For us, Memorial Day began with a trip to downtown Salt Lake City for an Urban Adventure Quest. This is a fun online scavenger hunt of sorts, which takes you around the city solving clues and visiting landmarks. You can do them all over the U.S.! It made for an active morning with sack lunches and a more in-depth tour of SLC. In the afternoon, we got to enjoy some rare Monday free time and a fire in the pit with s’mores option. After dinner, the group got to head to a Bee’s Game – our local baseball team – for a decidedly American Memorial Day Celebration!
For us, the fun Independence Day activities spanned July 2nd, 3rd and 4th! We started it off low-key, with a rehearsal for the Fine Arts Festival in the morning, groups and then in the evening attended a concert by The Harp Twins at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. Friday the 3rd brought us another morning rehearsal, then a whole afternoon and evening swimming and sliding at Cowabunga Bay, a local water park. Upon returning home, the residents were treated to a fireworks show by one of our staff who’s dad owns a fireworks stand. Thanks, Mike! Finally, on the birth of our great country, we still had to complete a few deep clean chores and some free time/study hall, but then we got to gather food and supplies and celebrate up the canyon. We had a fire for dinner and s’mores, and generally got to enjoy our beautiful nearby nature and each other’s company. What a blast!
Then there was the 24th! What, you’ve never heard of the 24th of July? That may be because it is a state holiday here in Utah. It is Pioneer day – the day Pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley – and Utahns celebrate it much the same way as the 4th – parades, fireworks, summer BBQ’s. Even though none of our students are official Utahns, they all got to reap the benefits and enjoy a few days off of school. The morning of the 23rd actually saw the sendoff of one of our long-time residents before our annual La Europa Carnival! Staff and students alike are invited to come play games, earn tickets for popcorn and the dunk tank, get faces painted, water slide… not to mention some amazing balloon art! This year, we saw a sloth, snail and full size Darth Vader mask. We love the time out in the sun and a moment to be kids again.
Pioneer Day began with some more water fun while we had the slide, and then a full day off campus after lunch. We visited the Tray Aviary before having dinner night out. After dinner night, we had tickets to see a production of the musical 1776. It kept us out late, but it was a fun way to celebrate both our nation and our (temporary) state!