Parade, festival and fun for city’s July Fourth celebrationAug 07, 2022 08:17PM ● By Jesse M. Gonzalez
By Jesse M. Gonzalez | [email protected]
Every year, South Salt Lake holds a Fourth of July parade and festival from 2250 South 300 East to Fitts Park. However, this year, with a global pandemic and fear of fire hazards during a looming drought, the parade was not only cut short in time and distance, but the festival that followed at Fitts Park lacked fireworks[LL1] .
“It’s a much shorter space,” said Tabesha Angelo, a South Salt Lake City local who has attended the parade and festival every year for the last 12 years. “Also, it usually starts earlier, usually one to two hours earlier.”
No doubt the limitations on firework sales has impacted the usual festivities. Many areas of the Salt Lake region placed a ban on firework sales and usage. Although South Salt Lake was not under the list of restricted areas, where violators could have faced fines up to $1,000, the city kept proper precautions in case of an accidental fire.
“Maybe not this year,” said Angelo, regarding the idea of lighting her own fireworks for her children. “We’ll be celebrating by meeting up with friends and family to go watch the fireworks someplace.”
The parade—which included a procession of firefighters, belly dancers, students and staff from the Historic Scott School[LL2] , and South Salt Lake Honorary Colonels (a civic organization devoted to supporting the local police department), etc.— succeeded in drawing a large crowd of excited and attentive locals.
Soon after the parade, onlookers migrated to Fitts Park, where the festival was bustling. Children played in inflatable bounce houses, ran through bubbles; families played cornhole, had food and drink from the food trucks, and socialized with neighbors as live music played.
“I’m impressed. The park is fairly full. I would expect there to be into the thousands of people. Definitely more people than last year. Obviously, Covid restrictions are not as restrictive as they were last year,” said Eric Sloan, battalion chief of the South Salt Lake Fire Department.
With restrictions, the illegal usage of fireworks and a possible fire was a serious concern for the fire department. “We are in a drought, and the restrictions aren’t meant to dampen Fourth of July festivities, they’re out there for everyone’s protection because we are so dry,” Sloan said. “As long as people are doing legal fireworks, they’re fine.”
Some fireworks were legal to do in the city; however, they were illegal to do on open grounds, the west side of Ninth West and in any city facility such as parks and fields.