Arrival from Sweden dazzles Freedom Fire

Jul 3, 2013

Crowds couldn't get enough of the music of ABBA at Wednesday night's Freedom Fire event inside USU's Romeny Stadium in Logan.

Spectators young and old sung along and danced in the aisles to famous hits including Super Trouper, Mama Mia and, in an encore performance, the global sensation, Dancing Queen. The Independence Day celebration, now in its third year under the Freedom Fire name, featured the ABBA tribute band, Arrival from Sweden, along with musical numbers by the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra and the local music group Way Way East Bay - a funk and jazz band made up of USU faculty and staff. 
Stage crew members work to prepare for Freedom Fire on Wednesday.
Stage crew members work to prepare for Freedom Fire on Wednesday.
Credit Matt Jensen

The show also featured patriotic tributes to members of the Armed Forces and presentations from the Logan Police Department color guard and the Boy Scouts of America and ended with a fireworks display by Cache Valley's own Al Burns of Fireworks West.

Event spokesperson Denise Albiston, director of marketing and public relations for the Caine College of the Arts at USU, says the event is a great value for the ticket price. Freedom Fire is a co-production of the Caine College of the Arts and the city of Logan. Since its debut in 2011, attendance has fluctuated, sometimes falling short of expectations. Last year’s show went over budget and in a controversial move, the city of Logan agreed to pay about $25,000 more to produce this year’s show. Wednesday night's crowd filled much of the stadium though exact attendance numbers weren't immediately available. 

Spectators watched the performers on two giant screens inside the stadium, eliminating a delay problem on the stadium's main video screen that organizers say was irritating to some audience members in previous years.

Reporting from Romney Stadium on the Utah State University campus, I’m Matt Jensen with Utah Public Radio.