Youth, not Diamond Rio, the real stars of Freedom Fire

Grammy Award-winning country music group Diamond Rio, the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra, John Jacobson’s America Sings!, and spectacular fireworks by Al Burns’ Fireworks West International. Those are just some of the components of what Utah State University Caine College of the Arts Dean Craig Jessop calls, “the greatest patriotic celebration Cache Valley has ever experienced.” The so-called Freedom Fire spectacular will be held Friday, July 1 in USU’s Romney Stadium and for the first time this year Logan City has partnered with the university to present the celebration and firework display. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Monday, Jessop, founder and director of the American Festival Chorus, said the most exciting part for him is the youth. “I think the real star of this show is going to be the youth of this valley,” Jessop said. “We’ll have 700 young people between the ages of 10 and 18. They have been learning their music. “They will come together for the very first time on Thursday and rehearse all day long with an incredible, talented gentleman John Jacobson, who was with Disney productions for years and is the administrator and artistic director of an organization called America Sings!.” Jessop said that the large youth performance is not just about singing. “All of these young people are bringing a canned item of food because John always does a service project,” he continued. “All this will go to the Logan food bank. So not only will they be performing but serving as well.” Logan Parks and Recreation Director Russ Akina says only such a partnership like this between the city and university could make such a celebration happen. Stadium gates open at 6 p.m. and the pre-show includes local talent and a flyover by the Utah National Guard. The fireworks program will not be broadcast on local radio. However, the Cache Valley Media Group of stations will be broadcasting their own patriotic programming to go along with the fireworks display.

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