Milagros Mexican Food restaurant was closed on July 4th so we could participate in Provo, Utah’s annual independence day, Freedom Festival celebration.
The employees, friends and family of Milagros joined hands and marched in the traditional Freedom Festival Grand Parade…. manning a giant helium balloon.
For many years, my wife, the kids and I participated in the parade festivities by sitting in comfortable lawn chairs and on blankets at the curb, under large, cool shade trees. Little did we know that someday we would sign up to participate in the long walk from the top of University Ave, east on Center street to finish at the 9th East intersection.
It’s quite a walk for a large group, especially with young kids… who were real troopers and hung in there till the end. See their smiling faces!
Years and year ago… before I was born, (in the “dark ages” of my mom’s era,) the parade floats were sponsored and made by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The parade was simply called “The Fourth Of July Parade.”
Each Stake in the Provo area were assigned to provide two floats. Those assignments were to various wards each year. Together, ward members donated their time and talents to building and manning floats, which depicted the theme of the celebration.
Of course, included were the traditional “Queen’s” floats that carried the royalty from each city in the area. (They still do that goofy wave.) Bands from all of the local high schools participated also. At that time, commercial floats were unheard of…. or at least not allowed.
Twenty-eight years ago, things changed and a co-operation took charge of all the events. The name was changed to “America’s Freedom Festival.” The stakes and wards no longer provided parade entries. Commercial businesses were invited to participate.
Why are we involved?
First, it’s our way of saying “thanks” to all of our loyal customers. We want you to know that we appreciate you and wanted to make your 4th of July celebration a little more exhilarating. If folks like us don’t show up… there there is no parade for the crowd of 300,000. (Yep… those numbers are true… according to recent stats.)
Second, we participate in the parade to remind customers, who haven’t been in for awhile that we are still alive and serving fantastic, fresh Mexican food, despite the recent closure of the 800 North off ramp because of freeway construction. (Don’t get me started!)
Also… we wanted folks, who are not familiar with Milagros to know we are anxious to serve them with the best Mexican Food in the valley…(which is a statement of fact, according to the Daily Herald’s “Best Of Utah County” poll.
Today, we’re back at Milagros during our regular business hours, ready to serve you… our friends.
Thanks to all who participated and helped us man the balloon. You guys are “the best.” And of course… the twins are always game for anything. (Ya gotta love the head gear?)
P.S. America’s Freedom Festival parade next year? We’ll see.