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Idaho Enterprise

A Patriotic Fourth in the Valley

Oneida County celebrates Our Country with variety of community events

As it always does, Malad put together a fun-filled weekend of events to celebrate the 4th of July weekend.  The Valley was filled with many travelers this past week and weekend to participate in annual activities to celebrate America. 

July 2

The kids started off the weekend's events on July 2 with the Kids' Parade. Following its typical route along Main Street from the Drive Inn and then down Bannock to the Malad City Park, kids and parents packed the street on bikes, ATVs, and other recreational vehicles. Their vehicles were decked out in Fourth  of July decorations and American flags to commemorate the holiday. 

Activities at the park began with the Snake River New Horizons Band who performed at the Amphitheater before the Preliminaries for Malad's Got Talent. The group performed covers of popular songs including Sweet Caroline, Brown Eyed Girl, a medley of Beatles songs, and many others.

The Malad's Got Talent Preliminaries included many great talents with many singers, dancers and musicians, along with a drummer, and even a Color Guard Routine. Judges for the event included Tami Smith, Kevin Jeppesen, and Christie Oja. They scored participants in several categories to determine which five from each age group would advance to the final on Monday the Fourth.

At the conclusion of Malad's Got Talent opening night, the crowd moved to Bannock Street in front of City Hall to enjoy music from the Rough Stock band. Band members are Harry Sherman, Jimi James Schaub, Elly Peterson, Trent Porter, and Terry Morris. They performed a fun mix of country music perfect for singing and dancing along. The Street Dance brought out many community members excited to enjoy the music and shake a leg. Swing dancing, line dancing, and even a Conga line highlighted the evening. 

July 4

The Fourth of July Celebration started early with the Cannonade, the Fun Run, and the Pancake Breakfast.

Those in the Malad area were awoken to the six o'clock cannons that announce the beginning of festivities in the Valley. Next, members of the community had the opportunity to join in the Fun Run held by the Malad Distinguished Young Women's program.

The Independence Day Parade was filled with floats showcasing this year's theme: "There's No Place Like Home". Many floats focused on popular locations in Malad like Boot Lane, popular local activities such as camping, and popular local legends like Bigfoot.  Hundreds of excited candy-seekers and well-wishers lined the streets as the parade wound its way through town, stopping at the Veterans Memorial to honor the flag and those who had lost their lives in its service. 

This year’s Grand Marshals were Gary and Sherma Shepherd.  The Honored Pioneer was Janice Goddard.  Bill Neal was named the Honored Veteran.  Roxanne Albretson, Dotty Evanson, and Carla Williams were names the Volunteers of the Year.

The Commissioner’s Award went to Hess Lumber’s Bigfoot float.  Hess Pumice’s “Country Roads Take me Home” float won the Sweepstakes.  Edith’s Collective won the Mayor’s Award.  Daisy Hollow won the Judge’s Prize.

Throughout the busy weekend, the Malad City Park hosted a variety of performers, vendors, and activities.

Shoot Out

This year’s shootout took a slightly different form than usual, as Jeff Richins and Brian Jeppsen opted not to shoot one another in the typical old west fashion.  Richins explained that in light of recent gun violence and other events that it would be appropriate to focus on a shared belief in patriotism.  Once the “sheriff” and the “outlaw” discovered they were both at heart patriots, they led the crowd in a chorus of “Proud to be an American.”

Kids Races

At the Malad City Park this year the annual Kids’ Races were held. There were several different divisions based from crawlers to 13 year olds. People gathered in a crowd to watch children run and cheered them on. There were many children who participated in the races and many family members there to support. 

After each racer was finished running, they received a popsicle for their participation. The winners in each age group received a gold dollar.

Due to the hectic nature of the event, these results are not entirely complete.  First place winners:  0-1 Aurora Ward; 1 year old (girl) Courtlyn Kent, (boy) Everett Walker; 2 year old Gwen Palmer, Jett Neal; 3 year old Indie Ray Jensen, Xavier Davis; 4 year old Kendyl Ward; 5 year old Briar Palmer, Ridge Wise; 6 year old Liberty Charles, Beckham Hess; 7 year old Brynlee Ketchell, Colton Van Damme; 8 year old Sandy McKinney, Asher Hess; 9 year old Kollins Vaughan, Declan Summers; 10 year old Maisy Geddes, Asher Morriss; 11 year old Aleah Seamons, Padden Neilson; 12 year old Mariah Redmond, Nolan Haskett.

Leap Frog

The Annual Leap Frog Competition took place at the City Park. The winner of the contest received the traveling frog statue that the winner will return next year. It was a great race and they had a lot of great competitors. One team pulled ahead quickly. The winners of the race were Tayson Davis, Braylin Tripp, and Jace Williams. The three boys came together after the race to celebrate and lift the trophy for everyone to see.

Tug of War

For this year's tug of war competition, there were two divisions. There was a children’s division and an Adult division. For the children’s division the winners were Elle Angell, Karlee Blaisdell, Brielle Bastian, Katie Palmer, Sam Schrenk, and Aezlyn Summers.  For the adult division the winners were Josh Davis, Braxton Hess, Skylar Hunsaker, Trevor Jones, Wacey Jones, Zakk McKinney, and Shae Neal.

Water Hockey

The water hockey, which was played on a soaked tarp with field haockey sticks, was used as a fundraiser by the wrestling team to help their teammate Dylan Moss. Dylan was recently in a dirt biking accident and his teammates wanted to raise money to help him and his family with medical bills.

Kickball

The Kickball Tournament brought teams of all ages to compete for the title. Those above 14 participated in the older division while the kids had their own game. Two young adult teams competed first, then two adult teams. The kids’ game was boys versus girls. It was a relaxed, fun event as scores were not kept officially. Spectators enjoyed the friendly competition and cheered on their friends and family. 

Softball

There were two softball games one including ages 14 and up and then one for those aged 16 and older. It was a tough competition with both teams hitting and fielding well. There was a short timeout in the second game due to a disagreement with a call on the field. To settle the controversy, the two teams selected one player to participate in a short race. The second game ended with an exciting double play with a line out to the pitcher and a throw to first to get the player that was leading off. Overall, it was a great event to show Malad’s competitive spirit. 

Home Run Derby

The Home Run Derby was held at the Malad City Park youth baseball field. Bridger Bastian gave each participant 10 pitches to try and hit over the fence. Community members joined in the fun hitting home runs and cheering on the hitters. Brig Jones was the winner of the Home Run Derby with a total of eight home runs. He also boasted the farthest hit out of all the participants. 

Other Events

The finale for Malad’s Got Talent brought many talented youth and adults to the stage to perform once again. The winners for the competition will be listed in a separate article. 

At the end of Malad’s Got Talent, the winners of the various raffles were drawn and announced. The winner of the 50/50 Raffle by the Girls Basketball team was Brad Horsley. For the Firemen's Raffle, Brody Conger won a Lifetime Kayak and Jen Martinez won The Godfather firework set.

The Party Rock Project band finished off the park’s events as they put together an exciting, interactive show. At the end of the night, the crowd dispersed to watch fireworks fill the Saturday's sky across the valley. This year’s firework show was again put together by the Oneida County Firemen. 

Hatchet throwing was a unique event this year at the Malad City Park. Attendees lined up at the booth to try their hand at hatchet throwing. The trailer had two wooden targets for participants to try and get a bullseye. 

Malad's Got Talent

After narrowing the pool of participants from the preliminary round, judges returned on the Fourth to see performances once again and select the final winners. The 12 and under and 13 and older age groups brought a variety of talents to the stage.

In the 12 and under division, the final winner was Kallie and Brookell Nimer for their dance routine. Their talent involved fun choreography that even included several gymnastics flips. Second place went to Mylee Hanks for her dance. Finally third place was given to Gage Steed for his Napoleon Dynamite dance from the popular movie. 

Raegan Smith sang her way to first place in the 13 and older division. She sang two popular Disney songs from Hercules and another from Princess and the Frog. Natalie Webster took second place for singing as well. Third place went to Connor Worrell for playing the drums. Throughout the event, the crowd was given the opportunity to participate as Trissa Nesbit shot off the T-shirt cannon filled with candy. Some crowd members were called to the stage to join in the bottle-flipping competition as well as a dance competition.

Party Rock Project

The Party Rock Project band entertained the crowd Monday evening before the fireworks. This band has been to Malad a couple times before and brought the same fun and energy to the amphitheater. They sang a variety of classic rock and pop songs, but added in several country songs for the Malad audience. 

Their interactive set included several activities for crowd members to join in the fun. Several crowd competitions pitted one side against another to see who knew their music best or who could sing it better. They also passed around Hawaiian shirts at one point to give people the chance to come up to the front and dance along to the Beach Boys. One competition brought two people onto the stage for a game of Name that Tune with television show theme songs. Some of the theme songs shown were Gilligan’s Island, Friends, and the Golden Girls.

The main band members brought their children on stage to join in the fun. Their daughter and two sons picked up different instruments and sang and played beside their parents. Their youngest son, only six years old, sang “The Rainbow Connection” for the crowd. The group was filled with talented musicians that got the audience excited for the fireworks. 

Fireworks

The day ended, as always, with a brilliant display of fireworks at the county fairgrounds.  As the light show played out against the backdrop of songs, friends, and fun, it was a reminder of everything great about living in the Malad Valley.