More than 100 families participated in the inaugural Fifth of July: Fun in the Sun celebration in Blanding. This new event was added to the already exciting Fourth of July festivities this year and it exceeded all expectations.
The Fifth of July: Fun in the Sun was put together by the San Juan Chamber of Commerce Blanding Chapter and was followed by the Rotary Club’s car show.
Considering that Blanding is super family oriented and that the Fourth of July brings even more families to town, the entire event was centered around family fun.
The chamber pulled together food trucks, snow cones, water kickball, human bowling, and water balloon volleyball to bring families in.
The hands-down crowd pleaser was the fire department’s giant foam slip ’n slide. With over 24 inches of foam spread across more than 40 feet of ground, the firemen quickly became every child’s hero.
Janae Monson sought out the fire department days before the event and asked if they could spray the kids like they do during the parade.
Clearly they didn’t think that was good enough. Firefighters pulled out all the stops, arrived at 10 a.m., and proceeded to set up a slip ’n slide that kids will remember for the rest of their lives.
Firefighters remained throughout the day re-supplying foam, spraying down the kids, and making sure the activities stayed safe.
“It was so cool!” five-year-old Chevy told us. “Firefighters save lives and they made us so much foam. It was all over my legs and my hair and one man kept spraying everyone.”
Kids ran, played, and laughed for hours. While there were a few injuries, none were enough to keep the kids down for more than a few seconds.
Councilwoman Cheryl Bowers told Fire Chief Spillman that he may have set a precedent for upcoming years. There is no doubt that many would love to see the foam slip n’ slide become a staple in Fourth of July festivities.
In addition to the water events, San Juan High School student body president Tess Bayles also put together a mini kids carnival. Jumping into the planning only 48 hours in advance, Bayles created a float for the Fourth of July parade and personally handed out flyers along the entire parade route.
She also found and supervised volunteers to staff the kids carnival, set up the games, and managed cleanup.
Kids got their faces painted by Snow White or Anna of Arendelle (via Arendelle Royalty Princess Parties), knocked down bottles, played bean bag tic-tac-toe, putted at mini golf, and tried their hand at ball toss.
Kids won suckers for completing each event; picking a specially-marked sucker got them a squirt gun.
Pop’s Burritos participated in the events with an axe-throwing contest. Teams and individuals competed for points and bragging rights of best axe thrower in the county.
Events went from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and were followed by the Rotary Club car show and Navajo Taco dinner. The car show bragged 13 classic and fun cars, turned out close to 150 people, and raised funds for the Rotary Club.
Bowers made restarting the Blanding Chapter of the Chamber of Commerce a priority last year. She has continued to work with local businesses on several projects.
In addition to the Fun in the Sun event, she headed the Bought in Blanding project, Amazing Race Blanding, and brought Shop Local to Blanding.
The chamber hopes to host a Dutch Oven Days event later this fall.
To join the local chamber, donate to upcoming events, or learn more, email Bowers at firstname.lastname@example.org.