Crowds line up in Provo for 4th of July parade

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PROVO -- People are already getting a head start on Fourth of July celebrations. In Provo, people lined up Friday to stake out a good spot for Saturday's parade.

The bleachers for the premium seating for the Freedom Festival Parade arrived Friday to University Avenue.

Many anxious fans staked out a spot, where they will wait until the parade begins. "It's tradition. We've been camping out, me and my boys and my nephew and niece been camping out the last five years right here," said one parade-goer.

Crowds line up in Provo for 4th of July parade

People arrived as early as 8 a.m. Friday, but had to wait until 3 p.m. to officially claim their spot. New rules put into place last year set the 3 p.m. deadline.

Last year, many prime spots were long gone before that. With lessons learned in 2008, 30 parade staffers were on hand to remind parade goers they would have to wait.

Provo City spokeswoman Helen Anderson said, "Over the years, what was happening was people were setting up earlier and earlier. It became a two-or three-day campout and, of course, that interferes with business and safety, so we had to draw a line somewhere."

As of Friday evening, several thousand people were already setup along the parade route. By the time the parade starts Saturday at 9 a.m., parade organizers expect upwards of 200,000 spectators.

"There are plenty of spaces that will be available along the route. The 3 p.m. deadline helps with the shady spots, what everyone thinks are the premier spots," said Lt. Todd Grossgebaur of the Provo Police Department.

In addition to the grand parade, the Stadium of Fire will attract thousands more Saturday night. The event will feature the Jonas Brothers, SheDaisy and of course, the fireworks.


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Sam Penrod


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