BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON – There’s something for everyone at this year’s Farmington Festival Days.
The celebration, which runs July 8-13, includes everything from a tennis tournament and charity motorcycle ride to a storytelling night and concert by Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band. Many of the events are free, and everyone is welcome.
“This is our mayor’s last year, and we’re excited to send him out with a bang,” said Stefanie Gallagher, the city’s arts and special events coordinator.
The week begins with a children’s bike parade at 7:30 p.m. at Forbush Park, followed at dusk with a showing of the new movie “Rise of the Guardians.” Residents are welcome to bring either blankets or lawn chairs.
The tennis tournament will be held Tuesday, July 9, at Ranches Park, followed on Wednesday by a family bike race at 100 North and 100 East. On Thursday, July 10, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament begins at 5 p.m. at Forbush Park. A night of storytelling will begin at 6:30 p.m. the same night at the Community Arts Center.
A new addition to the celebration, a charity motorcycle ride, will start Friday, July 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Forbush Park. The ride will benefit breast cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and hopefully draw some new faces to the festival.
“We wanted to appeal to a new group of residents,” said Gallagher.
Saturday is the busiest day of the celebration, starting with races at 6 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. Breakfast is served at Forbush Park beginning at 7 a.m., with the parade starting at 10 a.m. at the corner of 500 N. and Main Street.
In accordance with this year’s theme, “Farmington City Superheroes,” former POW Jay Hess will be the Grand Marshall of this year’s parade. Hess was a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam after he was shot down on August 24, 1967. He was released on March 14, 1973.
“We’ve been trying to get him to do it for years, but he’s one of those very humble people who don’t see themselves as a hero in any way, shape or form,” said Gallagher. “But there’s really no better year for him to do it.”
Following the parade, festival booths will open up in Forbush Park starting at noon. Free ice cream will be given away starting at 6 p.m. and going until organizers run out. Following that will be the festival’s headlining concert, Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band. The show begins at 6:30 p.m., and admission is free.
“We’re really excited,” said Gallagher. “Getting them was a big deal for us.”
Festival booths will be open until 10 p.m., when fireworks will go off in the skies above Forbush Park. Immediately following the fireworks, there will be a dance for youth ages 14-18 at the Community Arts Center.
For specific times and details of all events, visit farmington.utah.gov and click on the “Special Events” tab on the left-hand side of the page.