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Utahns eat up this yummy July Fourth celebration — with cherries on top

North Ogden’s 90th Cherry Days parade and festival bring together a community eager to gather as the state marks Independence Day.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Marchers carry a giant American Flag in the Cherry Days Fourth of July Parade in North Ogden on Monday.

North Ogden • Hundreds of people lined the streets of North Ogden on Monday morning as part of the 90th annual Cherry Days celebration.

Numerous American flags dotting 2600 North could hardly be seen as adults and kids lined the street, eagerly awaiting the parade of floats, firetrucks and cars.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) A young boy rides his Strider in the Kids Bike Ride in the Cherry Days Fourth of July Parade in North Ogden on Monday, July 4, 2022.

The North Ogden parade was one of numerous July Fourth events along the Wasatch Front and across Utah, with celebrations taking place in Brigham City, Provo, Layton, Salt Lake City, St. George and Kanab, to name a few. (A parade in Kaysville, however, was halted when an 8-year-old girl was hit by a vehicle.)

[View a video from America’s Freedom Festival Grand Parade in Provo].

Amanda Schleininger, a Pleasant View resident who was seated under a tree watching the North Ogden procession with her husband and two children, was pleased to see the hundreds in attendance.

She said it felt good for the community to come together and celebrate Independence Day after the COVID-19 pandemic made these kinds of events sparse.

“The best thing for me,” Schleininger said, “is to see people out and about and celebrating our freedoms.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Marchers carry a giant American Flag, in the Cherry Days Fourth of July Parade, in North Ogden, on Monday, July 4, 2022.

Early in the parade, volunteers with the Major Brent Taylor Foundation carried a large American flag.

The group was organized to honor North Ogden’s former mayor who was killed in 2018 while serving in the National Guard in Afghanistan.

Taylor’s widow, Jennie, was seated with her children in the bed of a pickup truck later in the parade waving to onlookers. A few blocks north of the parade route is Ben Lomond Cemetery, where Brent Taylor was laid to rest.

The procession was organized by decades, with floats and cars celebrating North Ogden’s former mayors from the 1940s and veterans of the world’s wars. A long procession of Jeeps commemorated the vehicle brand’s birth in 1941.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jeeps seem to stretch for miles in the Cherry Days Fourth of July celebration in North Ogden on Monday, July 4, 2022.

After the parade, much of the crowd walked north to North Ogden Park, where a festival was in full swing. Attractions included a petting zoo, car show, kids’ games and live music. Members of the sheriff’s office and fire departments squared off in softball games as well.

Pauline Fewell, an Ogden resident, said this was her family’s first time attending Cherry Days, after she and her husband moved their family to Utah from Texas in 2020. She said they loved the parade and welcomed the opportunity to unite as a community.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brooke and Kael Harrison pose for a photo during the Cherry Days Fourth of July celebration in North Ogden on Monday, July 4, 2022.

Fewell’s young daughter, Lilia, was excited about the parade, too.

“I saw the princesses,” Lilia said, referring to the featured pageant queens.

Cherry Days events were scheduled to continue into Monday evening, with a concert in Barker Park and a fireworks display.