A Parade of Stars in Blanding’s July 4th celebration
by Easton Bowring & Kara Laws
Every year, the City of Blanding hosts San Juan County’s Independence Day celebration.
A parade, food, games, sports competitions, and fireworks make this event one of the most memorable of the summer, and the annual highlight for many living in and returning to Blanding. Friends and family are reunited as people attend from all over the world.
The five-day celebration began on June 30 and concludes on the fifth of July.
Rustlers Revenger, a melodrama directed by Steve Olsen runs through July 5 at the Blanding Arts and Events Center. Shows begin at 7 p.m. each evening.
The Blanding Rotary Club’s July 3 car show has been postponed until 2019.
The San Juan High School basketball team hosts a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the San Juan Wellness Center July 3 at Noon.
The Mini-Madness and Shane Warenski Memorial Midnight Madness softball tournaments will take also take place on Tuesday, July 3.
The mini-madness tournament is for boys and girls who are incoming fourth graders through outgoing eighth graders.
The mini-madness tournament starts at 8:30 a.m. and will be followed by the midnight madness tournament beginning promptly at 5:30 p.m. The winner should be crowned around dawn.
Speaking of dawn, the Independence Day celebration will begin bright and early early on July 4 with the annual 5K run at 6:30 a.m. and one mile fun run at 7:15 a.m. The Firecracker 5K and fun run will start and end at Centennial Park and is sponsored by the San Juan Cross Country team.
The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast follows the 5K and is a special patriotic program with Utah State Senator David Hinkins and San Juan Commissioner Phil Lyman scheduled to speak.
The program will start at 8 a.m. and breakfast will be available for purchase beginning at 7 a.m. It is requested that those in attendance bring their own chairs.
The Parade of Stars will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. with the Jason Workman Memorial Ride kicking off the event. The Color Guard will follow right behind. They will be followed with what is expected to be one of the best parades in Blanding history. It will run from San Juan High School, down Main Street to 500 South.
Immediately after the parade, guests will have the opportunity to savor some of the area’s best foods, enjoy games, contests, sporting events, and buy craft items from local vendors. Most of this will take place at Centennial Park.
The rest of the day is jam-packed with events and activities for everyone.
A tennis tournament will also take place at the tennis courts. There is a call out for both double and single tennis players. Every participant will play a minimum of two matches for only a $5 charge. To sign up, contact Kirk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A co-ed volleyball tournament and horseshoe tournament will both take place at 11:30 a.m. Kids games begin at Noon. with diving for dollars and swimming races from 1 to 3 p.m.
Lynn Stevens Arena will be hosting jackpot horse games and is free admission. Anyone with a horse is welcome to compete. Everyone is invited to come watch, laugh, and cheer on their favorites. It will take place at 4 p.m. Visit blandinghaps.com for addresses and more.
Two concerts will take place on the night of the Fourth. The Stan Bronson “Request Your Favorite Song” concert will begin at 6 p.m. at San Juan High. The concert in the park will feature High Society and will run from 7 p.m. until the firework show at Centennial Park.
This year’s firework show is something you don’t want to miss. Sponsored by Dr. Joe Wilson, it’s predicted to be the second-largest firework show in the state, just behind the Stadium of Fire.
The firework show begins at 10 p.m. at Centennial Park in Blanding. Choreographed to patriotic music, the firework celebration is a dance of light and colors, oohs and ahhs, smiles, and cheers, all celebrating freedom. It makes for the perfect finale for the Independence Day celebration.
However, the celebration won’t end on the Fourth. Beginning at 6 p.m. on July 5, the San Juan High Football team will hold a 7-on-7 football tournament for anyone 14 and older. A men’s and women’s division will be represented. The event will be held on the high school football field.
And don’t forget to catch the last night of the melodrama.
No matter where you live, this week-long celebration is something you don’t want to miss. For more information and the latest details on all of these events, visit blanding-ut.gov or blandinghaps.com.