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.
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
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
Hill Air Force Base: July 4, 11:30 a.m., "Let Freedom Ring," bell ceremony. For more information go to www.let-freedom-ring.org.
Layton: July 3, 7 p.m., "Voices of Liberty," patriotic concert, Ed Kenley Amphitheater, 403 N. Wasatch Drive. July 4, 6:30 a.m., breakfast and fun run/walk, Layton Commons Park, 437 N. Wasatch Drive; 10:30 a.m., parade, route follows Gentile Street between Fairfield Road and Fort Lane and continues down Fort Lane to Wasatch Drive; 12:30 p.m., carnival, Layton Commons Park; 8 p.m., concert, and 10 p.m., fireworks, Ed Kenley Amphitheater. For more information go to www.laytoncity.org.
North Salt Lake: July 2, 7 a.m., pancake breakfast and 5K race, Foxboro Regional Park, 1100 N. Skipton Drive; 6 p.m., activities and entertainment with fireworks at dusk, Eaglewood Golf Course, 1110 E. Eaglewood Drive. For more information go to www.nslcity.org
West Bountiful: July 1, 7 p.m., music, and fireworks, 10 p.m., West Bountiful Park, 550 W. 1600 North. July 2, 10:30 a.m., parade, route begins at 400 North and 800 West. For more information call 801-292-4486 or go to westbountiful.utah.gov
Moab: July 4, 10 a.m., assorted activities; fireworks at dusk, Swanny City Park, 400 N. 100 West For more information call 435-259-5121 or go to www.moabcity.state.ut.us
Enoch: July 4, 7 a.m.; 5K, 10K and family walk; Old Enoch Park, 1702 E. 5250 North. For more information go to www.cityofenoch.org
Fillmore: July 2, 6:30 p.m., children's parade, Fillmore City Park, Main Street and Center Street; 8 p.m., "Pioneer Dance," Fillmore City Park. July 3, 7 p.m., "One Nation Under God," a patriotic remembrance, Fillmore City Park. July 4, 7 a.m., flag ceremony; 10 a.m., parade; swimming and entertainment throughout the day and fireworks at dusk, Fillmore City Park. For more information call 435-743-5233 or go to www.fillmorecity.org
Morgan: July 4, 7 a.m., 5k and breakfast, Riverside Park, 198 E. 125 North; 10 a.m., parade, route begins at Morgan High School, 55 N. 200 East; activities available throughout the day at Riverside Park; Jon Schmidt, free concert, 8 p.m., and 10 p.m., fireworks, Morgan High School. For more information call 801-829-3451 or go to www.morgan4th.com
Salt Lake County
Sugarhouse Park, Salt Lake City: July 4, 3 p.m., vendors; 4-10 p.m. Enterainment including DDJ (Drop Dead Julio), The Moth & Flame, Brogan Kelby, The Boomers and Ryan Shupe; 10 p.m., fireworks; 1300 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City
Herriman: July 3-4, 7 p.m., Herriman Rodeo, W&M Butterfield Park, 6212 W. 14200 South, $10 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-14, free for children under 6. For more information call 801-446-5324 or go to www.heriiman.org
Holladay: July 4, 8:30 a.m., flag ceremony and parade, route begins at 2120 E. 4500 South; 9 a.m., breakfast, City of Holladay Municipal Center, 4580 S. 2300 East, $5; 1 p.m., bike race, Municipal Center; 9:45 p.m., fireworks, Municipal Celebration. For more information call 801-272-9450 or go to www.cityofholladay.com
Liberty Park, Salt Lake City: July 4, 8 a.m.-10 p.m., BULA One Love Celebration, 600 E. 1300 South; 8 a.m., Huntsman Cancer Institute 5k; 2 p.m., reggae and world music; 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information go to www.bulafest.com
Jordan Park, Salt Lake City: July 4, 3-10 p.m., People's Market, 1000 S. 900 West; 10 p.m., fireworks.
Murray: July 2, 8 p.m., Murray Symphony Pops, Murray Park Amphitheater, 296 E. Murray Park Lane, $6. July 4, 6:30 a.m., breakfast and 5k, Murray Park; 8:30 a.m., parade, route begins at Fashion Place Mall and ends at Murray Park; 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information call 801-264-2614 or go to www.murray.utah.gov
Riverton: Carnival, July 1, 4-11 p.m., and July 2, 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Riverton City Park, 12650 S. 1400 W. July 1, 6:30 p.m., parade, route begins at 1830 W. 13400 South and ends at 12800 S. 1300 West, music and an outdoor movie at Riverton City Park following the parade. July 2, 7 a.m., 10k, fun run and Chuck Wagon Breakfast, Riverton City Park; 7:30 a.m., Tour de Riverton; 9-11 a.m., ATV Rodeo, Riverton Rodeo Grounds, 12800 S. 1300 West; entertainment, swimming and games throughout the day, Riverton City Park; 10 p.m., fireworks, Riverton City Park. For more information call 801-254-0704 or go to www.rivertoncity.com
Sandy: July 4, 6:50 a.m., fun run and 10k, Sandy City Hall, 10000 Centennial Parkway; arts festival and entertainment available throughout the day; 6 p.m., parade; 10 p.m., fireworks. Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution, July 4, 6:30 p.m., Rio Tinto Stadium, 9256 South State, fireworks show after the game. For more information call 801-568-7100 or go to sandy.utah.gov, 801-727-2700 or www.realsaltlake.com
Salt Lake City: July 4, 7 p.m., Salt Lake Bees vs. Las Vegas 51s, Spring Mobile Ball Park, 77 W. 1300 South, fireworks at the conclusion of the game. For more information call 801-325-2273 or go to www.slbees.com
This is the Place Heritage Park: July 2 and 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Liberty Days, 2601 E. Sunnyside Ave., $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and children ages 3-11. For more information call 801-582-1847 or go to www.thisistheplace.org
Temple Square: July 2, 7:30 p.m., Utah National Guard 23rd Army Band, Tabernacle, free. For more information call 801-570-0080 or go to www.lds.org/events
West Jordan: July 1, 4 p.m.; July 2, 10 a.m.; July 3, noon; July 4, 11 a.m., carnival, Veterans Memorial Park, 1985 W. 7800 South. July 1 and 2, 7 p.m., Western Stampede Rodeo, West Jordan Arena, 8035 S. 2200 West, $9 for children, $11 for adults, $16 for reserved seats in the lower bowl, free admission for military personnel in uniform or with ID on July 2. July 1, 9 p.m., free outdoor movie, Veterans Memorial Park; July 2, noon, Dutch oven cook-off, Veterans Memorial Park; 9 p.m., free outdoor movie, Veterans Memorial Park. July 4, 10:30 a.m., parade, route follows Redwood Road from 7000 South to 7800 South; 7 p.m., Professional Bull Riding, West Jordan Arena, 8035 S. 2200 West, $12 for children, $15 for adults, $30 for reserved seats in the lower bowl; 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information go to www.westernstampede.com
West Valley: July 2, 6 p.m., America First Credit Union Super Oval, Rocky Mountain Raceways, 6555 W. 2100 South, $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 5-12; 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information call 801-252-9557 or go to www.rmracing.com
Gunnison: July 1, 5:30 p.m., dinner and auction, Gunnison City Park, 300 N. Main; 8 p.m., motocross riding and concert, Gunnison High School, 50 E. 600 South; 10:15 p.m., fireworks. July 2, 6:30 a.m., American Legion breakfast, Gunnison City Park; 9 a.m., parade, route follows Main Street from 300 South to 300 North. For more information go to www.gunnisoncity.org
Richfield: "A Field of Stars," July 1, 8 p.m.; July 2, 2 p.m., Sevier Valley Center, 800 W. 200 South. July 2, 6:30 p.m., children's parade, Main Street; 7 p.m., free concert, Richfield City Park, 400 N. Main. July 3, 7 p.m., free patriotic program, Sevier Valley Center. July 4, 7:30 a.m., 5k run, Richfield City Park; 9:30 a.m., parade, route follows Main Street from 500 South to 500 North; free swimming and entertainment throughout the day at Richfield City Park; 9:30 p.m., fireworks. For more information call 435-896-6439 or go to www.richfieldcity.com
Canyons Resort: July 3, 7:30 p.m., concert, free; 9:30 p.m., fireworks. For more information call 435-649-5400 or www.thecanyons.com
Park City: July 4, 7 a.m., pancake breakfast, City Park, 1354 Park Ave.; 8 a.m., 5k Fun Run, City Park; rugby, music and food throughout the day, City Park; 11 a.m., parade; route follows Main to Heber Avenue, then follows Park Avenue to City Park; fireworks at dusk. For more information call 435-649-6100 or go to www.parkcityinfo.com
Grantsville: July 4, 11 a.m., parade, route begins at Grantsville Cemetery, 429 E. Main St.; free activities throughout the day, Grantsville City Park, Cherry Street; 9:30 p.m., fireworks. For more information call 435-884-3411
Tooele: July 2, 7 p.m., concert and fireworks, Tooele High School, 301 W. Vine St., $5. July 3-4, 6;30 p.m., Bit and Spur Rodeo, Deseret Peak Complex, 2930 W. Highway 112, $8 for adults, $5 for children. July 4, 7 a.m., 5k run, Skyline Drive; 9 a.m., parade, route begins at 200 E. 200 South, follows on Main Street, and ends at 200 W. Vine St. For more information call 801-843-2143, or go to www.bitandspurridingclub.com or www.tooelecity.org
Lehi: July 4, 5:30 p.m., vendors and concessions, Thanksgiving Point, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way; 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information go to www.thanksgivingpoint.com
Orem: Milestones of Freedom: Many Nations, One America, July 1-2, 9 a.m.; July 4, 10:30 a.m., Scera Park, 600 S. State, prices vary. For more information call 801-818-1776 or go to www.freedomfestival.org
Provo: Balloon Fest, July 1, 2 and 4, 6:30-8 a.m.; Bulldog Field, 1100 N. Freedom Blvd., free. Colonial Days, July 1, 2 and 4, 10 a.m. to dusk, Crandall Historical Printing Museum, 275 E. Center, Provo. Freedom Days, July 1, 5-10 p.m.; July 2, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; July 4, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Stadium of Fire, July 2, 8 p.m., Lavell Edwards Stadium, Brigham Young University, $30-$120. Grand Parade, July 4, 9 a.m., route begins at 960 N. University Ave. and ends at Center Street and 900 East. For more information call 801-422-2981, or go to www.byutickets.com or www.freedomfestival.org
Sundance: July 1, 8 p.m., Patriotic Celebration featuring the Utah Symphony, Sundance Resort, 8841 Alpine Loop Road, $15 in advance and $20 at the door for adults, $10 in advance and $15 at the door for students. For more information call 801-553-6683 or go to utahsymphony.org
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Ogden: Hot Rock'n 4th, July 4, 1-11 p.m., Ogden Pioneer Stadium, 700 Canyon Road; 6 p.m., Demolition Derby; 10 p.m., fireworks. Blaze at the Ballpark featuring Lonestar, July 4, 4 p.m., Lindquist Field, 2330 Lincoln Ave., $10-$25. For more information go to www.smithstix.com
St. George: July 4, 7:30 a.m., breakfast, Vernon Worthen Park, 300 S. 400 East, $6 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under; 8 a.m., parade; 8 p.m., concert; 10 p.m.; fireworks. For more information call 435-627-4560 or go to www.sgcity.org