PROVO — Scotty McCreery is all-American. He plays baseball, he loves country music and he loves his family.
Oh, and he's also an "American Idol."
McCreery will perform with the Beach Boys at Provo's annual "Stadium of Fire" show, which will be broadcast to military troops worldwide.
For McCreery, the opportunity to perform in front of such a vast military audience evokes gratitude for freedom.
"Those are the people that really give our country the great name it has and really give us the freedom we have. And we all know that freedom's not free," McCreery said. "Their service means the world to all of us Americans, and me especially. I'm gonna get up there and just give my all, because, you know, they give theirs. They give us their all every time they're out there fighting for us or working for us. We appreciate them, for sure."
"Stadium of Fire" is directed toward a family audience, which suits McCreery just fine.
"I'm a pretty family-friendly guy and, you know, I just want to go out there and play for all ages," he said. "I definitely want to make sure anybody and everybody come see me if they want to."
Raised in a small town in North Carolina, McCreery has his own Independence Day memories of spending time with his family.
"We have a lake right down the street from my house where the whole town will go and the North Carolina Symphony comes on July 3rd," he said. "They play for a good while and there are fireworks, and it's just a good time for bonding. But I'll miss it this year. I'll be on the road."
After his run on "American Idol," McCreery has gained a deeper appreciation for his fans and his relationship with them. "I just want people to really see me as a real person, not just as an artist. I want people to see me as a human being and not really any different than them. We have the same problems; we have the same great things happen to us."
This is McCreery's second performance in Utah, after the "American Idol Live!" tour, so he already knows what to expect.
"I'm excited and can't wait to see you guys up there," he said.
Anticipation for the holiday creates its own kind of excitement in Utah. With a plethora of parades, pie-eating contests and firework shows to look forward to, the state isn't lacking any quantity of Independence Day celebrations.
The following is a list of Independence Day events across the state.
Logan: July 3, 6 p.m., "Freedom Fire" featuring the rock group Kansas and the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Romney Stadium, Utah State University, $10-$25. For more information, call 435-797-8022 or visit arts.usu.edu.
Centerville: July 3, 6:30 p.m., Children's parade begins at 160 S. 200 East, ends at Founders Park, 300 N. 100 East, with a free concert and fireworks show after the parade; July 4, 7 a.m., breakfast, 5K "Freedom Run," Founders Park; 9 a.m., parade begins at Main and Chase Lane, ends at Main and Pages Lane; activities at Founders Park throughout the day. For more information, call 801-295-3477 or visit centervilleut.net.
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