Solemnized with parade, games, sports, bells and illuminations.

I *adore* Manti’s 4th of July celebrations.  I love the town I grew up in too (Shoshone, Idaho).  The celebrations there were great fun as well.  There was the ever-fabulous cake and ice cream social – yum! as well as the baseball game with the North side of town vs. the South side.  Gotta love small towns split down the middle by railroad tracks.  Fireworks always capped off the evening of celebrating.  I remember “oohing” and “awwwing” (quite vocally I might add 😉 ) as each colorful illumination filled the sky.  Or sorta filled.  My siblings and I still laughingly remember the year the city council passed out rainbowy 3-D glasses to help with the over-all effect.  Ah, good times.

What I love about Manti is that we don’t wait until the evening of the fourth to celebrate.  No sir-ee.  We start the evening before with a parade.  And then don’t stop until late the next day.  Love that!

The parade is always full of American and city pride.  Our sweet niece Summer was in the Miss Independence Royalty as Miss Liberty  (the equivalent of Miss Congeniality).

Summer is the adorable blondie that's waving. 🙂

I absolutely adored the blackboard painted truck from “Candies on Main”.

So sweet! - Just think of all the renting out possibilities! 😉

Plenty of candy and plenty of fun.

parade booty - "Is that a tootsie roll?!??!?"

We had a fun evening at the park celebrating a cousin’s 4th birthday (complete with fireworks!) and then the kiddos settled into the treehouse to sleep out. A new tradition – 2 years running.  This year Jim Bob ran Christmas lights around the trunk for little ones needing to make their way into the house for the restroom.  It was neat to see it all lit.  We are already planning Christmas decor and lighting now.  Jim Bob and his siblings used to sleep outside at their Grandma’s house on the 3rd and would wake up to the bell ringing at the American Legion Hall up the street.  Bell ringing can be done by anyone in the community and is from 6-7 a.m.  We haven’t made it the past few years.  😉  We will again though.

birthday fireworks


treehouse sleepover

all snuggled up

The next morning we made flouffy hair clips and played with cousins while their mom ran the 5K (Grandma did too!).  Then it was breakfast at Grandma’s and speeches at the city park.

The first speech was by Don Tibbs (a judge for many years.  He is also a founding member and a president of the Manti Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) ).  His speech included how the 4th of July celebration in Manti started as well as some words from our Founding Fathers.  He showed a copy of the Declaration of Independence:

and quoted a letter that John Adams wrote to his wife:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.  You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

You can see the actual letter here at the Massachussetts Historical Society website.  Beauty.

The Miss Independence royalty then gave their speeches.  The theme was “Wake Up America” and they all did a lovely job.  Mikala Lindhardt was Miss Independence this year and did a beautiful job.  She is our neighbor half a block over and such a sweetheart.  Here’s part of her speech.

Independence Day Speech-Small (click link to see video)

I cut off the end *sadly*.  She said (paraphrasing, but really close) “Let us all stop rolling over and hitting the snooze button – Wake Up America!”

That was the beginning of the old school celebration.  Foot races (and prizes), local entertainment (lots of great vocals, “Come Sail Away” on the violin, a Michael Jackson impersonator and clogging – does it get any more American??), a dunk booth (with the Stake President taking a turn),  money-in-the-hay, egg toss, greased pole climb, tug-of-war with the dividing line being the water from the fire hose, and all-you-can-eat watermelon.  Whew!  Par-tay!

Come Sail Away (click to see video)

Jim Bob carrying very willing participants into the water.

...and not-so-willing ones as well (Jim Bob, Liz, John).

Roar, GRRR, yum

one for each hand...

"silly Katey and mommy melon"

Our favorite entertainment this year was when the kiddos got up at the end and did their own thing.  I didn’t realize we had so many performers in our family.  A break-dancing cousin and a high stepping Katey Belle – pretty cute.

bustin' a move

After the park we stopped at Fred’s for dip cones.  Yes, these are the small size.  😉  The girls went for chocolate . . .

and it seems as if all the boys prefer butterscotch.

It was our first Fourth to eat those, but everyone voted to make it an annual tradition.  🙂

The day was finished off with an impromptu pot-luck bbq at Grandma’s, homemade ice cream, and fireworks with the temple in the background.  Perfect.  From bells to illuminations – we’ve got it all.

Happy Fourth!

Enjoy the full-on gallery to get the full effect.  All images straight out of the camera (I was not about to edit 249 of them 😉 ).  Scroll fast to experience our day in a matter of seconds or feel free to click on any to view larger.

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  1. Looks like a wonderful 4th of July! Love, Mom & Dad


  1. […] love the 4th of July around here – here’s the blog post from last year if you would like to see what our small-town celebration looks like.  We love having popcorn on […]

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