How Provo Does Independence Day

Provo gets a lot of attention for being a good place for business, technology, optimism, and many other things. But one day a year, Provo also becomes the absolute coolest place in America. That day is July 3rd.

Many readers of this blog already know about Provo’s Freedom Festival. The festival includes a lot of events — some very cool, others less so — but on the morning of the 4th it also includes a parade. And of course the night before, a mass of people camps out along the parade route, which lies along east Center Street and north University Ave.

Camping out along the parade route in Provo is a lot like camping out for other, bigger parades like the Rose Parade in Pasadena. It’s crowded, chaotic, and wild. I can’t recommend it enough.

If nothing else, I suggest just walking around and taking in the party. If you’re so inclined, there are also people selling food, offering various forms of entertainment, or just doing odd things worth seeing. And whatever your feelings about crowds of people, it’d be a shame not to take in Provo on its most vibrant night.

In an effort to help those interested hit (what I think are) the highlights, here’s a short list of useful information regarding 3rd/4th of July activities.

For information on the parade route or when you can stake out a camping spot along the street, check out Mayor Curtis’s blog post from yesterday or the city website’s page with the same information. Just this morning, the mayor also posted about special deals and activities in downtown and mentioned that Station 22 would be opened all night.

New this year, the library is fencing off its grounds to prevent the kind of impromptu parties that have taken place there in the past. This area attracted a particular kind of crowd so it’ll be interesting to see where that group relocates. In any case, I wrote about it for the Daily Herald here.

According to Pizzeria 712’s Facebook page, they will be outside Communal selling pizza all night long. Pizzeria 712 is amazing, so this is one of the things I’m most looking forward to.

Muse Music will host its annual all night concert. The show is $3 and among others will feature the incredible House of Lewis, which includes both Chance Lewis and Apt. The show also will include touring bands and the venue will be selling hotdogs for $.50.

For more information on the actual parade or festival, visit


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