So many choices, so little time.
Still undecided about how to celebrate America’s birthday? Why not do it all?
Or, at the very least, try it all.
If you’re willing to put roughly 150 miles on your vehicle this Independence Day, we offer a step-by-step, dawn-to-dark guide to enjoying a sampling of just about everything Northern Utah’s communities have to offer on Independence Day:
• 6 a.m., RIVERDALE — Start the day off with a literal bang. Be on hand for the traditional cannon blast (it’s actually an air-burst firework) as officials manage to awaken a good portion of the city each year. And as long as you’re there, stick around for the Sunrise Service and Flag Raising Ceremony at 7 a.m. in the Riverdale Park amphitheater, 4300 S. Parker Drive. The speaker will be resident Stacie Andersen, whose husband recently returned from an 11-month deployment to Iraq.
• 7:30 a.m., LAYTON — If you insist on doing a July 4th race, we suggest heading for this city’s annual “More Fun, Less Run” event (They had us at “Less Run”). The 1-mile course, designed for young runners and families, includes five activity stations along the way. It’s held in Layton Commons Park, 465 Wasatch Drive.
• 8:30 a.m., CLEARFIELD — After working up an appetite at the fun run, it’s off to Clearfield City’s Pancake Breakfast, which runs until 10 a.m. at Kent’s Market, 580 S. State St. Cost is $7 per person, $3 for ages 8 and younger, or $25 for a family of six. And it’s for a good cause, with all proceeds going to fund a veterans memorial in Clearfield.
• 10 a.m., KAYSVILLE — Sorry, no time for seconds at the pancake breakfast, as we’re off to Kaysville for that city’s parade, F-35 flyover and … COMMUNITY WATER FIGHT! Come armed, as the fire department usually brings out the big guns. The fun takes place along Main Street in downtown Kaysville.
• 12:30 p.m., NORTH OGDEN — What’s Independence Day without a little coveting of other people’s sweet rides? Head for North Ogden’s Cherry Days festivities and the Kiwanis Car Show, set up next to North Ogden Park, 2705 N. 550 East.
• 2 p.m., MORGAN — With the afternoon heating up, cool off by heading up Weber Canyon for the annual cardboard boat regatta on a relatively gentle stretch of the Weber River. The race is followed by river activities there, near the Morgan County Fairgrounds, 750 E. Como Springs Road.
• 4 p.m., HUNTSVILLE — On your way back down the canyon, you may as well swing up over Trappers Loop to catch the tail end of the annual Mountain Arts & Music Festival in the idyllic little town of Huntsville. It’s being held in Huntsville Square, 7355 E. 200 South, and features original fine art, live music, hands-on children’s art and activities, and a community art display.
• 6 p.m., WEST POINT — By now, you’re probably getting hungry. And while there’s no shortage of food for sale at most of the places you’re visiting, we suggest heading for the Picnic in the Park at Loy Blake Park, 550 N. 3500 West. While residents eat free, visitors pay a mere $2 for the picnic.
• 8 p.m., LAYTON — What’s a Fourth of July celebration without a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with cannons? Drive back to Layton for a performance by the New American Philharmonic in the Kenley Amphitheater, 403 N. Wasatch Drive.
• 10 p.m., CLEARFIELD — While you could stay in Layton for the concluding fireworks, you could also travel next door to Clearfield’s Fisher Park (934 S. 1000 East) for what’s billed as the “second-biggest fireworks display in Northern Utah.”
• 10:30 p.m., WEST POINT — And finally, since you’ve come this far you may as well go all the way. If you don’t have to work on Friday, consider backtracking to Loy Blake Park to end the night with a late-night outdoor movie. Although city officials still hadn’t decided on a title — just two days before the event — whatever they’re showing is sure to be the perfect ending to an epic Independence Day celebration.