Hundreds of rockets spewing fiery colors and thundering salutes in the skies above the Salt Lake Valley Monday evening will be Utah's way of saying, "Happy Birthday, America!"
Utahns join Americans everywhere in celebrating the nation's birth 212 years ago on July 4, 1776. And there will be plenty of excitement throughout the Salt Lake Valley to help celebrate.One of the largest fireworks displays, sponsored by the Deseret News and Salt Lake City Parks and Recreation Dept., will be at Sugarhouse Park at dusk. The activities begin at 8:15 p.m. when eight members of the Cedar Valley Skydiving Club drop from the skies to land in the park. After they land, music by the Rick Martinez bluegrass band will entertain until the fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
Fireworks also are scheduled at other locations throughout the valley, and the expected throngs may be causing headaches for area law officers.
Traffic officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department and University of Utah campus police met recently to coordinate efforts in directing the heavy traffic as thousands of motorists leave for home from various programs.
"If we can get the drivers to follow instructions from the officers, we can move the traffic more effectively," said Capt. John Bywater, division commander. "There are always a few motorists who try to go in the opposite direction from what we tell them. It just slows up everyone."
The Utah Highway Patrol also will patrol along I-80 near Sugarhouse Park to prevent motorists from pulling off into the emergency lanes to watch the fireworks.