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.
Kaysville: June 28-29, 7 p.m., Idol competition, Davis High School Auditorium, 325 S. Main; July 1, 7 p.m., patriotic devotional, Davis High School, 325 S. Main; July 4, 6:30 a.m., breakfast, Davis Applied Technology Center, 550 E. 300 South; 7:30 a.m., 5K and 10K, Davis High School; 10 a.m., family festival, Davis Applied Technology Center; 11 a.m., parade, route follows Main Street; 10 p.m., fireworks, Davis High School and Davis Applied Technology Center area. For more information, call 801-546-1235 or visit kaysvillecity.com.
Layton: July 1, 7 p.m., "Voices of Liberty" patriotic concert, Ed Kenley Amphitheater, 403 N. Wasatch Dr.; July 4, 6:30 a.m., breakfast and fun run/walk, Layton Commons Park, 437 N. Wasatch Dr.; 8:30 a.m., flag-raising ceremony, Ed Kenley Amphitheater; 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., children's carnival, Layton Commons Park; 8 p.m. concert, Ed Kenley Amphitheater; 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information, visit laytoncity.org
North Salt Lake: July 3, 6 p.m., activities, and 9:30 p.m., firework show, Eaglewood Golf Course, 1110 E. Eaglewood Drive. For more information, visit nslcity.org.
West Bountiful: July 3, 7 p.m., music, and 10 p.m., fireworks, West Bountiful Park, 550 W. 1600 North; July 4, 7 a.m., flag-raising ceremony, City Hall, 550 N. 800 West; 10:30 a.m., parade, route begins at 400 N. 800 West and will continue north; 11:30 a.m., entertainment and food, West Bountiful Park. For more information, call 801-292-4486 or visit westbountiful.utah.gov.
Moab: July 4, 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information, call 435-259-5121 or visit moabcity.state.ut.us.
Enoch: July 4, 7 a.m., 5K and 10K "Freedom Run"; 7 p.m., free hot dogs and fireworks, Old Enoch Park, 1702 E. 5250 North. For more information, visit cityofenoch.org.
Morgan: July 4, 6:30 a.m., bike race, LDS Rock Chapel, 10 W. Young St.; 7 a.m., 5K run and pancake breakfast, Riverside Park, 198 E. 125 North; 8 a.m., flag ceremony and cannon blast, Morgan High Football Stadium, 201 E. Young St.; 10 a.m., parade, route begins at Morgan High School and ends at Fair Grounds, with activities available throughout the day at Riverside Park; 7 p.m., Eric Dodge with Talia Wilson opening, free concert, and 10 p.m., fireworks, Morgan High School. For more information, call 801-829-3451 or visit morgan4th.com.
Salt Lake County
Sugar House Park, Salt Lake City: July 4, 5-10 p.m., entertainment; 10 p.m., fireworks, 1300 E. 2100 South. For more information, visit sugarhousefireworks.com.
Holladay: July 4, 8:30 a.m., Children's parade, route begins at Pine Park, 2120 E. 4500 South; 9 a.m., breakfast, New Village Plaza, $5; 10:10 p.m., fireworks festival. For more information, call 801-272-9450 or visit cityofholladay.com.
Jordan Park: July 4, 6 p.m., booths; 10 p.m. fireworks, 900 W. 1060 South. For more information visit slc.gov.com.
Liberty Park, Salt Lake City: July 4, 2-10 p.m., "One Love Celebration," 600 E. 1300 South; 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information, visit bulafest.com.
Murray: July 4, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Murray Fun Day activities and entertainment throughout the day, Murray Park, 296 E. Murray Park Ln.; 6:30 a.m., breakfast, $5 adults, $3 children, Murray Park Pavilion #5; 7 a.m., sunrise service, Murray Park Amphitheater; 8 a.m., 5K and children's race, begins at Constitution Crl., Murray Park; 8:30 a.m., parade, route begins at Fashion Place Mall and ends at Murray Park; 8:30 p.m., entertainment featuring Octappella; 10 p.m., fireworks, Murray Park. For more information, call 801-264-2614 or visit murray.utah.gov.
Riverton: July 3, 4-11 p.m., City of Fun Carnival, Riverton City Park, 12800 S. 1400 West; 6:30 p.m., parade, route begins at 13400 S. 1830 West and ends at Riverton City Park; jazz concert immediately following parade; 9 p.m., "Happy Feet Two" movie in the park; July 4, 6:30 a.m., flag-raising ceremony, Riverton City Park, Southwest flagpole; chuck wagon breakfast, Riverton City Park kitchen, $3 for adults, $2 for children; 6:45 a.m., 5K-10K run, begins Riverton City Park, southeast lawn area; 9 a.m., ATV rodeo, free, Rodeo Arena, 12800 S. 1300 West; 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m., City of Fun Carnival, Riverton City Park; 10 p.m., fireworks, Riverton City Park. For more information, call 801-254-0704 or visit recreation.rivertoncity.com.
Sandy: July 4, entertainment throughout the day, South Towne Promenade, 10000 S. Centennial Parkway; 7 a.m., Sandy Classic 5K and 10K races; 10 a.m., Youth Arts Festival; 6 p.m., parade; 7:30 p.m., concert; 10 p.m., fireworks. Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC, July 4, 8 p.m., Rio Tinto Stadium, 9256 S. State. For more information, call 801-568-7100 or visit sandy.utah.gov, 801-727-2700 or realsaltlake.com.
Salt Lake City: July 4, 7:04 p.m., Salt Lake Bees vs. Tacoma Rainiers, Spring Mobile Ball Park, 77 W. 1300 South. For more information, call 801-325-2273 or visit slbees.com.
Salt Lake City: Utah Symphony patriotic celebration, July 2, 7:30 p.m., Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, free but reservation required (801-355-2787 or www.utahsymphony.org)
South Salt Lake: July 3, 6-10 p.m., Freedom Fest, former Granite High Schoole property, 3305 S. 500 East. July 4, 7 a.m., 5K Fun Run/Walk, Fitts Park, 3050 S. 500 East; 9:30 a.m., Freedom Fest parade, route begins at the LDS church parking lot, 2254 S. 300 East and ends at Fitts Park. For more information call 801-466-3377 or visit www.southsaltlakecity.com
This Is the Place Heritage Park: July 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Liberty Days, 1601 E. Sunnyside Ave., $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children 11 and under, free for children 2 and under. For more information, call 801-582-1847 or visit thisistheplace.org.
Utah's Hogle Zoo: July 4, all day, military appreciation discount, veterans and immediate family receive free admission, 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave. For more information, call 801-582-1631 or visit hoglezoo.org.
Taylorsville: Taylorsville Dayzz, through June 30. June 28, 4 p.m., carnival, $1 per ride, Valley Regional Park, 5100 S. 2700 West; 5 p.m., entertainment on small stage, Valley Regional Park, free; 8 p.m., Utah Symphony with Wasatch Cannoneers, Valley Regional Park, free. June 29, 4 p.m., carnival, Valley Regional Park, free; 6:30 p.m., Taylorsville Symphony, Valley Regional Park, free; 8 p.m., “Surf City All Stars,” Valley Regional Park, free; 10 p.m., fireworks, Valley Regional Park, free. June 30, 7 a.m., Bennion Lions Club breakfast, 5454 S. Redwood Road, $4 for adults, $3 for children; 8:20 a.m., 5K family fun run, race begins and ends at Taylorsville City Hall, 2600 W. Taylorsville Blvd., prices vary; 9 a.m., parade, route begins at 5400 S. Redwood Road and ends at 2700 N. Midwest Drive, free; 11 a.m., carnival, Valley Regional Park, free; 8 p.m., Neil Diamond Tribute concert featuring Jay White, Valley Regional Park, free; 10 p.m., fireworks, Valley Regional Park, free. For more information visit www.taylorsvilledayzz.com.
Temple Square: July 7, 7:30 p.m., Utah National Guard 23rd Army Band, Tabernacle, free. For more information, call 801-570-0080 or visit lds.org/events.
West Jordan: July 4, 10:30 a.m., Independence Day Parade, route begins at 7000 S. Redwood and ends 7800 S. 2200 West; 11 a.m., carnival, Veterans Memorial Park, 1985 W. 7800 South; free outdoor movie, Veterans Memorial Park; July 4 and 6, 7 p.m., Western Stampede Rodeo, West Jordan Arena, 8035 S. 2200 West, $12 for adults, $9 for children, $16 for reserved seats in the lower bowl; July 5, 7 p.m., Family Rodeo, West Jordan Arena, $7 for adults, $5 for children, $10 for reserved seats in the lower bowl; June 5-6, 4-10 p.m., Independence Day carnival, Veterans Memorial Park. For more information, visit westernstampede.com or wjordan.com.
Gunnison: July 3, 5:30-7:15 p.m., community dinner, City Park, $5 per person or $25 for immediate family; 6:30-7:30 p.m., Lion's Club Auction; 8:30 p.m., Restless Heart concert, fireworks to follow, Gunnison High School, 35 E. 600 South; July 4, 6-8:30 a.m., American Legion Breakfast; 8 a.m., Boy Scout flag ceremony; 9 a.m., parade, followed by activities throughout the day, City Park; 2 p.m., free swimming at city pool. For more information, visit gunnisoncity.org.
Richfield: June 30, 7 p.m., Miss Richfield Pageant, Sevier Valley Center Theater, 800 W. 200 South; July 1, 7 p.m., Patriotic Program, Sevier Valley Center Theater; July 2, 8 p.m., "A Field of Stars," Sevier Valley Center Theater; July 3, 6:30 p.m., children's parade, Richfield Tabernacle; 7 p.m., free concert featuring Billy Dean; 8 p.m., "A Field of Stars," Sevier Valley Center Theater; July 4, 6 a.m., Cannon Salute, Richfield City Park, 300 N. Main; 7 a.m., 5K Liberty Run, City Park; 7:30 a.m., Main Street parade, route begins 500 South and ends 500 North; 10:30 a.m., activities throughout the day, city park; 2 p.m., "Field of Stars," Sevier Valley Center Theater; 9:30 p.m., fireworks, West Hills of Richfield; 10:15 p.m., dance, Richfield pool, 600 W. 500 North. For more information, call 435-893-2223 or visit richfieldcity.com.
Canyons Resort: July 3, 3:30 p.m., kid's bike parade; 5 p.m., music on Mountain Stage; 7:30 p.m., Soulistics concert, Mountain Stage; 9:30 p.m., fireworks; all activities are free and located at 4000 Canyons Resort Drive, Park City. For more information, call 435-649-5400 or visit canyonsresort.com.
Deer Valley: July 7, 7:30 p.m., Utah Symphony patriotic celebration, 2250 Deer Valley Drive South, $45-$65. For more information, call 435-649-1000 or visit deervalley.com.
Park City: June 29, 8 p.m., Utah Symphony Patriotic Celebration, Sundance Resort, 8841 N. Alpine Loop Road., admission is advance is $15 for adults, $10 for students and under age 18, at the door is $20 for adults, $15 for students and under age 18; July 4, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., rugby games, lives music, barbecue, city park, 1354 Park Ave.; 10 a.m., pizza and soft drinks, city park; 11 a.m., parade; 11 a.m., Sunrise Rotary serving lunch, city park; 12 p.m., celebration throughout the day featuring music, pie-eating contest, games and children's activities, city park. For more information, call 801-533-6683 or visit utahsymphony.org or parkcity.org.
Park City Mountain Resort: July 4, 9 p.m., fireworks, 1345 Lowell Ave. For more information, visit parkcitymountain.com.
Grantsville: June 30, 7 p.m., Little Miss Grantsville Pageant, Grantsville High School Auditorium, 155 E. Cherry St.;. July 3, 6 p.m., Miss Grantsville Scholarship Pageant, Grantsville High School; July 4, 7 a.m., pancake breakfast, Grantsville Fire Station, 26 N. Center St.; 8 a.m., flag-raising ceremony, Grantsville Fire Station; 7:30 a.m., 5K scholarship run, Grantsville Fire Station; 11 a.m., parade, route begins at the cemetery on Main St and ends at Cherry St. Park; 12:30-6:30 p.m., activities, Cherry Street Park; 10 p.m., fireworks, Cherry Street Park. For more information, visit grantsvilleut.gov.
Tooele: June 30, 7 p.m., concert featuring Restless Heart and Little Texas followed by fireworks, Tooele High School football field, 301 W. Vine St., $5; June 2, 7:30 p.m., Lokalgrown concert, Tooele City Park, 200 W. Vine S.; 9 p.m., free movie, Tooele City Park; July 3, 3 p.m., karaoke contest, Tooele City Park; July 3-4, Bit & Spur Rodeo, Deseret Peak Complex, 2930 W. Highway 112, $10; July 4, 7 a.m., 5K run, begins on Skyline Drive; 7-8:30 a.m., Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Veterans Memorial Park, Main and Vine Street; 9 a.m., parade, route follows Main Street; activities and entertainment throughout the day, Tooele City Park. For more information, call 435-843-2143 or visit tooelecity.org.
Lehi: July 4, 5 p.m., vendors and concessions, Thanksgiving Point, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way; 10 p.m., fireworks. For more information, visit thanksgivingpoint.com.
Orem: June 30, 2-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Roots of Freedom, Scera Park, 600 S. State, $3. For more information visit freedomfestival.org.
Provo: June 30, 10:30 a.m., Children's Parade, route beings at 800 E. Center St. and ends at 200 E. Center St., free; July 1, 7 p.m., patriotic service, Utah Valley University UCCU Events Center, 800 W. University Parkway., free; July 2-4, times vary, Freedom Days, Utah County Government Complex, 100 W. Center St.; July 3-4, 6:30-8 a.m., Balloon Fest, Bulldog Field, 1100 N. Freedom Blvd., free; July 4, 7 a.m., Freedom Run, Kiwanis Park, 800 N. 600 East, $10-$25; 9 a.m., parade, route begins at 960 N. University Ave. and ends at Center Street and 900 E., free; 8 p.m., Stadium of Fire, LaVell Edwards Stadium, 1700 N. Canyon Road, $25-$120. For more information, call 801-818-1776 or visit freedomfestival.org.
Sundance: Utah Symphony Patriotic Celebration, June 29, 8 p.m., Sundance, 8841 Alpine Loop Road, Sundance; $15 (801-355-2787 or www.arttix.org)
Midway: June 4, 6:30 a.m., cannon firing and sunrise service with speaker; music from the Swiss Bell Ringers, the Swiss Choir and the Swiss Miss royalty to follow and Pioneer Breakfast, Towne Square Pavilion, First and Main. For more information, visit midwaycityut.org.
Ogden: June 4, 1-11 p.m., “Hot Rock'n 4th,” featuring entertainment and fireworks, Ogden Pioneer Stadium, 700 Canyon Road, $13 for adults and $7 for children in advance, $16 for adults and $10 for children day of event, children under age 3 free. For more information, visit hotrockn4th.com or smithstix.com.
Wolf Mountain: Utah Symphony patriotic concert, June 30, 8 p.m., Wolf Mountain Ski Resort, 3567 East Nordic Valley Way, Ogden; $50 per carload (801-355-2787 or www.utahsymphony.org)
St. George: July 4, 7:30 a.m., early morning breakfast; 8 a.m. parade, Vernon Worthen Park, 300 S. 400 East; 9 a.m., National Anthem in Vernon Worthen Park gazebo; 9:10 a.m., Independence Day Fun & Games Extravaganza, Vernon Worthen Park; 10 a.m., karaoke and zumba; 11 a.m., talent contest; 1 p.m., hot dog-eating contest, Vernon Worthen Park; 8 p.m., free concert, Dixie Sunbowl, 100 S. 400 East, free; 10 p.m. fireworks, Dixie Sunbowl. For more information, call 435-627-4560 or visit sgcity.org.