ST. GEORGE — Marking July 4, 1776, as the birth of our nation has become a celebration of backyard barbecues, fireworks and parades.
Although the annual carnival and concert were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the show still went on.
The Uncle Sam 4K run kicked off the day at 6:30 a.m. Saturday and there were fireworks scheduled for 10 p.m., with an early morning parade sandwiched in between at 7:45 a.m. that rolled down city streets from 200 West / Tabernacle Street to Vernon Worthen Park.
Thousands of Southern Utah residents lined the streets for the parade and all had a grand old time celebrating the freedom that was hard-won and hard-fought during the Revolutionary War.
“Today is about our freedoms that our forefathers fought for,” said Washington City resident Marcia Whitney. “Through their actions, we can be independent, we can govern ourselves and take care of ourselves.”
Marine Corps League Commandant Pat Lisi agrees.
“On this day, we celebrate freedom,” Lisi said. “It is a day that signifies the unity of America where we can put our political and our troubles aside to enjoy the fact that we live in a free country.”
Along with the patriotic tenor, many comments focused on the 22-minute firework show shot from Tech Ridge.
Although most historians credit the Chinese for the invention of the explosive Technicolor firework show, others trace their roots to the Middle East and India.
Regardless of where they come from, Travis Jenkins, 9, can’t get enough.
When asked what he liked most about the Fourth of July the answer was simple, “Fireworks,” he said. When asked what was his favorite, the boy of few words answered, “Fireworks,” with a smile.
Travis’ father Phillip was a little more expressive.
“I love the mix of all the colors and shapes,” he said. “My kids like the ones that you can feel in our chest when they go off, but my favorite is all sprites. They are a bunch of small white fireworks that explode all at once and crackle in the sky. They always make me smile.”
Along with the love for fireworks and parades is the food that surrounds this holiday.
“My favorite memory is my dad’s burgers,” said Salt Lake City resident Michael Mann. “He would put cheddar cheese inside and it would ooze out when you took a bite. It was fun watching everyone in the family fighting to keep the cheese from running down their face.”
Although this year, the Fourth of July celebrations were paired down in St. George it did not damper the excitement of everyone watching the parade.
One of the most impressive floats fielded during the parade came from the Washington County Fair.
Fair Director Susi Lafaele was proud of their entry and proud to be an American.
“Today means independence and freedom,” she said. “Also, all the fun stuff that goes along with it like barbeques and getting together.”
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