Following last year’s cancellation, Logan will put on a firework show for Independence Day, not at Utah State University, but at Willow Park for the first time in at least 20 years.
“We took note of how the public responded to the state’s anniversary in January,” said Russ Akina, the Parks and Recreation director. “And the feeling was that, in some of the comments that we received, was that this was great timing for what everybody’s been going through. It was a good diversion to COVID and the suffering, while still staying safe.”
Akina viewed the Jan. 4 firework display from the Logan Golf Course parking lot and said that while it was hard to gauge crowd size at the local celebration of Utah’s 125th anniversary of statehood, “it was a sea of headlights similar to what we’d have at our Pioneer Day events.”
Restrictions on gathering size and the general COVID-19 outlook led to the city cancelling the festivities in 2020, but based on current case trends and the governor and Utah Health Department’s outlook, officials felt it was safe to move forward with modified plans in 2021.
“Communities and people want to ... try to reopen responsibly and carefully,” Akina said. “There’s ways for us to do that and for people to use the outdoors, because it certainly seems to be a better practice with regards to COVID to do things outdoors.”
The 2019 Freedom Fire event drew the largest crowd on record at around 10,000 tickets sold, but the 2021 version will be free to the public.
“Because of the kind of year that we’ve all had and now that things appear to be getting better, there should be more interest in and perhaps people traveling and coming up to Cache Valley, which we hope for this summer,” Akina said. “And for this year, you don’t have to buy a ticket, you’ve just got to find a place.”
The event is early in planning with decisions involving music and broadcasting options yet to be determined, but one thing remains the same as the previous Freedom Fire events: it will begin 10 p.m. on July 3.
Akina said it will be a busy day for local law enforcement because the firework show will coincide with the final day of the Cache Valley Cruise-In.