The community has already begun celebrating Independence Day with a series of activities that will extend more than a week.
The whole extravaganza is under the direction of the City of Blanding, with the support of a host of community organizations.
A full schedule of community events can be found in this newspaper, at the San Juan Record website at www.sjrnews.com, or posted around the community.
Highlights of the 2019 celebration are many, but include the annual Fourth of July parade, which begins Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at San Juan High School and running the length of Main Street.
Grand marshals for the parade are local foreign war veterans, Clisbee Lyman from World War II, Morris Swenson from the Korean War, and Randy Bradford from the Vietnam War.
The parade includes a host of entries, in addition to the Jason Workman Memorial Motorcycle Ride, which kicks off the parade.
The Fourth of July celebration will culminate after dark with the annual fireworks show at Centennial Park. It’s the largest free July 4 fireworks show in Utah. The fireworks are sponsored by Dr. Joe Wilson.
The annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast begins at 8 a.m. on July 4 at Centennial Park and includes a special patriotic program, music provided by the Grayson Girls, and breakfast for purchase beginning at 7 a.m.
Centennial Park is also the focus of attention after the parade, with food booths, games, crafts, and more. Kids games begin at noon, complete with bouncy houses, water games, carnival events, and fun for kids of all ages.
Events continue throughout the day at Centennial Park, including Dinner in the Park at 5 p.m. featuring food vendors.
The High Society Party Band will perform at Centennial Park from 7 to 10 p.m. The high-powered cover band specializes in dance music and includes genres spanning from Top 40s to Motown and Funk, pop, hip hop, classic rock, jazz, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and more.
Arts and cultural events include the annual community melodrama, which runs throughout the week. Performances each evening begin at 7 p.m. at the Blanding Arts and Events Center, 715 West 200 South.
The annual Quilt Show runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 4 at the Wellness Center and includes amazing locally-made quilts and much more.
On July 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. at San Juan High School, Stan Bronson and the Down Beat Band, featuring original players Pete Black, Clyde Palmer, Dale Jones, and Stan Bronson, will perform a Down from the Mountain Concert and celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Down Beat Band.
Sporting events will be going on throughout the week. Events on Wednesday, July 3 include the Shane Warenski Memorial Midnight Madness Softball Tournament at the Old High School Baseball Fields.
The one-pitch co-ed tournament lasts all night and finishes “by dawn’s early light.” It includes a home run derby entrance fee.
Other events on July 3 include a Mini-Madness Softball Tournament and a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.
Sporting events begin early on Thursday, July 4 with a 5K run at 6:30 a.m. and a One Mile Fun Run beginning at 7:15 a.m. at Centennial Park. Other events include a horseshoe tournament beginning at 11:30 a.m. and a co-ed volleyball tournament at noon, both at Centennial Park.
Axe Throwing Competitions will be held at Pop’s Burritos at noon on Thursday and Friday.
Swim races and diving for dollars begin at 1 p.m. at the Wellness Center Pool, and JackPot Horse Games begin at 4 p.m. at Lynn Stevens Arena, 1140 North Blue Mountain Road.
Even after a gala Fourth of July, things will have just gotten warmed up, with a full schedule of events slated for Friday, July 5.
Central Park, behind the South LDS Chapel, is the location of a Fifth of July, Fun in the Sun event beginning at 11 a.m. It will include water softball, water balloon volleyball, food vendors, and more.
The Blanding Rotary Club sponsors the “Freedom Rides” Car Show, Chili Cook Off, and Navajo Taco Dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. at the old swimming pool property, 80 West 200 South.
Canyon Country is sponsoring a bowling tournament beginning at 12:30 p.m., and a 7-on-7 Football Tournament begins at 6 p.m. at the San Juan High Football field.
On Sunday, July 7 at 6 p.m., a patriotic devotional will be held at the Blanding Stake Center.