The big question looming in Utah County is now answered, Lee Greenwood will be coming to the 40th anniversary of the Stadium of Fire on July 3 in Provo.

After postponing last year’s festivities for the first time in Stadium of Fire history, America’s Freedom Festival organizers have never been more excited to celebrate Independence Day weekend with Utah and the world.

“It’s been a trying year for America and for our community here in Utah, but our nation is strong and we’re overjoyed to be back in the stadium to celebrate our independence,” said Jim Evans, executive director of America’s Freedom Festival at Provo. “It’s Stadium of Fire’s 40th anniversary and we’re not holding back. This will be a big show!”

The Freedom Festival’s 2021 Stadium of Fire at LaVell Edwards Stadium on July 3rd will feature, for the second time, Grammy-winning country music icon Greenwood and country star Collin Raye.

Greenwood was featured with Donny, Marie and Jimmy Osmond at the stadium in 1984.

Until his performance, the Stadium of Fire featured the Osmonds from 1980-1983. The event was started in 1980 by producers Merrill and Alan Osmond.

In addition to Greenwood and Raye, the popular stadium show will feature the world-renowned action sports team Nitro Circus with its signature gravity-defying motorcycle stunts.

Of course the real star of the event is the USA’s largest stadium fireworks show. The pyrotechnics will cap off the evening with a spectacle unlike any other, featuring the 500-voice Millennial Choir.

Keeping with tradition, the extravaganza starts with the colorful aerial arrival of skydivers and includes a thrilling flyover by F-35 jets from Utah’s Hill Air Force Base.

Tickets are available at stadiumoffire.com beginning May 19th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Freedom Festival email subscribers. They become available to the general public at stadiumoffire.com that same day, starting at 1 p.m.

With people wanting to get out and celebrate this summer, Freedom Festival leaders are encouraging folks to purchase tickets as soon as they can. Right now COVID-19 restrictions are still in place for large stadium gatherings. While they anticipate opening more seating as COVID numbers go down, there are still some seating restrictions.

Tickets are expected to sell out quickly, so the public is urged to make plans early.

In addition to a military flyover and inspiring patriotic tributes, guests can also expect a heartfelt salute to Utah’s first responders during the pandemic.

The entire event will be televised to more than 1 million military men and women in more than 100 countries via the American Forces Network.

With seven No. 1 songs and 25 charted singles to his credit, Greenwood is a celebrated country music performer. Greenwood has won numerous industry awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year from the Academy of Country Music, two Male Vocalist of the Year awards from the Country Music Association and a Grammy for Top Male Vocal Performance for his hit song, “I.O.U.” The CMA also named “God Bless the U.S.A.” its Song of the Year in 1985.

“God Bless the U.S.A.” went far beyond what Greenwood expected when he wrote it in the back of his tour bus in 1983. The song has been in the top five on the country singles charts three times (1991, 2001 and 2003), giving it the distinction of being the only song in any genre of music to achieve that feat.

It was also No. 1 on the pop charts after 9/11 and became part of the national healing process. CBS News voted “God Bless the U.S.A.” the most recognizable patriotic song in America.

“(‘God Bless the U.S.A.’) is the song I always felt the need to write,” Greenwood said in a press release. “I wanted to have something that would unite Americans from coast to coast and to instill pride back in the United States. The song represents my family, my community and those men and women who have paid the price for the freedoms we all love and enjoy.”

Nitro Circus has delivered some big moments in action sports for almost two decades, yet the group was born to humble beginnings right here in a Utah garage back in 2003, according to the Freedom Festival press release.

Travis Pastrana and friends started out by selling self-made DVDs of stunt-filled antics — at once outrageously skillful, debatably sane, yet undeniably entertaining. Since then, the group’s popularity has exploded, producing hit television shows, releasing a 3D movie worldwide, establishing a live touring phenomenon that continues to travel across multiple continents each year and creating a world-renowned action sports competition.

“Nitro Circus was originally set to perform at Stadium of Fire last year before the show was postponed,” said Evans. “We’re thrilled they could reschedule for this summer. Stunt performances are some of the most-loved traditions at Stadium of Fire. And Nitro Circus has some incredible stunts planned for this year.”

Raye is known for his songs “Love, Me,” “My Kind of Girl” and “I Can Still Feel You.”

Acquiring 24 top 10 records, 16 No. 1 hits and having been a 10-time Male Vocalist of the Year nominee, Raye remains one of the great country music voices of our time, according to the Freedom Festival.

Now in its 14th season, Millennial® Choirs & Orchestras consist of more than 5,000 participants in Utah, California, Arizona, Texas and Idaho. In short order, MCO has more than achieved its primary purpose — to fulfill the need for more refined music education and performance, with a focus on God and country. The choir will perform selections from “To Be American,” which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard Magazine’s Classical Albums and Classical Crossover Albums charts.

With some of the nation’s best entertainment, inspiring patriotic moments, and spectacular pyrotechnic displays, Stadium of Fire is one of America’s longest-running and most popular patriotic events. For the 16th year, the event will be produced and directed by the award-winning production team of Baruch/Gayton Entertainment Group, according to the Freedom Festival.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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