Fun for the family on the Fourth of July

Fourth of July weekend features Paisley in Provo, other events across Utah

By Whitney Butters

Deseret News

Published: Thursday, June 30 2011 4:00 p.m. MDT

Brad Paisley learned an important lesson early in his career — one he has come to rely on.

While preparing to perform at an event, fellow country music star Bill Anderson pointed out at the audience and admonished Paisley, saying, "See those people out there? Treat them good and they will never leave you."

As the Country Music Association's reigning Entertainer of the Year, Paisley seems to have taken that advice to heart.

"Country music fans are various types of people, but they all share sort of one thing, and that's the loyalty factor," Paisley said in a telephone interview.

"Once they become your fan, they seem to stay your fan for a long time."

And these are the type of fans Paisley expects to see when he performs at the Stadium of Fire in Provo on July 2.

Paisley is no stranger to the stage in Utah. "I think back to concerts I have done in Utah over the years, and I feel like the fan base has grown. It has been a great experience visiting Salt Lake City playing the places we played," he said.

He reflected on the last time he played in Utah and recalled the storm clouds that loomed in the distance.

"There was lightning in the distance, but nobody moved. Rain was threatening the whole night — nobody cared," Paisley said. "These are hard-core fans so I'm glad to come back."

This time around, Paisley will be part of the Fourth of July weekend family-friendly activities and fireworks for which the Stadium of Fire received its name. It seems fitting that it will be the strains of Paisley's country music ballads and his riveting guitar style that will reflect an appreciation for the U.S.

"Of all the formats of music out there, the one that's certainly not afraid to be patriotic, wave the flag, support the troops and do all that would be country music," Paisley said.

In conjunction with Paisley's performance, Lavell Edwards Stadium will also illuminate the Provo sky in a patriotic swell of multicolored combustions with what the event's website states is the largest stadium fireworks display in America.

"People love America and want to find ways to unite and celebrate together," said Emory Cook, communication manager for America's Freedom Festival, referring to the Stadium of Fire as one way to accomplish this desire.

Paisley will be joined by David Archuleta and local acts found via talent search, including the Whits, Artie Hemphill and the Iron Horse Band and Eve Asplund. Tickets are still available by visiting www.freedomfestival.org.

But the Stadium of Fire isn't the only way families will be spending their holiday. Celebrations will be going on throughout Utah.

Cache County

Logan: July 1, 7 p.m., "Freedom Fire," featuring Diamond Rio, Romney Stadium, Utah State University, $10 for general admission, $25-$50 for reserved seating. For more information call 435-797-8022 or go to http://arts.usu.edu

Davis County

Centerville: July 1, 6:30 p.m., Children's parade begins at 200 South and 200 East, ends at Founders Park, 300 N. 100 East, free concert and fireworks after the parade. July 2, 7 a.m., breakfast and 5K race, Founders Park; 9 a.m., parade, route travels along Main Street between Chase Lane and Pages Lane; activities available at Founders Park throughout the day. July 3, 7 p.m., patriotic program featuring Gov. Gary Herbert and Utah Voices, CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, 525 N. 400 West, free, tickets required. For more information call 801-295-3477 or go to www.centervilleut.net

Kaysville: July 3, 7 p.m., patriotic devotional, Davis High School, 325 S. Main. For more information call 801-546-1235 or go towww.kaysvillecity.com

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