For the safety of spectators and participants, Provo City and Freedom Festival officials are implementing special regulations for the Grand Parade and the Osmond Stadium of Fire Panorama July 4.
With more than 300,000 spectators expected for the Grand Parade, the City Council has adopted a new ordinance prohibiting overnight camping and overnight reservation of spaces along the parade route.And, a new national standard for outdoor fireworks displays requires that vehicles and spectators be kept 850 feet from the fireworks launch site at the Stadium of Fire Panorama Wednesday evening.
To facilitate the new directive, traffic around the stadium will be blocked prior to the start of the fireworks display, and spectators outside the stadium will be required to stay beyond the 850-foot boundary.
"That means we have to close to the public the area from the Cannon Center north in the Helaman Halls complex," said Paul Richards, BYU spokesman. "Also, the baseball diamonds, tennis courts and track all will be closed to the public."
Spectators can view the stadium fireworks from several other vantage points, including the Provo foothills and the lawn by the Provo LDS Temple.
Provo Police Capt. George Pierpont said the new parade ordinance prohibits claiming spectator spaces before 5 a.m. on July 4. This means ropes, tents, chairs, sleeping bags and other items cannot be placed along the route during the night preceding the parade.
After 5 a.m., individuals may reserve space strictly for themselves. Pierpont said vehicles parked along the parade route after 5 a.m. will be towed and vehicles parked on private property or double parked along streets will be cited.
"Traffic congestion is unavoidable with this many people," Pierpont said. "We encourage spectators to show patience so that the police officers can get them in and out as efficiently as possible."
The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. on 900 East at 700 North and will proceed south to Center Street, then west to University Avenue and north to 1050 North. The parade, which will take about three hours, will also be broadcast live on KBYU Channel 11 and then again on July 5, beginning at 9 p.m.
The parade will feature about 100 entries, including floats, equestrian units, antique vehicles, drill teams and bands, dancers, clowns - and llamas.
Also, the parade will feature the Sertoma canons, a helicopter "fly over," a Utah Highway Patrol motorcycle team, antique fire trucks and a 30-feet by 40-feet American flag that will be carried down the parade route.
Parade Chairman Roy Taylor asks spectators to be considerate of parade participants.
"Please avoid the use of firecrackers or other items that might frighten horses or distract musicians," Taylor said. "We also encourage parents to keep children out of the parade pathway. Float drivers' vision is limited and accidents are possible."