" . . . It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more . . . "
John Adams would not have been disappointed. In Utah and elsewhere, celebrants took his 212-year-old suggestion on the proper way to celebrate the nation's birthday.Thousands of Utahns paid tribute to America's independence at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City. There were sky divers. There was music. And, of course, there was lots of fireworks.
One sky diver was hospitalized with a broken ankle suffered during the sky-diving demonstration. Kurt Shoulders, 36, a member of the Cedar Valley Skydiving Club, suffered a fracture to his right ankle after his parachute malfunctioned, forcing him to land hard approximately 9:15 p.m. He was listed in stable condition at St. Mark's Hospital.
Despite that rocky beginning, the rest of the evening came off without a hitch. The crowds filled the park with plenty of "oohs" and "ahs" as a brilliant display of fireworks and thundering rockets filled the evening sky.
Hosted by the Deseret News, Salt Lake City Parks and Rec-reation Department and Sugarhouse Park Authority, the fireworks display began with the demonstration by eight sky divers. After the guests "dropped in," the park was filled with the tunes of the Rick Martinez bluegrass band until the sun set and the long-awaited fireworks began.
The lawns and terraces of Sugarhouse Park were packed with Utahns who, like many Americans, celebrated the country's independence with a big bang.