Summer is in full swing, and the city has yet to find a host for its annual July 4th celebration.
“It’s not happening in Moab; no one is stepping up to host,” said Mayor Emily Niehaus at the May 8 Moab City Council meeting.
Considering the lack of resident interest in hosting the event, Niehaus and Council Member Karen Guzman-Newton decided to do something. “We wanted to see if we wanted to step up and do more than fireworks,” Niehaus explained as she brought the idea to the council.
Not all council members were interested in the idea. “It’s my least favorite holiday,” Tawny Knuteson-Boyd remarked. “I wish the fireworks would go away.” Others were less averse to the proposal. “I’m open to the discussion,” Mike Duncan said.
“I’m open to ideas but I haven’t given it any thought,” added Kalen Jones.
Guzman-Newton championed the idea, explaining, “We were thinking of having something potentially at the ball field with a band and close the street so that we can have a city resident celebration.”
The council debated the details of the occasion but seemed to warm to the idea of a celebration focused on catering to locals. Niehaus laid out a picturesque scene of the proposed event, saying, “The idea is having music, opening up the ball field, having a 4th of July celebration ... maybe there’s some baseball, vendors, and fireworks.”
“I support that if a committee could develop a proposal and maybe we could put a little money in the budget for that,” Jones added.
Concerns were raised about the use of the space and the proximity of the event, which would take place on a Wednesday, to one of the farmers market’s summer concert series events in Swanny Park, scheduled for just two days later.
“A lot of the residents have been talking about how they are excited about this because San Juan County has a Fourth of July celebration,” Niehaus argued.
The council made no conclusive decision but planned to continue discussion on the topic. “We’ll think about it,” concluded Duncan.