CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Stadium Of Fire, Freedom Festival Events Canceled Due To Virus Concerns

May 5, 2020, 4:59 PM | Updated: 7:36 pm

PROVO, Utah – The Stadium of Fire and other Freedom Festival events have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, according to America’s Freedom Festival Executive Director Jim Evans.

The decision to cancel the events was announced on Tuesday, which is when the Hope of America was scheduled to begin.

“The safety and health of our guests is always the first priority at any Freedom Festival event, period,” Evans said. “Even in a typical year that’s the prevailing theme. But with so many of our loved ones at risk from this illness, including so many wonderful military veterans, we have to be especially careful this year.”

In addition to the Stadium of Fire, the Grand Parade, Balloon Fest Freedom Run and Freedom Days events are off until next summer.

Officials said this spring’s student art, essay, speech and teacher contests — all of which are virtual — were still ongoing. The submission deadlines for these contests were extended to May 18.

The Stadium of Fire has been held on or near the Fourth of July at Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium for 39-straight years. Officials said it has been postponed until 2021.

However, Evans said the festival will hold a major fireworks show as a way to say thank you to the community and health care workers and first responders working during the pandemic.

“What we are planning on this year is to have a fireworks show that is bigger and better than any show we’ve ever had with the Stadium of Fire,” Evans said.

Details about the show will be announced at a later date, but officials said it will take place in Provo and will be free for the community.

“While these have been extremely difficult times for our nation, we have also witnessed the very best of America as people unite to take care of each other,” said Steve Shallenberger, chair of the Freedom Festival Board of Trustees. “Our fireworks show this year will be a magnificent tribute to the compassion and resiliency of America. And next year’s patriotic celebrations, which will include the 40th anniversary of Stadium of Fire, will be our very best and biggest ever.”

Evans added Rascal Flats had been selected to perform at this year’s Stadium of Fire, but they could return for a future show.

The Grand Parade was scheduled for July 4 at 9 a.m. Festival officials said the parade is the largest of its kind in Utah.

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Stadium Of Fire, Freedom Festival Events Canceled Due To Virus Concerns