If fireworks are the candles on the Fourth of July cake, Utahns will celebrate America's 212th birthday in grand style Monday evening.
Brilliant rockets and thundering shells - hundreds more than one for each year since 1776 when patriots signed the Declaration of Independence - will explode over Sugarhouse Park in a grand salute to the good ol' US of A.Hosting the spectacular pyrotechnics to climax an evening of sights and sounds will be the Deseret News and Salt Lake City Parks and Recreation Department in cooperation with the Sugarhouse Park Authority.
Traditionally, the Deseret News has sponsored the major Independence Day fireworks at either Derks Field or the University of Utah's Rice Stadium. But thousands of people have been turned away each year due to limited space in both stadiums.
So this year the rockets will be fired from the "sleighriding hill" in the southwest corner of the spacious park at 21st South and 13th East. Parking is available in the park, at Highland High School to the east on Simpson Avenue to the west.
Utahns are invited to pack a lunch, come to the park in the late afternoon or early evening, watch skydivers, enjoy bluegrass music and climax the evening with a sky full of thundering mortar shells and fiery rockets.
Kicking off the activities will be members of the Cedar Valley Skydiving Club as they "drop in" at 8:15 p.m. After they land, music by the Rick Martinez bluegrass band will entertain until the fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
As the Sugarhouse fireworks begin, they will signal the start of smaller city-sponsored displays at Raging Waters and Riverside Park.
Everyone is guaranteed a "good seat" this year - either on the lawn with a blanket or on comfortable lawn chairs. There will be no "gates" to lock out those arriving late as in the past.
Reservations for park terraces have not been accepted for the Fourth of July; therefore, they will be open to those who prefer picnic tables instead of a blanket on the lawn.