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July 4th Events

In The Phoenix Metro

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A Sampling Of Some Of The Biggest And Best Things To Do Over The Independence Day Weekend As Well As Some Interesting, Yet Relatively Unknown, Trivia


By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

June 30, 2014 — Fireworks on July 4 are as American as apple pie and Chevrolet and in every corner of the Phoenix metro there will be some sort of pyrotechnic display along with family events and music.

But did you know that John Adams thought July 2 would actually be remembered as the date of independence?

In fact, he did. A letter to his wife Abigail, he said, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Well, that’s surely proof that the Founding Fathers were fallible.

But in all seriousness, Adams actually is technically correct, since the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence on July 2. It was later signed over the course of a month and the Declaration itself carried the date July 4.

Some other interesting factoids about July 4:
  • In 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.
  • Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, R.I., is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.
  • Since 1868, Seward, Neb., has held a celebration on the same town square. In 1979 Seward was designated “America's Official Fourth of July City-Small Town USA” by resolution of Congress.
  • In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  • In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday.
  • Since 1972, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City.

With the Phoenix metro might not have the longest traditions — or any big eating contests — the area does have some great events that might some day acquire such status. Below find a smattering of the most popular in 2014.

Thursday, July 3

The Independence Day Music Festival is at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale. Gates open at 5 p.m. For more information visit

Ahwatukee Red, White and Boom will be held at Ahwatukee Country Club, 12432 S. 48th Street,, Phoenix. Entrance is on 48th Street only. This free event will be held from from 5 to 10 p.m. Local band, Daisy Train will be on stage until 8:45 p.m. and fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. Coolers are permitted, but no glass. Bottled water and leashed pets are allowed. Parking is $10. The dedicated parking lot across the street is $10. For more information, visit

Pleasant Harbor July 3rd Fireworks Show, 8708 W. Harbor Blvd., Peoria, will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. Activities will include bounce houses, water slides, trackless train rides, an RV show, car show, as well as information booths by The Peoria Fire Department and Arizona Game and Fish Department. Helicopter rides are $45 per person. Admission is free, but parking at the lake is $12 per vehicle. Lawn chairs and coolers are allowed. Fireworks will be launched from Vista Point. For more information, call 928-501-5253 or visit

The 2014 Light Up the Sky Festival is at Maryvale Baseball Park, 3600 N. 51st Ave., Phoenix, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information on this free event, call 602-262-6275 or visit

Friday, July 4

4th of July at WestWorld is at the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 2 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $5 for Scottsdale residents and free for children under 6. For more information visit

Chandler’s 4th of July Fireworks Celebration is at Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Rd, Chandler, 4 to 10 p.m., presented by Chandler Lions Club and City of Chandler. For more information on this free event, visit

The July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival is at 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., 4 to 11 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information visit

Surprise's Annual July 4th Celebration will be held from 4:30 to 8:45 p.m. at Surprise Recreation Campus, 5850 N. Bullard Avenue, Surprise. The event features a Rookie League Baseball Game between the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians. Fireworks set to patriotic music is expected to begin at 8:30 p.m. Admission is limited to 10,000. Parking is free and admission is also free with a donation of canned food. City residents can claim six tickets per family in advance at at Community and Recreation Services, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. For more information, visit or call 623-222-2000.

The 2nd Annual Westgate Firework Fest is at 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale, 5 to 9:30 p.m. Pop group Before You Exit will perform and there will also be a splash area for kids. In the beer garden will be performances by Carvin Jones Band, Morgan Leigh Band, The Reality Band and Fat Tree. Radio personalities Mountain Man Jay, Marty Manning and Barrel Boy will be emceeing. For more information visit

Fourth at the Fountain will be held at the Fountain Hills, Fountain (of course) featuring Hilltop Band and bounce houses for the kids beginning at 5 p.m. Admission is $5. Food, drink and merchandise vendors will be on hand. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. For more information, call 480-836-4100.

4th of July Cave Creek Fireworks & Food Trucks Extravaganza will be held at 6424 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, next to The Rare Earth Gallery from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $12 per adult, $8 per child 2 to 12, kids under 2 and veterans free. For more information, call 480-387-2630 or visit

The 29th Annual Fabulous Phoenix Fourth is at Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 6 to 9:30 p.m. This free will feature three stages of live local entertainment, free inflatable rides and activities, classic cars, a cool-off area, and a patriotic program including an F-16 flyover. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. For more information visit

Arizona Celebration of Freedom is in downtown Mesa at 263 N. Center Street, 6 to 10:30 p.m. For more information visit

The Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, will host 4th a Zoo-ly Celebration from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $45 for adults and $35 for children and will include catered BBQ dinner at the Lakeside Lawn from 7 to 8:30 p.m., free carousel rides from 7 to 8:30 p.m., face painting, bounce houses and other activities as well as special animal guests and music. The Phoenix Zoo also offers a great view of the Tempe Town Lake Fireworks at 9 p.m. For more information, visit

Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5

The National Comedy Theatre Improv, 1111 S. Longmore, Mesa, will host Patriot-A-Palooza: Comedy for America Friday July 4 and Saturday, July 5 at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Two teams of comedians will compete for audience points. Admission is $12 or $14. For more information, visit

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