One thing that anyone from Malad knows occupies a large spot on the events calendar is the Fourth of July celebration. This year, the Monday and Tuesday of the event were hot on the heels of the Welsh Festival, providing an extended time for friends, family, and community to converge downtown for entertainment and fun. Over the course of the two days of festivities, the community was treated to Malad’s Got Talent, the yearly melodrama, the Kids’ Parade, the Fourth of July Parade, musical performances, and food and games.
This year’s theme was “Peace. Love. Fireworks,” all of which were on full display over the course of the event. Hundreds turned out both days to spend time out of the house and in the spirit of celebration. Although the peak hours of the Tuesday afternoon trended toward the hotter end of temperatures, for the most part shade and the potential for water sports kept the worst of it at bay, and by late afternoon the weather was settling into a nice summer day in the low 80s.
To kick off the celebration, the Kids’ Parade was held on Monday. Kids in town lined up near the Malad Drive-In on bikes, on scooters, on foot, and in strollers to make the walk down Main Street and then Bannock to the City Park. The Sheriff led the convoy, flanked by the Boy Scouts, and followed by a troop of energetic young people. Popsicles were distributed at the end of the parade, and many in the crowd made their way to the park for the music of Snake River Band, who played a variety of patriotic and classic American songs, leading into the Malad’s Got Talent preliminaries. Following the talent show, a Street Dance was held in front of City Hall, featuring the music of the 70s.
Bright and early Tuesday at dawnthe morning began with the traditional cannonade provided by the Malad Fire Department, and the Search and Rescue Breakfast. DYW sponsored a well-attended Fun Run at 6:30 (see results on the back page).
This year’s parade followed the same route as usual, beginning up near the school, winding through Main Street, around downtown, and back up near the hospital.
The Grand Marshalls for this year’s parade were Joe and Euarda Daniels; the Honored Pioneer was Gene Edwards; and the Honored Veteran was Rick Neville; the Volunteers of the year were Brad and Melanie Coleman. The Mayor and City Council followed, and then Sweepstakes winner Edith’s Collective and a line of floats that included the Distinguished Young Women (by Daisy Hollow), MHS Cheerleaders and Dance, MHS Band, MHS State Champions, Chamber Choir, Ireland Bank, Hess Lumber, Hess Pumice, ATC, Rodeo Royalty, and many others.
Following the parade, the traditional Western Shootout in promotion of the melodrama took place at the park, with Artie Choke attempting to take over the town only to be thwarted initially by fellow outlaw Jeff Richins, who himself was foiled by Mayor Joan Hawkins and a pair of concerned citizens. The cheerleaders then took over for a demonstration.
Afterward, the Kids Races took place, where children of every age from 0-12 raced against one another on an increasingly lengthening track for first place against their fellows. This was followed by the Leap Frog event where a mix of youth and adult teams competed for the trophy to be held by them for the year (there was a brief scare when the trophy failed to materialize until just before the event’s start). Leap Frog was followed by Tug of War events.
At 2:00, the melodrama began its last performance at the Iron Door Playhouse downtown (more details on the performance inside this issue).
At 2:30, the city’s water balloon fight briefly took place.
During the afternoon events, a range of activities were in place to keep both kids and adults occupied. A foam machine was new to this year next to the Splash Pad. Hatchet throwing gave people the chance to try out their Viking skills in the shade of the park’s south side.
A number of food vendors were on site, including the Hungry Heifer, Bammas, the Interfaith Council and IronDoor Smokehouse, and the Frozen Cow, as well as vendors from around the area selling gyros, Navajo tacos, fish and chips, and gourmet hot dogs.
The Malad’s Got Talent Finals were held in the evening (see coverage inside), followed by the band the Saloonatics. Fireworks took place at the Fairgrounds to end the long couple days of fun in the sun.
Home Run Derby/Softball
As a component of the Tuesday activities, the Enterprise sponsored a softball game between the High School stars and a team of adults. After a long, hard-fought game, the team of adults were in the lead 18-16 going into the final half inning, which was technically the final sore. However, the adults opted to play out the remaining half and added two more runs to their total.
The Home Run Derby was moved to the larger field this year, resulting in a smaller number of homeruns, but just as much fun. The move was prompted by activities on the north end of the park, and concern that home run balls might make their way over to where kids were still enjoying a variety of activities. The longer field made homeruns much more difficult to come by, though several participants managed to hit them. Challis Sweeten was declared the winner with two unqualified homeruns, and David Day managed one over the south side fences. Also participating were Travis Hanks, Trevor Jones, Trevor Howe, Jess Blaisdell, Jimmy Buhrn, Dylan Haslem, Eric Svenson, and others.
Some younger participants also gave it a crack, and although none managed a homerun, there were plenty of good shots to the outfield from Riggin Montgomery, Wyatt Madsen, Jaxton Hanks, Hyrum Hanks, Rowdy Bates, Wyatt Schwartz, Weston Bates, Lincoln Berry, Braxton Kaufman, Aiden Bladwin, and Jax Howe, among others.