A new way to celebrate July 4th in the Heber Valley
The city's first Red, White and Blue Festival was held at Heber City’s Main Street Park on Tuesday, July 4th.
The festival began at 7 a.m. with a 5 and 10K race from Main Street in Heber City to Main Street in Midway and back. Then, at 8:30 a.m. the Wasatch High Air Force Junior ROTC led a “patriot walk” processional around the park, with dozens of festively dressed celebrators in tow.
General George Washington was there — AKA Heber City Manager Matt Brower. He said he was inspired by the patriot walk, and was looking forward to the patriotism and community spirit fostered by the rest of the day’s activities.
"The goal of the festival is simply to bring community together and to celebrate our amazing country's birthday," he said.
If that was the goal, the event was a success, in the opinion of Midway resident Tracy Webb.
"You can tell everyone gets into it, because so many people are dressed in red, white and blue," she said. "Seeing all that here, I don't know, it just makes you feel good. Just puts you in a good mood."
She and her friend, Heber City resident Rick Rybarczyk came for the cornhole tournament sponsored by the Wasatch Community Foundation.
"It went exactly as planned," Rybarczyk said. "We lost all four games, so our consistency and track record is right on. We actually did break the 10-point barrier on the last game which made the games a little more exciting."
There were plenty of other activities throughout the day, including a pancake breakfast, a sidewalk chalk art contest, free hot dogs for lunch, park games, a game of tug of war between firefighters and police, a strong man contest, a pie eating contest, and evening concerts featuring American Rooster and National Park Radio.
Midway resident Annie Grappone said she was happy with the selection of activities.
"I think the cornhole tournament’s been really fun to watch and the kids are really happy," she said. "There's lots of kid activities to do. And some great vendors are here giving out some fun prizes for the kids."
Both Rybarczyk and Webb said they were looking forward to future years when the event becomes even bigger. But they said there was still plenty to look forward to today.
"We’re here to enjoy the music, the ambiance, family, friends," Webb said. "I love people watching," she added.
And there were plenty of people to watch. The Heber Valley Rotary Club sponsored the pancake breakfast. They estimated they served about 750 breakfasts — far in excess of the 300 they were counting on. And the Heber Valley Chamber said roughly 250 people signed up for the morning 5 and 10K races, a record for that event.
The event was sponsored by Heber City, the Heber Valley Chamber, and the Gordon Law Group.