Ex-followers to celebrate independence from polygamist sect

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Former followers of imprisoned polygamist leader Warren Jeffs are planning a Fourth of July event to celebrate their independence from the grips of the controlling polygamist sect.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the event will be the first major public party in the sister towns of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah since Jeffs became president of the sect in 2002.

They are hoping to get as many as 2,500 people at an event that will feature a flag ceremony, hamburgers, watermelon and fireworks.

Organizer George Jessop says they will be celebrating not only the country's independence, but their own freedom.

The polygamous sect, known as The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS, used to regularly hold community celebrations but Jeffs banned them when he took charge.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.