America's Freedom Festival, Provo, Utah
Forget burger flipping and sparklers. The city of Provo ratchets up the July 4th patriotism dial to 11 for its America’s Freedom Festival. The highlight of this annual event is the dramatically named Stadium of Fire (July 4), for which some 40,000 spectators pack Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium to cheer on A-List musical acts (past performers have included Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Journey, and Kelly Clarkson) and the largest stadium fireworks show in the country.
If you can’t make it to that grand spectacle, there are plenty more events to enjoy, a few in the month leading up to Independence Day but most in the three days preceding it. Among them are a hot air balloon festival with around two dozen balloons and 25,000 spectators; a three-day fair in downtown Provo featuring carnival rides, arts and food vendors, and live entertainment; and the largest Fourth of July parade in the state featuring dozens of marching bands and floats, and some 300,000 spectators. U-S-A!