4th celebrated with family, patriotism, gratitude

ST. GEORGE – Southern Utahns are coming together this Independence Day with gratitude and patriotism.

Spectators cheer at the St. George Independence Day Parade, one of many festivities being held throughout Southern Utah Monday, St. George, Utah, July 4, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News
Spectators cheer at the St. George Independence Day Parade, one of many festivities being held throughout Southern Utah Monday, St. George, Utah, July 4, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

St. George began celebrating early Monday with a 4K run, a breakfast and a “We the People” parade through downtown St. George.

After the parade, the party moved to Vernon Worthen Park at 300 South 400 East in St. George.

Festivities will continue at the park and other locations in the city throughout the day and into the night.

With family-friendly festivities scheduled for almost every city and town in Southern Utah, there is something for everyone.

See more:  TGIF 4th of July Show: Your weekend adventure guide brought to you by Maverik

Families gather at Vernon Worthen Park Monday for Independence Day festivities, St. George, Utah, July 4, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News
Families gather at Vernon Worthen Park Monday for Independence Day festivities, St. George, Utah, July 4, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

“The Fourth of July means family, friends, enjoying our country, our patriotism, the freedoms that we have and the great nation that we live in,” Rick Nelson said as he celebrated at Vernon Worthen Park.

“This is a day that we need to all get, come together and forget all the stuff … and just be Americans, just for one day,”  veteran Bruce Raftery. “Try it, see if you like it. Because it’s our country’s history.”

“And having served my country, this day maybe is more important than most because of what I did, what others have done, the 58,000 that did not come back from Vietnam, what they did, gives us what we got to be able to celebrate here today,” Raftery said.

The Fourth of July means freedom, safety and contentment, Kim Latimer said. “Just being free and grateful for what we have and loving one another.”

“(The Fourth of July) means an opportunity to celebrate our freedom, the many sacrifices given so that we can celebrate – that we can actually enjoy each other as a family, be able to practice our religion with freedom,” Steven Tuttle said, “and a way to honor those that have given their lives for us.”

Families gather at Vernon Worthen Park Monday for Independence Day festivities, St. George, Utah, July 4, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News
Families gather at Vernon Worthen Park Monday for Independence Day festivities, St. George, Utah, July 4, 2016 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

“I think it’s awesome we still celebrate the Fourth of July after 240 years,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said.

“Of course the Constitution, everything that our country stands for – I hope that we take the time to talk about it a little bit in our families, with our children so they can all appreciate with us the value, the freedoms that we have that we never take them for granted,” Pike said.

For information about where or whether fireworks are legal in your city, see: Fireworks 101: Legal in your city?

UPDATED July 5, 2016: Photos from the Utah Dixie Detachment 1270 Marine Corps League added.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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