July 4th was a huge success as the Riverside Park filled with people from all across the valley as well as from out of town. The day started at 7:00 A.M. with the Morgan High School Volleyball team volunteers cooking up a scrumptious breakfast for all the holiday goers to enjoy. They served well over 650 breakfasts; the line seemed to be continuous until about 9:00 A.M.
The flag ceremony accompanied the breakfast, and a quartet of youth sounded the National Anthem with beautiful harmonies!
Red, White and Blue were everywhere to be found, as families and friends poured into the street to watch the 4th of July Parade. Patriotic hairstyles and fashion were everywhere to be seen. From girls with stars braided into their hair to babies adorned in the American colors, all seemed to enjoy the moment of this patriotic day.
The American Legion and VFW, including current serving military members, lead the parade with our Utah and American Flags. Candy and water were distributed from the many business floats and individual float participants. The overcast weather made for a perfect setting to watch this very patriotic parade.
The parade goers then spread across the park to enjoy the business vendors and booths, including a wide variety of kid’s booths providing crafts and entertainment. There was everything from face painting to snow cones. There was also lots of live entertainment including Barber Shop Quartets, The Battle of the Bands (featuring a few different bands and styles of music), and the Skate Jam for avid skaters. The Skate Jam had many local skaters displaying their unique skating skills such as 360 degree spins, slides, and jumps.
A popular favorite of children was the Scales & Tales show where one man and his snakes, Komodo Dragons, and reptiles show stage friendly presence with one another.
The evening lead to a lovely roasted chicken dinner at the park, and continued over at the high school football stadium for a tribute to our veterans involving some of the eagle scouts from around the valley.
The featured entertainer of the evening was Jon Schmidt. He pounded the grand piano keys with passion as he performed everything from original compositions to popular tunes of the day. Schmidt is known for the different ways he can play the piano. The crowd was elated by traditional songs he wrote such as “Waterfall.”
The fireworks that shortly followed the concert were met with awe and sentiment. As “God Bless America” began to play and the first set of fireworks were in motion there was a quiet hush across the audience.
Morgan holds very strong traditions of deep rooted values and love for America’s constitution and freedoms. There seemed to be a deep spirit of gratitude and respect for all the freedoms that each individual values.
Some of those feelings were captured in statements from people all across the valley as they were asked, “What is it about the 4th of July that you love vthe most?” and “What is it about America that you love the most?”
Some of the replies are as follows:
“I love America because of its Freedoms.”- Cortney Grandpre
“One thing why I love the 4th of July is because it’s my dad’s birthday, and it was a big day of coming together as a family. He passed away a few years ago right before the 4th of July”- Burt Bohman.
“I like the fireworks, and all the reminders of patriotism. We need more reminders.”- Trudy Largent.
“I’m a vendor, and we love doing the Navajo Tacos food booth for communities.”- Julie Ray Clinton.
“We love the fireworks and having the kids come for BBQs.”- Hugh & Claudia Davis.
“I love the support of the community.”- Sunni Heywood.
“I love the opportunities of money and work.”- Ellie Mayhon.
“Since moving to America from the Netherlands in 1957 there are so many more opportunities for work and money here in America.”-Nellie & Cornelius Van Egmond (Ellie Mayhon’s parents).
“I love the patriotic feeling we share as a community, the pride in our country we share, and our freedoms.” -Morris Bohman
“We love the right that we have to fly our flag. No matter what we believe that flag to mean, it is our freedoms it represents, the right to believe. Every person should honor that flag by showing respect to our flag, because it represents all of our freedoms, there’s nothing more disrespectful to see than people not flying our flag or standing for it.”- Kent & Tracy Kumer
“My favorite part of the 4th of July is being with family and honoring our country!”- Cindy Guffie.
“I try to Remember the great men and women who make our country free!”- Fred Parker.
My favorite thing about the 4th of July is the spirit of camaraderie that we all share. The thankfulness that is present at this time, knowing and remembering all our freedoms, how they came to be. There is just a spirit in the land. It’s remembering those who are fighting over seas, who can’t be with us celebrating because they are fighting for our rights. –Connie Larsen.
There is a great love for freedom that resides here in the community. A deep understanding of what it truly means to be a part of the United States of America!
The evening ended as the spectacular display of fireworks lit up the night sky.
Thank you to all the committees that made this year the very best 4th of July for the community!