Oneida County celebrates our country with a variety of community events
As always, Malad hosted a weekend of fun events to celebrate the 4th of July weekend. The valley has been filled with many travelers this past week and weekend to take part in annual activities to celebrate America.
The children began the weekend events on July 2 with the Children’s Parade. Following its typical route along Main Street from the Drive Inn and then Bannock to Malad City Park, children and parents navigated the street on bicycles, ATVs and other recreational vehicles. Their vehicles were adorned with Fourth of July decorations and American flags to commemorate the holiday.
Activities at the park began with the Snake River New Horizons Band performing at the amphitheater prior to the Malad’s Got Talent preliminaries. The band performed covers of popular songs such as Sweet Caroline, Brown Eyed Girl, a medley of Beatles songs and many more.
The Malad’s Got Talent preliminaries featured plenty of great talent with plenty of singers, dancers, and musicians, as well as a drummer and even a Color Guard routine. Judges for the event included Tami Smith, Kevin Jeppesen and Christie Oja. They scored participants in several categories to determine which five from each age group would qualify for Monday’s Final 4.
At the end of the opening night of Malad’s Got Talent, the crowd moved to Bannock Street in front of City Hall to listen to the music of the band Rough Stock. The band members are Harry Sherman, Jimi James Schaub, Elly Peterson, Trent Porter and Terry Morris. They performed a fun mix of country music perfect for singing and dancing. The street dance attracted many community members eager to enjoy the music and the leg shake. Swing dancing, line dancing and even a Conga line punctuated the evening.
The 4th of July celebration started early with the cannonade, fun run and pancake breakfast.
The inhabitants of the Malad region were awakened by the six o’clock cannons which announced the beginning of the festivities in the Valley. Afterwards, community members had the opportunity to join the Fun Run organized by the Malad Distinguished Young Women’s program.
The Independence Day Parade was filled with floats emblazoned with this year’s theme: ‘There’s No Place Like Home’. Many floats focused on popular Malad locations like Boot Lane, popular local activities like camping, and popular local legends like Bigfoot. Hundreds of candy enthusiasts and well-wishers lined the streets as the parade moved through town, stopping at the Veterans’ Memorial to honor the flag and those who had lost their lives in its service.
This year’s Grand Marshals were Gary and Sherma Shepherd. The pioneer honored was Janice Goddard. Bill Neal was named an Honored Veteran. Roxanne Albretson, Dotty Evanson and Carla Williams were named Volunteers of the Year.
The Commissioner’s Award went to Hess Lumber’s Bigfoot tank. Hess Pumice’s “Country Roads Take me Home” float won the competition. Edith’s Collective won the Mayor’s Award. Daisy Hollow won the judge’s award.
Throughout the busy weekend, Malad City Park hosted a variety of performers, vendors and activities.
This year’s shootout took a slightly different form than usual, as Jeff Richins and Brian Jeppsen chose not to shoot each other in typical Old West fashion. Richins explained that in light of recent gun violence and other events, it would be appropriate to focus on a shared belief in patriotism. Once the “sheriff” and the “outlaw” discovered that they were both patriots at heart, they led the crowd in a chorus of “Proud to be an American.”
At Malad City Park this year, the annual children’s races were held. There were several different divisions based on crawlers up to 13s. People gathered in a crowd to watch the children run and cheered them on. Many children participated in the races and many family members were there to support them.
Once each runner completed their race, they received a popsicle for their participation. Winners in each age group received a gold dollar.
Due to the eventful nature of the event, these results are not entirely complete. First place winners: 0-1 Aurora Ward; 1 year (girl) Courtlyn Kent, (boy) Everett Walker; Gwen Palmer, 2, Jett Neal; Indie Ray Jensen, 3, Xavier Davis; Kendyl Ward, 4; Briar Palmer, 5, Ridge Wise; Liberty Charles, 6, Beckham Hess; Brynlee Ketchell, 7, Colton Van Damme; Sandy McKinney, 8, Asher Hess; Kollins Vaughan, 9, Declan Summers; Maisy Geddes, 10, Asher Morriss; Aleah Seamons, 11, Padden Neilson; Mariah Redmond, 12, Nolan Haskett.
The annual Leap Frog competition was held at City Park. The winner of the contest received the traveling frog statue which he will return next year. It was a great race and they had a lot of great competitors. A team took the lead quickly. The race winners were Tayson Davis, Braylin Tripp and Jace Williams. The three boys got together after the race to celebrate and lift the trophy for all to see.
tug of war
For this year’s tug of war competition, there were two divisions. There was a children’s division and an adult division. For the children’s division, the winners were Elle Angell, Karlee Blaisdell, Brielle Bastian, Katie Palmer, Sam Schrenk and Aezlyn Summers. For the adult division, the winners were Josh Davis, Braxton Hess, Skylar Hunsaker, Trevor Jones, Wacey Jones, Zakk McKinney and Shae Neal.
Water hockey, which was played on a soaked tarp with haockey sticks, was used as a fundraiser by the wrestling team to help teammate Dylan Moss. Dylan recently had a dirt bike accident and his teammates wanted to raise money to help him and his family pay his medical bills.
The kickball tournament brought together teams of all ages to compete for the title. Those over 14 competed in the older division while the children had their own game. Two teams of young adults competed first, then two teams of adults. The children’s game was boys against girls. It was a relaxed and fun event as scores weren’t officially kept. Spectators enjoyed the friendly competition and cheered on their friends and family.
There were two softball games, one for 14+ and one for 16+. It was a tough competition with both teams hitting and lining up well. There was a short timeout in game two due to a disagreement with an on-field call. To settle the controversy, the two teams selected a player to participate in a short race. Game two ended in a thrilling double play with a line to the pitcher and a pitch to the first to knock out the leading player. All in all, it was a great event to show off Malad’s competitive spirit.
House To run Derby
The Home Run Derby was held at the Malad City Park Youth Baseball Field. Bridger Bastian gave each participant 10 throws to try and get over the fence. Community members joined in the fun of hitting home runs and cheering on the batters. Brig Jones won the Home Run Derby with a total of eight home runs. He also boasted the farthest shot of all the participants.
The Malad’s Got Talent finale brought many talented young people and adults to the stage to perform once again. Contest winners will be listed in a separate article.
At the end of Malad’s Got Talent, the winners of the various raffles were drawn and announced. The winner of the 50/50 raffle for the women’s basketball team was Brad Horsley. For the firefighter raffle, Brody Conger won a lifetime kayak and Jen Martinez won The Godfather fireworks.
The Party Rock Project group closed the park’s events with an exciting interactive show. As the night drew to a close, the crowds dispersed to watch the fireworks fill the Saturday sky across the valley. This year’s fireworks display was once again hosted by the Oneida County Fire Department.
Ax throwing was a unique event this year at Malad City Park. Attendees lined up at the booth to try their hand at ax throwing. The trailer had two wooden targets for participants to try to get a target.
sick has talent
After narrowing down the number of preliminary round entrants, the judges returned on the fourth to review the performances and select the final winners. The 12 and under and 13 and over age groups brought a variety of talent to the stage.
In the 12 and under division, the overall winner was Kallie and Brookell Nimer for their dance routine. Their talent involved fun choreography that even included several gymnastic flips. Second place went to Mylee Hanks for her dance. Finally, third place went to Gage Steed for his Napoleon Dynamite dance from the popular movie.
Raegan Smith sang all the way to first place in the 13+ division. She sang two popular Disney songs from Hercules and another from Princess and the Frog. Natalie Webster also took second place for vocals. Third place went to Connor Worrell to play drums. Throughout the event, the crowd had the opportunity to participate when Trissa Nesbit fired the candy-filled t-shirt cannon. Some members of the crowd were called on stage to participate in the bottle flipping contest as well as a dancing contest.
Party Rock Project
Party Rock Project entertained the crowd on Monday evening before the fireworks. This group has been to Malad a few times before and brought the same fun and energy to the amphitheater. They sang a variety of classic rock and pop songs, but added several country songs for the Malad audience.
Their interactive set included several activities for members of the crowd to join in the fun. Several crowd competitions pitted one side against another to see who knew their music better or who could sing it better. They also passed around Hawaiian shirts at one point to give people the chance to get up front and dance with the Beach Boys. A contest brought two people on stage for a game of Name that Tune with TV show theme songs. Some of the theme songs featured were Gilligan’s Island, Friends, and the Golden Girls.
The main members of the group brought their children on stage to join in the fun. Their daughter and two sons chose different instruments and sang and played alongside their parents. Their youngest son, just six, sang “The Rainbow Connection” for the crowd. The group was filled with talented musicians who excited the audience for the fireworks.
The day ended, as always, with a brilliant fireworks display at the County Fairgrounds. As the light show unfolded against a backdrop of songs, friends and fun, it was a reminder of just how great there is to experience in the Malad Valley.