The Payson High School Pipe Band performs using bagpipes and drums during the Grand Parade. This year’s Grand Parade invited floats, performers, balloons and more to travel along the streets of Provo on Independence Day. (Emily May)

For over a century, the Grand Parade has become a tradition for the Provo community. According to the America’s Freedom Festival website, the annual parade is “the largest of its kind in the Western United States.” The theme for the parade, and the mission statement of America’s Freedom Festival, was “to celebrate, teach, honor and strengthen the traditional American values of God, family, freedom and country.”

The Grand Parade is a staple event within America’s Freedom Festival at Provo. The festival also offers many events for the community to take part in between July 3-7. Below is a list of Freedom Festival events occurring after July 4.

Freedom Days: Friday, July 5

This three-day event, beginning on July 3 and ending the night of July 5, invites the community to downtown Provo where they can find a carnival, vendors and local performers. The vendors will be available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. while the carnival will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 5.

Fine Art Show: Friday, July 5

Provo’s Historic County Courthouse is honoring and displaying the artwork of Darin J. Ashby from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Balloon Fest: Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6

Hot air balloons fly into the sky over this three-day event at the Fox Field in Provo. Spectators can watch balloons take flight from 6-8 a.m. There will also be a Balloon Glow event Friday night between 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Colonial Fest: Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6

The Colonial Heritage Festival at SCERA Park in Orem offers various shops, games, gun displays and more for all ages to enjoy. The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Military History Days: Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6

Also at SCERA Park in Orem, Military History Days is a three-day event with World War II displays and interactive experiences. The event will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Cries of Freedom and the American Heritage Museum: Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6

The SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem provides education on flags, artifacts and more. Cries of Freedom will have shows at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The American Heritage Museum will be open between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. both days.

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