Ambassadors prepare for the Fourth
Independence Day the celebration of America’s freedom on July 4 brings images of fireworks, parades and barbecues.
Main Street will be crowded next Tuesday with floats, celebrating spectators and music. Oblivious to the masses however, are the people who keep the festivity’s pulse pumping. For the last 28 years the Park City Ambassadors have been organizing the city’s Fourth of July events.
"We’re invisible," said Bill Daniloff, this year’s parade chairman of the Park City Ambassadors. "It’s the biggest thing that we do."
Spotted throughout the crowd will be ambassador volunteers in red polo shirts. They’ve been planning the parade — on their own dime — since last fall, a party which grows every year.
"It’s becoming a huge project, it’s not quite the Rose Bowl, but it’s big," Daniloff said. "We think we’re putting on the biggest party of the year."
In the last month, Daniloff, who also works full time running his own business, is working tirelessly to present a quality celebration.
"I’m putting in probably 40 hours a week in June," Daniloff said.
Throughout the year, Daniloff, co-chair Saundi Stone, co-chair Kathy Herschberg and other volunteers meticulously organize the event. They do everything from staging, handling crowd control, booking and securing entertainment, managing the parade, serving food and beverages and cleaning up afterward.
"We have to apply for a number of licenses, coordinate with the city, police and the fire department. We’re loaned radios and golf carts. We hire private security, print posters, fliers, rent Port-o-Johns; we have to apply for a mass-gathering permit, coordinate a fly-over with the Pentagon; all of which takes countless volunteering man hours," Daniloff said.
The parade selection is a hefty work of its own. Those that are shunned often get heated with the Ambassadors, according to Daniloff.
"We send out over 800 parade applications," Daniloff said. "From which we select 60, based upon the theme of the parade. The criteria is the entertainment value and how well they match the theme. This year’s theme is ‘Park City Home Town USA.’"
A large part of their work is raising money to hold the event.
"We do a large campaign to solicit donations," Daniloff said. "We pay for most of our stuff from the sale of coke, beer and pizza at the parade. The city is kind enough to waive their fees for an event like this. The city fees could be up to $40,000 for an event like this. It is a tremendous amount of work to get the word out and get everything into place. Our group is small, the event is getting bigger, but we’re not."
Some of the complaints the Ambassadors hear is not having a marching band and to keep the parade moving. This year, steps have been taken to keep the parade flowing quickly. The budget the group has keeps them from hiring a professional marching band and the Park City High School doesn’t have a marching band to put together for this event, according to Daniloff.
The Ambassadors also fill their time with some play.
"The Ambassadors are a social group and filled with residents who enjoy Park City and want to get involved and learn about the city’s history. We line up community events, speakers and tour the city."
The Ambassadors are always looking for business sponsors and volunteers, for more information on the Park City Ambassadors or July 4 events, call 731-3636.
Here are the order of events:
At 7 a.m. on July 4, the Boy Scouts from various troops in Park City will put on a pancake breakfast from 7-10 a.m.
At 10 a.m. there will be bands performing at Miner’s Park and the Kimball Arts Center.
There will be two F-16 fly-overs. The F-16 wake-up call will fly over Main Street at 9 a.m., and then will repeat the fly-over at 11 a.m. to start the parade.
The parade starts at the top of Main Street and ends at the main entrance of City Park, via Park Ave.
The Sunrise Rotary will provide lunch in the park at 11:30 a.m. There will be entertainment in the park and a small celebration with the grand marshals signing autographs following the parade. Throughout the day, there will be rugby and volleyball tournaments in the park.
The Motherlode Canyon Band will play at City Park at noon. The Salt Lake City Saints and musicians with Swedish alpine horns will perform at random spots throughout the park.
Throughout the day, the Park City Ambassadors will be selling beer, soft drinks and pizza. Last year they sold 350 pizzas. All persons will have to show I.D. to purchase beer.
The festivities will wrap up in the park between 4-4:30 p.m.
Closures and parking information:
Park Ave. will be closed to parking at 10 a.m.
Sullivan Lane, the road that runs through City Park, will be closed at 6:30 a.m., only Sullivan Lane residents will be able to access it. China Bridge is available for parking and should be accessed by Marsac.
The Park City Trolley welcomes military veterans to ride the trolley in the parade. Those interested should meet in Swede Alley before 10:45 a.m. The trolley is No. 57.
There will be no parking in City Park on the evening of July 3 through July 4.
There will be free public parking available at Deer Valley and a free bus service to the events. Daniloff suggests most people should park there.
Here are the times for the Fourth of July events in Oakley:
June 30 at 8 p.m. is the PRCA rodeo followed by fireworks.
July 1 at 7 a.m. the Oakley City Hall will hold a breakfast.
July 1 at 9 a.m. will be a co-ed softball tournament. Contact Jonelle Fitzgerald at (435) 783-5823 for more information.
July 1 at 11 a.m. is the indoor arena horse pulls. Admission is $5, $3 for children.
July 1 at 8 p.m. is the PRCA rodeo followed by fireworks and a street dance in front of the indoor arena, the band will be Grand Junction.
July 3 at 8 p.m. is the PRCA rodeo followed by fireworks.
July 4 at 10 a.m. is the parade on Center Street and S.R. 32. There will be a patriotic program immediately following the parade at the Old City Park building at 911 West Center Street.
July 4 at 12:30 p.m. is the junior rodeo sign-up at the new arena.
July 4 at 1 p.m. is the junior rodeo and kids activities at the new arena.
July 4 at 8 p.m. is the final PRCA rodeo followed by fireworks.
For more information on Oakley events, visit http://www.oakleycity.com/rodeo
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Park City residents will have two more opportunities to take advantage of free rapid testing for COVID-19 early next week.