Photo courtesy of Gordon Galbraith

Start your Independence Day partying a couple weekends early at the Shops at Riverwoods in Provo this Saturday, June 21 at 2 p.m.

At the Gazebo, Fire at Will, a band made up of veteran party rockers, will play nothing but classic rock. Meanwhile, tents, company booths, face painting, balloon art and carnival games will line the cobblestone streets. Let your kids play in the splash pads or the bounce house or visit the petting zoo.

Oh, and it's all free.

Like all festivals, it is a come-and-go type of thing, but if you want to catch the patriotic program from start to finish, make sure to get there at 2 p.m. The Provo Police Department, Provo Fire and Rescue, Search and Rescue, the National Guard and Utah County Sheriff’s Posse will all be in attendance.

Patriotic attendees should come dressed ready to enter the Dress to Impress Clothing Competition. Categories include: Most Patriotic Family, Most Patriotic Youth (8–12), Most Patriotic Child (4–7), Most Patriotic Baby (0–3), and even, get ready for this, Most Patriotic Pet.

The tents come down around 8 p.m., but don’t forget your dancing shoes, ‘cause you can dance the night away until 11:30 p.m.

In the meantime, check for deals and coupons at The Riverwoods restaurants. VIP members at The Happy Sumo get half off select items on certain nights, and coupons for Malawi’s Pizza have been known to frequent the Riverwoods Facebook page now and then. Most of the Riverwoods shops have promised to have some sort of promotion.

The Stars and Stripes Party is just one piece of Provo’s Freedom Festival. Stadium of Fire, a balloon festival, parades, soccer and softball tournaments and historic tours of Provo are a few other Freedom Festival events. Go to for a complete list with descriptions.