Scope and Contents note
Collections include financial records, publicity materials, photographs, letters, programs, planning materials, certificates, awards, and related ephemera of the National Independence Day Festival and Parade.
Conditions Governing Use note
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from The National Independence Day Festival and Parade records must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Charles W. Ferguson founded the National Independence Day Festival and Parade and served as its executive director. Mr. Ferguson registered the NIDFP as a non-profit organization, and received financial support for the celebration from industrial heads in the Washington D.C. area. After receiving permission from the National Park Service to hold the parade along Constitution Avenue, the first National Independence Day Parade was held July 4, 1981. The parade consisted of various entities: high school marching bands, military bands, theatrical and other musical groups, foreign performing groups, national and international honoraries, and even Miss America and Miss Universe. Jerry D. Harvey, of Bountiful, Utah, served as the initial International Director of the parade from 1981 to 1983. His duties consisted of finding national and international performing groups for the NIDFP. After 1983, this position was passed on to Kenneth C. Madsen. Sandra Meadows was an important facet of the organization, annually arranging the airline travel for most of the participating groups, VIP guests, and other parade committee members. The parade committee of the NIDFP was comprised of parade judges, secretaries, clerks, technical support, travel agents, tour guides, etc. The last NIDFP parade was held on July 4, 1993. The organization could not meet the financial demands required to continue its activities. Fears of terrorism stemming from the Persian Gulf War and Desert Storm led to bands and other performing groups dropping out of the parade and festival, decline in tourism and airline travel, and the ultimate termination of the NIDFP and its participation in 4th of July festivities. Another factor leading to the organization's demise was the increase of fees imposed by the National Park Service to hold the parade.