Happy 4th! East Valley communities celebrate with family-friendly events

Arianna Grainey/Independent Newspapers

Arianna Grainey/Independent Newspapers

The local communities are gearing up for the annual Fourth of July celebrations.

Queen Creek
In Queen Creek, Schnepf Farms, 24610 S. Rittenhouse Road, will host the Celebrate America fireworks show. The gates to the farm will open at 4 p.m. The firework show will start around 8:30 p.m. The rides will be open until 8:30 p.m. so that everyone can enjoy the fireworks.
After the show, there will be a Disney movie played. Rides will reopen after the firework show until 9:30 p.m.
Admission is $20 dollars a car and some of that money will be donated to the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center.
According to the farm’s website, there are a few items that are not allowed. They are: ice chests, alcohol, large umbrellas, firearms and illegal drugs.
There will be food trucks and other offerings on-site from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
There is also a VIP experience for $45 includes a barbecue dinner in the big barn, unlimited ride wristband, bottled water and close seating for the fireworks show.
For more information regarding the event and where to park, visit the farm’s website at http://www.schnepffarms.com/event/4th-of-july/.
Nearby, the Queen Creek Olive Mill will host a July 4th pizza party 5-10 p.m. at 25062 S. Meridian Road.
The Olive Mill will be grilling outside in The Pit, firing up pizza pies inside and dancing to live music by Rocket 88’s. Free admission. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.
For more information, go online or call 480-888-9290.

Apache Junction
Apache Junction is once again hosting the Hometown Fireworks Celebration at Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive. The event starts at 8 a.m. with the water volleyball tournament at Superstition Shadows Aquatic Center, 1091 W. Southern Ave. Sign-ups for the tournament open at 7 a.m. and are limited to the first eight teams.
Public swimming opens at 10 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m.
There is a break in festivities from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The night activities are held at the high school field.
There again will be a bicycle, wagon and tricycle decorating contest, which starts at 6:30 p.m.
Reign-N-Country band will play from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
“The only thing that is a real change from last year is that we are upping the fireworks by half an hour,” Jeff Kopp with Apache Junction Parks and Recreation said. “It’s always been at 9 p.m. but now it will be at 8:30.”
Mr. Kopp said the change was made because people with young children had requested the earlier start time.
Mr. Kopp recommended people bring water and wear sunblock.
“We always stress to people to make sure they are hydrated even before they come out,” Mr. Kopp said.
Mr. Kopp also said the city is expecting a large crowd. He recommended people allow an extra half-hour to be able to park and get to the field.
Anything not allowed on school property is not allowed at the city’s event, Mr. Kopp said. No consumer fireworks, no weapons, pets or alcohol will be allowed, he said. Bags and coolers will be opened and checked.

The Arizona Celebration of Freedom will be held again at the Mesa Amphitheater, 263 N. Center St.
This year, the We Make History group will have its own amphitheater, with bleachers for 300-400 people with special lighting.
“That will make that experience that much better,” Steve Wright with the city of Mesa said.
Last year the city hosted a naturalization ceremony with about 20 candidates. This year there will be around 100, according to Mr. Wright.
“We are basically growing it by four times,” Mr. Wright said.
The event has multiple stages, with live music. Zona Road, Rock Lobster, Georgia Chrome and B-Platinum will be playing music starting at 6 p.m.
This year, the Arizona 108th Army Band will be playing patriotic music along with the fireworks.
There will be food and alcohol vendors, coolers can be brought into the event but alcohol can not be. All bags will be searched on entry. No fireworks, laser pointers, clothing with gang signs or bicycle riding will be allowed.
For more information, visit the event website.

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