Blanding plans a wide variety of their annual Independence Day activities, covering more than a week of celebrations, fun, and more
by David Boyle
“Stars & Stripes” is the theme for the 2023 Independence Day celebration in Blanding. The annual celebration is renowned far and wide as Blanding rolls out the red carpet to welcome local people, former residents, family members, and friends across the globe.
A full list of events can be found on page B8 of the San Juan Record. Updates and additional information can be found at the Blanding City website and Facebook page.
The July 4th Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at 8 a.m., the parade at 10 a.m., and fireworks at sundown are just a few of the events to look forward to in a jam-packed week of Independence Day events running June 30 through July 9.
The annual event starts Friday, June 30 with the first of five performances of the Edge of the Seaters sponsored Melodrama. The shows start at 7 pm at the Arts and Events Center in Blanding. The performance can also be seen on July 1, 3, 4 and 5 at the same time and location.
Saturday events will start at 9:30 a.m. with diving for dollars at the Wellness Center pool, with four different age groups for kids age 4-11 to grab some cash to start the weekend. Saturday morning also marks the start of the six-on-six co-ed volleyball tournament at the Wellness Center. Entry is $200 a team with the event acting as a fundraiser for San Juan High Volleyball. Sign-ups available online or by contacting Misty Perkins.
Saturday evening will also kick-off Bears Ears Farm Days at 210 North Shirtail Way. The event will feature live music, a climbing wall, hay and train rides, giveaways, and vendors starting at 5 p.m.
Saturday evening will also see the JackPot Horse Games at Lynn Stevens Arena on 1140 North Blue Mountain Road. To sign up, contact Nikki Safrit.
Sunday, July 2 will include an all day Chalk Art competition at Centennial Park, with prizes for winning age groups. Sign up available online or by contacting Ben Muhlestein at city offices.
Independence Day activities ramp up on Monday, July 3 with the mini-madness softball tournament starting at 9 a.m. Registration is $200 a team, 8th grade and younger. Contact Kellie Mills to sign-up.
Also at 9 a.m. is the Scales and Tails reptile show and animal handling at the Blanding Library. The event features lizards, snakes, spiders, turtles and a crocodilian.
The Grayson Music Festival and Fair runs from 2 to 8 p.m. at Centennial Park, with live music performances, art, and food vendors throughout the afternoon.
The annual ATV Poker Run starts at 5 p.m. at the Sunrise Outfitters office at 976 South Main. A $25 cash fee per hand and waiver are required before riders hit trails to collect cards to enter for prizes. Contact Josh Nielson for more details.
Monday evening also marks the start of the annual Shane Warenski Memorial Midnight Madness Softball Tournament. The all-night tournament starts at 5:30 p.m. with a 24-team limit. Registration is $275 a team with the tournament acting as a fundraiser for San Juan High Baseball. Signup and additional information is available online, with questions directed to Jens Nielson.
On July 4th, events begin at 6:30 a.m. with 5K run at Centennial Park, and a 1-mile Fun Run at 7:15 am. Registration is available online at RunnerCard.com
The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at Centennial Park at 8 a.m. will feature a patriotic program including a guest speaker and music provided by community youth.
The Independence Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. starting at the high school, traveling along Main Street, and concluding at 500 South.
Immediately following the parade, booths and food vendors will open at Centennial Park. Activities continue at Centennial Park with prizes for kids on the southwest field as they compete in challenges, races, and water games.
Family racing games for the entire family follow at noon on the southeast field with cash and candy prizes for competitors 1 to 100 years old.
The four-on-four outdoor volleyball tournament will also start at 11 a.m. with a $150 registration fee for teams. Additional information and sign-up can be found online, or contact Kim Baker with additional questions.
The Quilters Guild will be featured at the city Wellness Center from noon to 4 p.m.
The annual Stan Bronson: Down from the Mountain concert will be at 4 p.m. at San Juan High Auditorium. Tickets are available at the door at $5 for age 20 and younger and $10 for age 20 and up.
Cover band Shuffle will play live music at Centennial Park from 7 to 10 p.m.
The fireworks show will conclude the 4th of July events as the sun goes down.
Blanding Independence Day events conclude on July 9 with the Disc Golf Tournament at the USU Blanding course starting at 9 a.m.
Independence Day community sponsors include Redds Ace Hardware, Energy Fuels, and Utah State University Blanding.