July events will be scaled down
By Doug Lowe
For weeks now, public officials across the county have been debating how to best continue popular summer traditions—like Fourth of July and Pioneer Day celebrations—while preventing the coronavirus from spreading and killing more citizens.
With local infection rates of COVID-19 doubling within the past few weeks, there have still been community leaders who hate the idea of down-scaling or canceling traditional public events, while others have argued for restrictions to keep the disease from spreading.
As a result, the debate in at least two recent city council meetings, sometimes produced an unusual amount of heat on the subject.
According to Mayor Willard Wood, the discussion at last week’s meeting of the Fountain Green City Council, concerning how to deal with Lamb Day events on the weekend of July 18, became heated. Afterwards, Wood wryly observed, “Some of us got a little hot—just a bit, for a little while.”
In neighboring Moroni, as reported in the Messenger two weeks ago, city council members found themselves butting heads over plans for the Fourth of July. As it now stands, it looks like the celebration will be pared down and the details are still being worked out.
The following summary of events now scheduled to be held this summer may change depending upon conditions. With the state government’s epidemiologist recently saying that the threat level may soon need to be raised back up from yellow to orange in many places, it is always advisable to phone each city or town to obtain updated information about events and schedules. And, as always during the current pandemic, wearing a face mask and keeping a safe distance is the best way for responsible citizens to avoid spreading and contracting the virus.
Centerfield – This year, the city plans to celebrate Pioneer Day on Thursday, July 23, with a parade beginning at 6 p.m. with games for kids following. At 7 p.m. a food truck will be serving in the park while a radio station DJ will be on hand to play music; once it becomes dark enough, there will be a fireworks show. For more details call city hall at 528-3296.
Ephraim – The traditional Scandinavian Festival has morphed into a summer long celebration with online events and in-person events designed to keep crowds at a minimum.
On Saturday, July 4, an Esports Tournament video game tourney will be hosted, with competitors playing at home. Registration is $10. Prizes will be given to the winners. Rules and regulations will be posted prior to the event. See https://www.scandinaviansummer.org/ for all the information.
On Saturday, July 25, children can enter a competition of racing their miniature wooden “car” against others, rolling down an inclined track, in a Pinewood Derby. For their $10 registration fee, participants received a kit containing a block of pine, two axles, and four wheels. With only 30 such kits on hand, at city hall, interested youngsters are urged to come and sign up soon. The Manti Telephone Company, as the event’s co-sponsor, will be providing both the inclined race track as well as a grand prize. Registration can bed online or by calling rec. director, Michael Patton, at 283-4631 ext. 5.
Fairview – At its latest council meeting, on June 18, the discussion that has stretched across at least three months came to an end with the final decision being that none of the traditional Fourth of July events would be held –except for holding a fireworks show on Friday night. However, the city will continue co-sponsoring its annual golf tournament, in cooperation with Skyline Mountain Resort, on July 18. This year’s event will be a two-person scramble tournament open to all with no consideration of handicap. Further details regarding registration, entry fee, and prizes can be obtained calling 427-9590.
Fayette – The town government will not be holding any events in honor of Pioneer Day. But, according to the town’s staff, a parade and games for children will be held by the local ward of the LDS Church.
Fountain Green – Traditionally the city does nothing special on July 4 or 24, and puts everything into its Lamb Day celebration which falls between July’s two big holidays. Scaled way back this year, Lamb Day activities will consist of a flag ceremony, fireworks, and a co-rec softball tournament stretching from Tuesday, July 14 thru Saturday, July 18.
Gunnison – The city plans to continue its tradition of Independence Day celebrating on both the prior evening as well as on the actual day.
Afternoon and evening activities on July 3 will include motocross exhibition, auction, concert and fireworks.
Activities on July 4 include: Veterans breakfast served in the park; patriotic parade at 9 a.m. and open swim at 10 a.m.
Sadly, this year’s activities will not include the usual Lions Club lunch nor the popular games for youngsters. (Sign up forms, which include a liability release, can be obtained in advance from Shawn Crane by calling 979-0656 or emailing email@example.com.
Manti – Continuing a long tradition on July 4th, the city will host a Freedom Festival featuring the following events:
7 a.m. – 5k family fun run/walk (registration at 6:30 am in city park; $10 fee includes T-shirt; contact Cassie Goold 851-7387 for more details).
9 a.m. – Family bike ride (meet at northwest pavilion, decorate bike with supplies provided—and/or bring your own; call Dallas and KariLyn Cox at 951-0067 with any questions).
11 a.m. – Horseshoe tournament (northwest corner of city park; contact Melissa Cox 851-0887 for further details).
4 p.m. – Tennis tournament (3:30 p.m. sign up at Manti High tennis courts; more details available from Darren Dyreng at 851-1451).
5 p.m. – Homerun Derby (at the new Manti City ball field complex; contact Vern Jensen 851-2634 with questions).
8-9 p.m. – Music and Fireworks show (beginning at dusk fireworks will be set off from the Fairground, as usual, with music on radio station KLGL, 94.5, “The Eagle” accompanying the visual display).
Mayfield – To celebrate Pioneer Day, the town will sponsor most of its usual events in and around the town park on Friday, July 24, on the following schedule:
10 a.m. – Parade
11 a.m. – Activities will begin before noon with opportunities for eating, enjoying live entertainment; bidding in a auction, playing volleyball playing, and chasing a greased pig chasing.
2 p.m. – A duck race; providing a choice of prizes, will wrap up the day’s festivities.
Moroni – Traditional activities on July 4 have been scaled down and the schedule is tenuous.
Information that is now a couple weeks old, declares the volleyball and pickle ball games will happen “for sure,” and that the usual car show and fun run will also expected to happen. Fireworks in the evening will complete the day’s events. Sadly, it looks like this year’s activities will probably not include the usual patriotic parade (complete with candy and other freebies being thrown to young and old along the route), as well as the popular turkey dinner, and chuck wagon breakfast which will be cancelled due to virus concerns..
Mt. Pleasant – Hub City Days has long commemorated the Fourth of July with a multi-day series of events like a golf tournament, Mountain Man rendezvous, a 5k-10k fun run, carnival rides, tractor pulls, meals in the park, and a parade down State Street.
No such gatherings are scheduled this year, though the firework shows will take place in the evening on July 4. For the first time ever, a number of virtual activities will be held on the city’s website, mtpleasantcity.com, offering popular online games in addition to a treadmill marathon, allowing each participant to pound on his or her treadmill at own home while occasionally enlivening the event by submitting selfies and progress reports. Interested individuals should call city hall at 462-2456, for more details.
Spring City – Traditionally, the city focuses on helping to sponsor other special events, and relies on neighboring municipalities to provide activities commemorating Independence and Pioneer Day. That pattern will continue this year, with popular events, like its recent Heritage Day, taking place online rather than in person.
Sterling – The town council member responsible for public events this year, Yvonne Larsen, reports that Sterling has cancelled all of its usual Pioneer Day activities in response to cornonavirus concerns. There will be no early morning 5k run, no early-bird breakfast; no games of softball, volleyball, soccer, horseshoes, ring toss, corn hole, tug-of-war, croquet, and tetherball. No pie eating contest and no old fashioned BBQ dinner, not even the usual fireworks show.
Wales – Like a number of other area towns and cities, Wales concentrates its energies and resources on helping to sponsor a unique local event—the Welch Days celebration, with its popular strongman competitions, held in early June. For fun on July 4 and 24 the residents of Wales often go to Moroni, Mt. Pleasant and Fairview.