Gear up in your red, white and blue for these East Valley events to celebrate another year of independence.
Arizona Celebration of Freedom
Kick off the celebration early at this two day party of live music, food and entertainment. Over two nights, bands will perform on four stages spread out over the venue, offering different genres of music. Fun zones offer carnival games, bounce houses and water activities. There are also food vendors, beer gardens, art displays, a Heritage Lane, a Military Showcase and a High Octane Car Show with 120 vehicles. Fireworks will be launched 9:30 p.m. Saturday from the roofs of Mesa Arts Center and City Hall. DETAILS >> 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Downtown Mesa at Main and Center streets. Free admission and parking. (480) 644-2069 or www.azcelebrationoffreedom.org.
Chandler 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
At Chandler’s annual celebration, hosted by Chandler Lion Club and the city, kids can cool off on a 35-foot water slide and dunk tank, play carnival games and explore a rock-climbing wall. Don’t forget Cactus Bike’s Push, Push, Pull, Peddle bike parade. Every participant will receive a gift, but the cyclist with the best decorated bike will walk away with a Harro children’s bike. Bands Vinyl’s End and Plastic Gladys will perform until the fireworks shoot off at 9:30 p.m. DETAILS >> 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler. Free admission, $5 to park. (480) 782-2735 or www.chandleraz.gov.
Fire in the Sky
Gather up your lawn chairs and blankets, and bring the whole family to Gilbert’s event. Vendors will be selling snow cones, water, freshly squeezed lemonade and snacks at Central Christian Church’s Gilbert campus on the southeast corner of Lindsay and Germann roads. Alternate viewing locations are Campo Verde High School at 3870 Quartz Street and the Gilbert Soccer Complex, 4260 S. Greenfield Road. Don’t forget your nonperishable food items to help out with Gilbert’s summer food drive; all three sites will be collecting. DETAILS >> 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday; fireworks at 8:30 p.m. Central Christian Church, 965 E. Germann Road, Gilbert. Free admission. (480) 503-6200 or www.centralaz.com/fireworks, or text “Fireworks” to 83990.
July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival
For 60 years, the Kiwanis Club of Tempe has hosted the city’s fireworks spectacular, and this year will be no different. The club will shoot fireworks, choreographed to patriotic and classical music, from the Mill Avenue Bridge. Arrive at 5 p.m., when the gates open, for limited nearby parking and to grab your spot for the show. A Main Stage will feature live, local entertainment, and Splash Playground will be open. A Family Fun Fest will offer an inflatable village, rides, relay races, rock-climbing walls and other activities. The food court will be loaded with vendors selling hamburgers, hot dogs, roasted corn, fry bread, ice cream and lemonade. For those 21 and older, the event also features a Budweiser Beer Garden. DETAILS >> 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday. Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. $6 if purchased in advance at Fry’s Food Stores; $8 per ticket, or two for $15, at the gate. Tickets are $5 through July 3 at the Tempe Parks & Recreation Administration Office, Kiwanis Recreation Center, Escalante Community Center and Tempe Transit Store. Free for children 12 and younger. (480) 350-5189 or www.tempe4th.com
Family Fourth on the Farm
Bring blankets or lawn chairs to watch the firework show on Schnepf Farms’ 40-acre grass field. Until the fireworks shoot off, families can “Dunk their buddy” in a dunk tank, ride a mechanical bull, jump on a 4-person bungee trampoline, challenge one another in speed pitching or enjoy pony and train rides. The event also has a live band, craft vendors and food vendors selling hamburgers, hot dogs, roasted sweet corn, soda and water. Proceeds benefit Kiwanis Club of Queen Creek. DETAILS >> 4 p.m. Wednesday; fireworks are at 9 p.m. Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. $15 per car. (480) 888-1709 or http://www.queencreek4th.com/.
• Caitlin, a senior studying public relations and journalism at Northern Arizona University, is an intern for the East Valley Tribune. Contact her at (480) 898-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org