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Too far? Spectators claim Fourth of July parade spots several days in advance

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 03, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — For many residents across Utah, their city’s parade is the most anticipated Fourth of July event.

But newcomers and seasoned spectators alike know that getting a coveted spot to view the parade, just like the one in West Jordan, takes a bit of planning.

“We have to get a spot before the party starts and everybody gets here so that way you are guaranteed a spot, because the next day it gets pretty packed,” said Nicole Dalton, West Jordan resident who has been coming to the Fourth of July Parade in West Jordan for over 9 years.

Lined up along the West Jordan parade route that starts on 80th South on Redwood Road, seats and setups of all kinds have staked their claim-blankets, foldable camp chairs, real chairs and even garden patio furniture.

SOS Fireworks, a local fireworks business from the West Valley has had a closeup look as residents mark their spots.

“It’s been kind of interesting, said Makena Davis, whose parents own SOS Fireworks. “People come really early.”

And some Davis say, even get territorial.

“This morning this guy stopped me while I was bringing a chord out and was like ‘I’m taking that spot! So don’t go there!’ Davis recounted.

So what exactly are the unspoken rules for setting up on the parade route?

According to Marie Magers, public information manager for West Jordan, the scene of chairs along Redwood Road is a normal site this time of the year.

“It is normal for the city to see chairs lined up along Redwood Road before our grand parade for the Fourth of July and it isn’t unique to the city (West Jordan),” Magers said.

While Magers notes that there aren’t specific ordinances that prohibit people from setting up their spots on the parade route, it can become an issue.

“Individuals who put out their chairs and blankets they are doing that in a public right of way,” Magers explained. “By putting those items out, they are risking those items being removed or stolen and if they are posing a safety issue by the city, they might be removed and confiscated and we might not be able to return them because who wouldn’t know whose they are.”

For West Jordan residents like Dalton, the risk is worth it.

“It is what it is,” Dalton said. “Tomorrow if I come and it’s gone, it’s gone you know, we will find somewhere else.”