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Dayton residents woke up July 3, to the ringing of a large old school bell owned by Orthea Moser, which was mounted on a tripod in the back of a pickup truck driven by Lawrence Smith. One of his grandsons rang the bell signaling residents to get ready to join together at the Dayton Independence Day Celebration.

Mayor Melvin Beutler said the fun-filled day was free to the public. “I really appreciate all the people who volunteered, and I give a shout out to them for the time they put (in) for our community. I especially enjoyed the Patriotic Program and the way it was presented to review the Bill of Rights,” said Beutler. “The whole day was a good way to pull our community together where everyone participates to help build our community spirit.”

Members of the committee which planned the event were: Beutler, Rachel Terrazas, Mark Holliday, and Mike Dansie and Rocky Mountain Power sponsored Dayton’s celebration.

Tyler Telford, Dayton Ward Teacher’s Quorum Advisor, organized young men to conduct a flag raising ceremony, and as a fund-raiser, the West Side High School basketball team prepared a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and sausage. Lain Telford, emceed a welcome to the Patriotic program at the Dahle Fine Arts Center, and announced the parade’s Grand Marshalls: Brett and Roselyn Page. “I appreciate this award but it is the good people in this community who help to make this community great,” said Brett.

Cathy Winward wrote the program featuring the “Bill of Rights” on a slide and video presentation. Four youths narrated the program. Kaden Telford, wearing a white wig and dressed in a long brocade coat and pants depicting the 1776 era, portrayed James Madison. Grace Taylor, Preston Grimm, and Aspen Weeks introduced each amendment synchronized with the slides. In between each Amendment description, the Click ‘N Time Cloggers, under the direction of Autumn Coats, the Smooth Swayers and Cache Valley Ballroom Dancers performed dance numbers to patriotic music, and the Melvin Beutler family, Wertz family, and friends sang “God Bless the USA” accompanied on the piano by Joyce Dansie.

To conclude, the audience sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and invited Veterans in the audience to stand. They were given a large Hershey chocolate bar. Tommy Bomsta, Nate Jensen and Jordan Jolley played “Taps” on their trumpets. The program was planned by Colleen Henderson, Roxanne Beutler, Winward, and Telford.

“The patriotic program is spectacular. If they just did the program and nothing else, the day would still be a spectacular celebration. Each year, the program helps me to have a newer appreciation for our Founding Fathers and the Constitution,” said Faye Reeves, who has lived-in Dayton for 10 years. She and her husband, Don, look forward to the town’s celebration each year.

Clifton residents Carol and Lyle Henderson agree, and have attended the celebration since 1965. “The Patriotic Program is the best program we’ve ever seen. It gives me a great feeling of admiration for what our forefathers gave to us,” said Carol.

The parade of 21 enteries, under the direction of Nicole Henderson, followed a lunch of pulled pork sandwiches and Dutch Oven potatoes prepared by the Dayton Ward Elders Quorum.

Aneesa Beutler was amazed at the turnout for the the mile run, which she organized. She reported there were 147 runners, 76 in the 5K Run and 71 in the 1K. “We have never had that many people. This is the best turnout we’ve ever had,” she said. The youngest runner in the one-mile run was Emery Davis, who, at 4 years old, finished the race. Aneesa thanked Reid Olsen who volunteered to use his chip-timing system that was tied to the participants’ ankle for accuracy in timing.

Winners in the boys’ 5K race were: 1st — Samuel Beutler, 17; unavailable; 3rd — Gideon Beutler, 19. Winners of 5K women’s division were: 1st — Angelie Scott, 15; McKinley Scott, 17; 3rd — Ashley Scott, 14. Prizes consisted of coupons from El Tapatio, Big J’s Burgers, Pizza Hut, Pizza Villa, and Domino’s Pizza. One of the popular gifts is a Hot Shot (Cow Prodder) to the slowest runner. Other prizes were books donated by the library, and Bear River Hot Springs free passes to all fun run kids.

For the 1K race there was a timing technical difficulty, and the scores could not be recorded. So a raffle was held and everyone received a prize. “Everyone had a fun time, they said,“ said Aneesa.

Sandra Weeks organized a petting zoo of goats, rabbits, chickens, and cats. Sandra brought her Nubian and Nigerian Dwarfs milk goats, for the children to pet. Rita Williams sat in the rabbit pen with her two children holding and petting the rabbits. “I’ve been coming to this celebration since I was a child. Now I enjoy bringing my own children to it,” said Williams.

Under the direction of Jen Sage, Gideon Beutler announcer the parade and games, such as the 3-legged race, crab crawl, gunny sack races, wheelbarrow races and bubble gum bubble blowing contest. About 50 people played Bingo under the shade of the pavilion with Dawn Taylor calling the numbers. Donated prizes, such as a western shirt and hat from Patino’s Store, jackets and hats from Ron Keller Tire, and gift certificates from Stokes, Wendy’s, and Valley Wide were won. Children enjoyed jumping in the bouncing houses and the train ride pulled by Robert Henrickson an a 4-wheeler.

To keep cool there were long lines at the water slide, operated by Josh Taylor, Garrett Taylor and the Crockett boys, the zip line by Jerick Ostler, and the fish pond manned by Troy Bird and his son, Gunner. Taylee Jensen, 10, of Preston caught a fish after many tries. “It was slimy and it kept sliding out of my hands. But I’m happy that I finally caught one,” Taylee exclaimed.

Mary Moffatt, organized the Pie Eating Contest. “I thought we had a great turnout. In fact, it was a bigger turnout this year. There are a lot of family visiting families here this year,” Mary said.

Emmett Cox, 5, ate a quarter of banana cream pie in the 0-6 age group. “It was yummy pie. I’m excited about winning. It was fun,” said Emmett. Braeden Tubbs, Levi Moffat, Jesse Malouf, Daniel Bar, Andrew Moffatt, Daniel Levitt all finished half of their pies. Joseph Westover won, eating his favorite banana cream pie. “It was fun but it was hard to enjoy it when you have to inhale it,” he admitted.

Rather than run for cover, most people stood out in the rain when it finally fell. Kinalee Means, 12, of Weston, brought an umbrella to keep the sun off of her, but said she was glad to have it when it started to rain.

Candy provided by Dayton City for the plane drop of candy was scheduled for the last event of the day but showed up a half hour early right after the first clap of thunder and before the heavy rain started. Lynn Garner of Preston, who flies the aircraft for Idaho Land and Livestock who makes the candy drop said: “We were watching the weather and decided we had better make the drop off before it started to rain.” It was good timing as the children were able to pick up the candy on fairly dry ground.

After the events, at about 4 p.m., thunder and lightening preceded a down pour of rain for about 10 minutes as clean-up of the park continued. “Overall, I felt the day was a success. We had a great turnout. Lots of people were here from out-of-state visiting family,” Telford said.

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