Moab to celebrate Fourth of July with annual parade, park festival
by Jeff Richards
contributing writer
Jun 28, 2012 | 5995 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Moab’s annual Fourth of July parade features individuals utilizing a wide variety of modes of transportation. Last year’s event included miniature horses pulling carts festooned in red, white and blue.
Photo by Jeff Richards
Moab’s annual Fourth of July parade features individuals utilizing a wide variety of modes of transportation. Last year’s event included miniature horses pulling carts festooned in red, white and blue. Photo by Jeff Richards
  Moab’s annual Fourth of July celebration will begin next Wednesday with a parade in the morning and conclude with a traditional fireworks show at dusk. In between, activities at Swanny City Park and the city swimming pool promise plenty of holiday fun for area residents.

  The midweek extravaganza will kick off with a short half-mile parade that begins at the corner of 400 North and 500 West, in front of the MC’s On the Corner convenience store. The 15- to 20-minute parade will proceed eastward down 400 North to Swanny City Park.

  Line-up and staging will start at 8:30 a.m., with the parade scheduled to begin at 9:30, according to longtime parade organizer Jim Thuesen, who typically dresses as Uncle Sam for the event.

  Parade participants are invited to join in the fun by walking, riding a bike, or using some other means of transportation, he said.

  “Come join us in your best patriotic garb,” Thuesen said. He noted that many participants enjoy adorning their bikes and other vehicles with red, white, and blue decorations.

  Registration is not required to participate in the parade, but entrants are asked to be mindful that it is a family-oriented event.

  “Regardless of our personal politics or opinions, this is a celebration of the beginnings of our country,” Thuesen said, adding that parade organizers reserve the right to ban any entry deemed inappropriate.

  Participants who belong to large or specialized groups (dancers, bands, horse riders, etc.) or who have special requests should contact Thuesen at 260-1710 or via email at no later than Friday, June 29.

  The parade is scheduled to round the northeast corner of Swanny City Park, located at 100 West and 400 North, then head one more block south until arriving at Turner Lumber, across from the southeast corner of the park.

  “It’s a short parade, so almost anyone can participate. Just make sure to bring plenty of water,” said Kammy Wells, director of the Moab Area Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the July 4 festival at Swanny City Park. That event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  Among the planned activities at the park are horse and mule rides, a watermelon eating contest, and a variety of games and booths with prizes for children. Volunteers are being sought to help with the booths, and commercial vendors can purchase a booth spot from the chamber for $40, Wells said.

  Wells said that while several groups have already been scheduled to perform, organizers are still looking for other musical acts, dancers, and performers to take the stage during the four-hour event.  

  Those willing to help with the Fourth of July activities or who are interested in performing or having a booth are asked to contact the chamber office at 259-7814 or via email at

  As the Swanny City Park celebration winds down in the heat of the day, the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center will host a free community open swim on July 4 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. The center will then close early on the holiday, city recreation officials said.

  Later that evening, after folks have had the opportunity to cool off at the pool and enjoy a picnic or barbecue supper, the red hills east of Moab (off Sand Flats Road) will once again become the stage for the annual fireworks show funded by Grand County.

The fireworks, scheduled to start at 10 p.m., will be choreographed to music, and local radio listeners can tune in to 104.1 FM or 102.1 FM to hear the accompaniment.

Fire and fireworks

restrictions remain in place

  Residents are reminded that a statewide ban on all personal fireworks remains in effect for all public and unincorporated private lands, even though it excludes incorporated areas.

“We will be strictly enforcing that ban,” said Grand County Sheriff Steve White of the statewide fire restrictions covering unincorporated areas. “It’s just too dry out there. We want everyone to have a fun Fourth of July but to stay safe as well.”

Moab city already has its own fire and fireworks restrictions in place, which include a complete ban on fireworks, smoking, open fires, and combustible materials in all incorporated areas of the city within 150 feet of either Mill Creek or Pack Creek. Violation of those restrictions carries a possible penalty of up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail, city officials said.

  “We just want everyone to have a fun, safe holiday,” said Phil Mosher, public information officer for the Moab Valley Fire Protection District. “We recommend that you don’t light any personal fireworks at all, even if you are within city limits. But if you do, make sure you are in a safe area, away from combustible materials, and that you have someplace to put them out, like a bucket of water.”

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