WEST JORDAN — Hundreds of families lined both sides of Redwood Road from 7000 South to 8000 South on Thursday to remember and celebrate the day delegates from the first 13 colonies of the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence.
The West Jordan Stampede Grand Parade celebrated its 65th anniversary with colorful floats, marching bands and a F-35 flyover.
For many it's a day to honor family members who served or are serving their nation. "People should know that freedom isn't free, there's a cost to it," said Wendy Nicholes, who said she's been coming to the parade for 25 years.
Her favorite part of the celebration, she said, is watching her husband — a vetran walk by. "It just makes me proud. I'm proud of the sacrifices we made," she said, noting that the moment for her was "bittersweet."
"It's tough on the families, when your person is deployed, and it's definitely tough on them — the person that is deployed. You know, there's a sacrifice to being away from your family."
The sight of the F-35s flying over the parade brough back memories for some vetrans.
"I worked on the F-16s in the Air Force, so hearing that they were gonna have a flyover, we were very excited for that," said Ben Clark, noting that the sight of the aircrafts "brought back all those emotions and memories of serving, and it was hard to hold that back, I just started crying."
As kids lined up along the side of the street to catch candy launched from the parade's floats, many parents said it reminded them of when they used to do the same. Indicating her young daughter, Jen Clark, Ben Clark's wife, said, "I watch her doing what I remember doing, and now I get to see what my parents felt like watching me."
For some, attending the parade is about honoring their heritage.
"Piping is a great thing for our family and for the Scots," said James Barclay, who played the Scottish pipes in the parade along with his nephew and his cousin's son.
Barclay noted that his grandfather, Robert Barclay, began the tradition. "He wanted a presence in the Days of '47, a Scottish presence," he said, noting that his grandfather had also "wanted his boys to be busy so they didn't get involved with the rowdy boys."
"These pipes I'm holding right here, (Robert Barclay) purchased for his youngest son, and these are a hundred years old now," said Barclay who is now teaching the family's seventh generation to play the pipes.
Similarly to the Barclays, the parade was a chance for members of the Sikh Community of Utah to come out and share parts of their culture and religion with their neighbors.
"We have these bottles of water today that we will be distributing across the audience," said Vikram Kalsi. "That's what we have been taught in our Sikh faith. That whatever you have you share with others."
Also with the Utah Sikh community was Rupinter Singh, who said that the occasion was a chance to educate the community and dispel myths about the Sikh religion and culture.Comment on this story
"I think there are a lot of parts in the U.S. where our community is misidentified as some other religion," he said, adding that it was important for him that "the world sees what we are, instead of just looking at our beard or turban and profiling us."
While many came out early in the morning to set up, Teuila Alo and her family drove by Monday to stake out first-row seats under the shade of a tree.
"We love West Jordan. We've lived here for like 30 years, so we're out here enjoying (the parade) with my whole family" she said pointing to a large congregation of 25 members of her family originally from Samoa.