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The City Journals

First ‘Summerfest’ Delights Community

Jul 06, 2016 10:08AM ● By Tori La Rue

Thousands of community members watched as fireworks bloomed from South Jordan city on June 4. The firework show ended the city’s annual summer festival, which was renamed “Summerfest” this year. – Tori La Rue

 By Tori La Rue | [email protected]

South Jordan’s annual summer festival came back this year with a different name—Summerfest—and a few new events.

 “It’s all part of trying to meet the needs of the community,” Melinda Seager, South Jordan’s associate director of administrative services, said. “The community is ever-changing and the festival is, too.”

 In addition to the parade, equestrian events, carnival and car show, which were traditional events in South Jordan’s Country Fest, the city also included a mermaid show and swim and BMX demos for its first renamed festival. City officials were also planning on hosting a battle of the bands event, but it was cancelled.

 One of the most widely attended events was the concert that preceded the fireworks on June 4. Although the concert is an annual occurrence, city leaders seek to feature a new artist each year. Drew Baldridge, a rising country singer, opened the 2016 concert, and then LeAnn Rimes, the headliner and a two-time Grammy award-winning artist with several radio hits, took the stage.

 “It was awesome,” Robert Diaz, of Riverton, said. “Drew Baldridge was a surprise. He was really good, but LeAnn Rimes was awesome.”

 Jacob Halliday, 17, thought his mother, Tamina Halliday, was joking when she mentioned that Rimes was performing a free concert in South Jordan. It sounded too good to be true, he said. The mother and son attended the concert together and said they were impressed.

 “For a free concert, that was the bomb,” Tamina, of Bluffdale, said. “This was my first time at South Jordan’s fair, and it was good—better than I thought it was going to be, actually.”

 In addition to the concert, Jacob and Tamina scoped out the carnival and watched the fireworks. Tamina said South Jordan’s firework display was the best firework show that she had ever seen.

 “It was even better than Murray’s Fourth of July show,” she said. “I loved it.”

 Ryker Spangler, 7, didn’t have a good experience with the fireworks and said he hated them because they were so loud, but he said he still liked Summerfest because he went on a carnival ride that spun him around in circles.

 “It scared me, and it made me cry, but it was fun,” Ryker said. 

Deedee Spanger, Ryker’s mother and a Riverton resident, said South Jordan’s event took place at an ideal time because Riverton’s Town Days celebration wouldn’t happen until July—when festivals are taking place at many locations throughout the valley.

“It gave us a chance to sort of build our own holiday,” she said. “It was fun and a good time around for everyone.”