You don’t want to miss the color run, parade, live music and spectacular fireworks!

Are you looking for a unique July 4th celebration away from the crowds? Every year, Kanab, Utah goes all out to host an incredible Fourth of July celebration in a red rock desert paradise. But this year is special: the 2020 celebration will be bigger than ever, as the town is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Independence Day commemorates the United States’ freedom from Britain in 1776, and there is no better place to experience this sense of freedom than a small town with a big presence, and beautiful scenery. After the U.S. became an independent nation, public lands and wild spaces were a pillar of American identity. Mountain explorers traveled far and wide, and pioneers left their homes in search of new lands. Kanab’s pioneer past cements it as a crucial part of American history. In fact, much of what is currently known about the land and rivers in the Southwest resulted from the exploration of Dominguez-Escalante Party in 1776 and John W. Powell’s 1871 Colorado River expedition (which base-camped in Kanab!)

Today, Kanab is the perfect family-friendly destination to experience any time of year, but the Fourth of July celebration makes Kanab shine. Here’s a list of the top events happening on this jam-packed day of celebration.

The Family-Friendly 5K Color Run

Every year, runners and walkers of all ages gather in the streets of Kanab for a 5k color run. Participants wear white t-shirts as they dash (or stroll) through downtown, blasting each other with colorful powders. All proceeds from this event go directly to the Kane Education Foundation, which supports the Kane County School District. Start Independence Day off with a bit of excitement; the 5k Color Run begins at 7 am.

A Patriotic Parade

After the Color Run, head on over to Center Street in Kanab to check out the unique parade floats, inspired by some of Kanab’s greatest historic figures. Spectators line up along the streets to watch the colorful parade participants march by not once, but two times. The strong community that exists in this little desert town is on full display during this event: generations of Kanab residents come together to put on a grand show for both fellow residents and weekend visitors.

A Free Evening Concert

Battle of the Bands-Barry Glazier
The Jacob-Hamblin Park hosts an all-day festival and free live music in the evening. Kanab- Magically Unspoiled

After the parade, walk over to Jacob Hamblin Park for the all-day festival, featuring family fun activities, food, and vendors.

A free evening concert is held in the park from 5 – 10 pm for residents and visitors alike. People sprawl across the lawn on chairs and blankets as lights illuminate the stage against the setting sun. Behind the musicians, red rock plateaus form the perfect backdrop.

Mothers of Mayhem, an all-women band clad in heels and 50s-style dresses, kick off the concert by rocking out to some of your favorite classic rock tunes. Later in the evening, the headliner, Twenty Hands High, builds excitement as the fireworks show approaches. This six-piece country and Southern rock band from Denver, Colorado, is guaranteed to get you off your feet and dancing along to an eclectic mix of music.

A Mesmerizing Fireworks Show

Don’t miss the amazing grand finale of the celebration: A fireworks show set against backdrop of red cliffs. Kanab- Magically Unspoiled

While you could come to Kanab just for the Independence Day parade and the free evening concert, you won’t want to miss the mesmerizing fireworks display from Jacob Hamblin Park. After darkness falls, a marvelous fireworks display illuminates the red cliffs surrounding downtown. Listen as the echoes of the blasts ricochet through the canyons. This experience is sure to stick with you for years to come.

Conclusion: Continue Celebrating Throughout the Year

The Fourth of July is a great day to visit Kanab for its family-friendly activities, free outdoor concert, and brilliant firework display, but after the events are over, you’ll be dreaming up ways to extend your visit. If you have a few days in town before or after the Fourth of July, Kanab is the perfect vacation destination offering a rich cultural heritage, welcoming downtown, and proximity to public lands.

If you’re already planning your return trip, Kanab hosts numerous annual events throughout the year. The Kanab Film Festival is held in April, the Amazing Earthfest in May, and the Western Legends Heritage & Music Festival in August. The celebrations last all year long in this charming, lively Southern Utah town.

Written by Hannah Singleton for Matcha in partnership with Kane County.