With July 4 falling on a Monday this year, the Fourth of July 2022 holiday weekend just got longer. What a great way to start the summer. It’s the perfect opportunity for a memorable road trip.
Take advantage of the chance to get out and explore Arizona. Independence Day celebrations are taking place all over the state. They include rodeos, fireworks, a laser lights display, concerts, parades, a historic coaster race and even a sidewalk egg-frying contest.
Be sure to check with your destination before you head out: Weather and fire conditions can cause plans to change on short notice.
And no matter where you go, let’s keep our forests safe. Please obey all fire restrictions. Let’s get through the holiday generating nothing but great memories.
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Enjoy an old-fashioned July 4 celebration at Green Valley Park. Families will want to arrive early — games for kids start at 1 p.m. and include an egg race, water balloon toss and tug of war.
The pie-eating contest at 3:30 is open to hungry adults and kids alike. Bands crank up the tunes at the amphitheater at 4 p.m. and play until the fireworks go off over the lake at 8:30.
Since parking is limited, a shuttle service runs from Payson High School, 301 S. McLane Road, to Green Valley Park from 4-9:30 p.m.
Details: 928-472-5110, https://paysonrimcountry.com.
The fun starts early in this mile-high town. At 8 a.m. on July 4, more than a dozen speed-crazed kids will go careening around the steep curves of Tombstone Canyon in hand-built coasters.
The Bisbee Coaster Race has been going on for more than a century, harkening back to the city's mining days. It’s the oldest, longest and fastest gravity-powered vehicle race in the country. Kids ages 9-16 compete for prizes while spectators line the 3-mile course that rolls through the heart of historic downtown Bisbee.
After the coaster races, a colorful parade makes its way through the Warren neighborhood at 11 a.m. and fireworks go off in the same neighborhood after the sun goes down.
Details: 520-590-0432, https://www.discoverbisbee.com.
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The World’s Oldest Rodeo sets the tone right away with one of the all-time classic rodeo movies.
There will be an outdoor showing of "Junior Bonner," starring Steve McQueen and filmed in Prescott during the famous rodeo. The 1972 movie will air at 8 p.m. Monday, June 27, at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds. Concessions and a full bar will be open. Tickets are $5.
After that there are rodeo events and performances through July 4. The World’s Oldest Rodeo Parade streams through downtown past Courthouse Plaza beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 2. The theme is “Celebrating 50 Years of Junior Bonner.” Grand marshal will be Chase McQueen, grandson of Steve McQueen.
Courthouse Plaza will be bustling all weekend. The Prescott Rodeo Days Art & Crafts Show starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 2, and ends at 6 p.m. Monday, July 4. The juried art show spreads out beneath the shady elms on the plaza and features paintings, pottery, jewelry, metal works, home décor and plenty more.
There’s also a big party at Watson Lake Park on July 4, and that’s where the fireworks will go off. The festivities are from 3 to 10 p.m. and include food vendors, live music, water slides and a beer garden. There will also be a tribute to the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Fireworks light up the sky above the lake at 9.
General admission is $5; cash only on the day of the event. Unlimited water-slide passes for kids include general admission for $25 ($30 day of the event, cash only). Free parking and shuttle at Pioneer Park. To purchase tickets and passes in advance, visit https://prescott.events.
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Fireworks have been replaced in Flagstaff for 2022 with a state of the art laser light show.
The long holiday weekend begins with Art in the Park. The juried arts and crafts festival features more than 70 artists from across the Southwest.
It takes place on the big shady lawn of Wheeler Park downtown from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday. Bands perform throughout each day, food vendors are on hand and an expansive beer garden serves local and regional brews.
A colorful parade makes its way through downtown from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday. Also that day, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra performs a patriotic pops concert at the Pepsi Amphitheater in Fort Tuthill County Park. The event begins at 3 p.m. and is free. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.
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Lights on the Lawn features four days of events at the Continental Country Club. They kick things off Friday and Saturday with dinners and concerts followed by a big cornhole tournament on July 3 to benefit the Humane Society.
A community bash on July 4 will have food trucks, vendors, a beer garden with live music and a kid zone with wet and dry play features. It’s free admission to the big lawn party, which goes from 3 to 10 p.m. and finishes up with the laser light show. VIP tickets cost $125.
Who needs fireworks when you’ve got street omelets? Every July 4, Oatman holds its beloved Sidewalk Egg Fry. At high noon, participants attempt to make a late breakfast the hard way.
Since 1990, the event has been drawing crowds to this former mining town for the festivities. In the early days, contestants plopped eggs directly on the sidewalk. That proved to be pretty messy even for a town with mounds of burro poop adorning Main Street.
Now the roadside chefs use skillets, pans or aluminum foil. They’re also allowed to utilize mirrors, magnifying glasses, and anything else that might add a few extra degrees of heat, although no fire or electricity is permitted.
Details: 928-577-9139, https://www.oatmanchamberofcommerce.com.
Cool off in the White Mountains where the Show Low celebration goes on all day July 4.
The parade begins at 9 a.m. as it rolls along Deuce of Clubs. As soon as the parade wraps up, Wet Zone in Frontier Park gets going. Sprinklers and fire hoses soak down a couple of soccer fields and they break out the Slip ‘n Slides and other water toys.
You’ll just have time to dry off for FreedomFest, which starts at 3 p.m. at the Show Low Football Stadium complex. There will be food, live music and rides in the Fun Zone. Fireworks are scheduled at 9 p.m. All events are free, except the Fun Zone where unlimited-ride wristbands costs $5.
Details: 928-532-4000, https://www.showlowaz.gov.
Lake Havasu City
If fireworks over water sound intriguing, spend the holiday in Lake Havasu City. The sky lights up over Thompson Bay at 9 p.m. July 4 with a dazzling display. If you plan to watch from your boat, get there early to secure a spot.
Of course, there is a lot of beachfront real estate where you can enjoy the array of colors reflected in water. Rotary Park, London Bridge Beach and the Nautical Beachfront Resort offer excellent views and free parking. Tune in to KNTR 980 AM for a live simulcast with music set to the fireworks display.
And there's a new wrinkle this year. The professionals at Skydive Havasu will make a thrilling freefall at 5 p.m. with an Arizona flag, an American flag banner and a POW/MIA flag. They’ll land at Bridgewater Links Golf Course at London Bridge Resort.
Details: 928-453-3444, https://www.golakehavasu.com.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Fourth of July 2022: Best fireworks and things to do in Arizona