While all of our kids were celebrating elsewhere Dad/Rick and I had so much fun celebrating at the traditional 4th of July celebration in Paris, Idaho. Having been raised in Montpelier, Idaho, the biggest city in Bear Lake Valley (pop. 2, 842) this was a tradition when I was a child and it was a delight to be back. We caught the end of the Chuck Wagon Breakfast, which is such a treat….once a year. Eggs, sausage, pancakes and hash browns slathered with syrup brought back memories of those great farm breakfast my mom used to cook for our family before our day of hard work (and music practice) on the farm in the summers.
This is probably the best little 4th of July celebration in the West! After breakfast we enjoyed a wonderful patriotic musical program in the historic tabernacle on Main Street. Many of my ancestors helped to build this beautiful edifice. In fact one of my relatives from that era fell off the roof during construction and died.
It was so great to feel the spirit of patriotism literally crammed with holiday revelers into that gorgeous old pioneer tabernacle, which for the first time, was air conditioned. Even when we were sweltering in the heat, the program was always terrific. It was so fun to hear heartfelt, patriotic songs from the choir and the amazing talent that the Bear Lake Valley has to offer.
(Although the teenager up in the right corner doesn’t look too thrilled)…
Look at this gorgeous inlaid ceiling, done with love by pioneer craftsmen:
And the organ loft:
Even a stained-glass window in the back.
Ice Cream, a fun parade complete with the Bear Lake High School marching band and “Lakettes” as well as a plethora of candy throwers to the delight of the children made it a perfect celebration!
All fireworks across the valley had been banned except for one designated spot in Montpelier because of the extreme fire danger. We were actually very happy to hear that after our experience last week with the vanquishing of our cabin by a wildfire in Southern Utah last week (see previous post).
SO we headed back to Park City with the hope that we could find two tickets for the famous Oakley Rodeo which was sort of on our way home. We had heard so much about this rodeo over the years and even though most people order their tickets a year in advance, Dad/Rick worked his magic and just happened to find someone who had two extra tickets at the gate.
It was a stellar rodeo, complete with a giant screen at the end of the arena where we could watch replays and riders as they came out of the shoots up close and personal!
The clowns were….the clowns as usual. Entertaining the audience with their little “acts” and saving cowboy’s lives during the bull rides!
These cowboys are totally crazy! There is no way I was going to get a clear picture of those wild bulls going crazy with a cowboy on their back. At least this guy had the good sense to wear a helmet instead of a cowboy hat!
There goes that guy:
Sam and Chelsia and their little family just happened to be sitting on the row behind us. All of those thousands of people, what luck!
It was truly a spectacular Fourth of July!