As the color guard passed through the streets of downtown Layton, spectators at the Liberty Days parade fell silent. Parents rose from their portable lawn chairs, placed their hands over their hearts, and nudged their young children to do the same.
The hush was so complete that the soft voice of the standard bearer could be heard intoning “left, right, left” as she coordinated her team’s footfalls.
After the color guard had passed, a large float appeared, hitched to a tractor and flanked by four golf carts. Each cart was decked out in red, white and blue streamers. Volunteers in “I Layton” shirts dashed from the float to the carts and back again, distributing free popsicles to parade spectators.
One of those volunteers was Joy Petro, Layton’s mayor, and the popsicles were her idea. She and her colleague Tom Day remembered getting popsicles at Liberty Days as kids, so they decided to revive the tradition, even if it meant handing out an estimated 14,000 popsicles along the parade route on a scorching summer day.