Short Creek holiday traditions return, help heal communities

In this 2018 file photo, residents of Hildale and Colorado City celebrate the Fourth of July in Hildale, Utah | Photo courtesy of Short Creek Festivities, St. George News

SHORT CREEK — The city of Hildale recently announced the return of a Fourth of July tradition that hasn’t occurred in nearly 20 years.

On the morning of July 4, the Colorado City-Hildale Marshal’s Office drove the streets in the Short Creek area from 5-6 a.m. with their sirens on to signal the beginning of the Fourth of July festivities. 

“It’s given a lot of people a thrill just to talk about it,” said George Jessop said, who organized the event this year.

Jessop is the CEO and founder of Short Creek Festivities, a committee designed to create community events and opportunities that will help rebuild and empower the residents of Hildale and Colorado City.  

Jessop told St. George News he remembers looking forward to the sirens as a child, but the tradition stopped in 2002 after Warren Jeffs took over the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. From 2002-2015, he said community events and traditions ceased to exist.

Residents of Hildale and Colorado City celebrate the Fourth of July in Hildale, Utah, on July 4, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Short Creek Festivities, St. George News

“They shut everything down,” he said. “It was dying, and that’s what their full intentions were: they wanted to see this community die.”

Jessop said it used to be the local fire department – not the police department – that would sound its sirens through the streets of Hildale and Colorado City. However, after non-FLDS members took control of the city council in the 2017 municipal elections, the fire department refused to participate. 

The Colorado City-Hildale Marshal’s Office decided to take over and help with the event to initiate the transition, Jessop said. Now the tradition is returning to Short Creek after an almost 20-year hiatus. 

Jessop said traditions like these will help those living in Short Creek heal.

“It’s a part of a healing process I think a lot of people are going through,” he said. “It’s an emotional side of this that we haven’t had, so it has a nice place.”

Immediately after the conclusion of the sirens, the Mayor’s Walk began promptly at 6 a.m. Other Short Creek festivities include a flag raising, breakfast, entertainment and fireworks show, followed by a parade and festival Friday morning.

Email: rrichardson@stgnews.com 

Twitter: @STGnews | @AvereeRyann 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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