America’s Freedom Festival in Provo is a go this year, according to the festival organizers.

Much of the annual summer festival, including the Stadium of Fire show at Brigham Young University’s LaVell Edwards Stadium, was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings.

But with those restrictions ending and vaccination numbers increasing, Jim Evans, executive director of America’s Freedom Festival, said he is confident that the majority of events will take place this year.

“I’m here to tell you we are having the festival this year and many things are being prepared and planned right now,” Evans said during a Utah County Commission meeting on Wednesday.

Evans, who said he was at the meeting representing “the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of volunteers who help pull this festival off every year (and) the 500,000-plus people who participate in the festival,” told the commissioners that most of the regular Freedom Festival events will take place as usual.

Those events include the Balloon Fest, Patriotic Service, Freedom Run, Colonial Heritage Festival, children’s parade and “all the different things that (residents are) used to … and (have) loved to participate in every year,” Evans said.

The festival also will include a Utah Valley National Day of Prayer celebration on Thursday, beginning with a morning event at Mount Timpanogos Park in Orem and ending with an evening event at the Provo Community Church.

There will be some differences this year, Evans acknowledged. The Hope of America Event, which typically takes place at the BYU Marriott Center “where we have thousands and thousands of 5th graders come every year to sing all the patriotic songs about our country and freedoms we enjoy,” will instead be held at Rock Canyon Park in Provo.

While there won’t be a carnival as part of this year’s Freedom Festival, Evans noted that there will be a three-day event in downtown Provo featuring various food vendors and live entertainment.

Evans didn’t say on Wednesday who would be performing at this year’s Stadium of Fire, which, in the past, has had headliners ranging from The Beach Boys to Miley Cyrus. He said organizers expect to announce the performers sometime next week.

“I don’t want to announce that today, but we’re finalizing the contracts and there will be some talent that all of you know and love,” he said.

The Utah County Commission voted unanimously to approve an agreement between Utah County and America’s Freedom Festival that includes $22,400 in in-kind contributions, including use of the county grounds, county attorney fees and fees for grounds crews, electricians, custodial services and electricity.

Evans, who noted that the contract is similar to those of previous years, thanked the three commissioners for their support and said “we look forward to being back this year with our America’s Freedom Festival here.”

Commissioner Bill Lee called the festival “wonderful,” adding “I think everyone’s anxious to get out and celebrate.”

“We are,” Evans said. “People are calling, they’re anxious, and we’re grateful for your support.”

For more information about this year’s America’s Freedom Festival, visit http://www.freedomfestival.org/.

Connor Richards covers government, the environment and south Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at crichards@heraldextra.com and 801-344-2599.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!