PLAIN CITY -- The Fourth of July fun kicked off early in this community with a children's parade at 8:30 a.m.
Kids proudly pedalled on decorated bicycles, while many dressed in red, white and blue. Then, the city's main parade began, complete with fire trucks from the Plain City Fire Department, the Weber County Sheriff's Department and mounted posse, and a sign announcing the celebration was a way to "Get Back to Our Roots."
George and Coleen Cook were the grand marshals of the parade, and were followed by a variety of floats, the Fremont High School marching band and drill teams, as well as cheerleaders from both Fremont and Wahlquist Junior High School.
A special feature for this year's parade was the four national trucking companies -- Swift Transportation, England Transportation, Pride Transportation and Knight Transportation -- each of whom began in Plain City. Each company showed off a gleaming semi-trailer and truck for the parade.
The winners of the annual dog show also rode in the parade, showing surprisingly good manners considering all the noise and excitement. Yet another float featured a baby calf and chickens, representing the Utah State University 4-H program.
Candy was tossed by the handfulls from floats, tractors, trucks and recreational vehicles to the eagerly waiting children who lined the streets. The children came prepared for the candy and were armed with bags and baskets to collect their loot. Blow up balls and popsicles were also tossed to the crowd.
One mother went the extra mile to prepare her three little daughters for the day, hand-crafting a dress for each -- one in red, one in white and the other blue -- with matching flip-flops with ribbon ties and matching hair ribbons. Mother Tiffany Hancock said creating the patriotic outfits was a good way to pass her time, and Natalie, Evie and Kate certainly fit in with the festivities.
A car show was also part of the celebration, as was mud volleyball, Hillbilly Bingo and a fish scramble.
A fitting finish to the day of celebration were the fireworks that lit up the night time sky.
Freedom and fun in the sun were featured at this year's Freedom Festival. The day kicked off with an early morning breakfast and parade, while the temperatures were still in the 70s.
The parade's grand marshals were Mayor Jimmie Papageorge and his wife Kay.
Papageorge was honored for his many years of service to the city. He has continued to serve in that role despite struggling with health problems this year.
Starting at 7 a.m. was a 5K run and 2-mile walk. Booths were set up following the parade and craft items were sold. Snow cones were a popular attraction as the temperatures soared.
The evening festivities began with dinner, which included a succulent Souvlaki dinner, with pita bread, salad and tender poultry on a skewer. It also included a dessert.
The Souvlaki dinner, which Mayor Papageorge and his family, as well as many volunteers, put plenty of time and energy into, has become a favorite tradition for many in Farr West. This was evident by the many families waiting in the nearby picnic area long before the meal began to be served at 5 p.m.
Following dinner, awards were given to winners of the golf and tennis tournaments as well as the baby contest.
As the warm evening continued, residents gazed skyward to enjoy sky divers, who landed in the east end of Mountain View Park. The evening concluded with a beautiful blaze of fireworks.