Photography is by Scot Facer Proctor and text by Maurine Proctor.
It is easy for those of us who live in the United States to take freedom for granted because we have lived in a country that has experienced more than 200 years of unparalleled liberty that most of humanity through the millennia of time have never experienced.
Yet liberty is a fragile thing that has to be held onto and fought for, especially in a time when for 25 years universities have taught a version of our history that is critical of our founding, and celebrities and intellectual elites sometimes claim that America is not worth celebrating.
That’s why Provo, Utah’s American Freedom Festival is not just a breath of fresh air, but a significant commitment by a community that seeks to celebrate, teach, honor and strengthen the traditional American values of family, freedom, God and country.
People who experience the nearly 25 events that the festival sponsors each year know that here are hand-over-your-heart patriots who teach and honor America’s founding principles, an important message in a world where cynicism seems rampant even among those who have most benefited from a nation that embraces freedom.
Among the Festival’s events is the annual production of the award-winning “Hope of America Student Showcase,” where thousands of elementary school children learn songs, dances and information about their American heritage, then participate in a large-scale performance at BYU’s Marriott Center for community members and family.
The culminating event of the festival of the Stadium of Fire on the Fourth of July where tens of thousands of spectators fill LaVell Edwards stadium in Provo to be awed by fireworks and stirred by devotion to freedom. Join in the festival in this photographic essay.
“Tonights show is the culmination of more than 100,000 hours of preparation by hundreds of volunteers,” said Paul Warner, Executive Director of America’s Freedom Festival. This equals more than 11 years.
Joining the show tonight is Scotty McCreery, country music sensation and winner of the tenth season of American Idol.
Scotty McCreery released his new album, Clear as Day, in October to national acclaim. The album sold 197,000 copies on its debut week, and McCreery made history as the first country act to debut at No. 1 on Billboard 200 with his or her first studio album, as well as the youngest man to open at the top of the chart with his debut release. Tonight he plans to perform hits like “The Trouble With Girls”, “Water Tower Town” and “I Love You This Big”.
Sounding as good as ever, the Beach Boys dazzled the crowd. They are one of the world’s most legendary and iconic bands and are touring the nation celebrating their 50th anniversary.
This year marks the first time in more than two decades that Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks are performing together.
Tonight’s anniversary show is not just a reunion for The Beach Boys, however. The group came to Stadium of Fire exactly 20 years ago, wowing the audience with their electric performance. It was one of the most popular shows in Stadium of Fire history.
<hr class=’system-pagebreak’ /><hr class=’system-pagebreak’ />jpg” height=”394″ width=”590″ />The music was so compelling the crowd had to dance along. Everyone was feeling those “good vibrations.”