Come Rain Or Shine, Payson Fires Up For Fourth

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No matter what the summer monsoon season brings Wednesday evening, the Town of Payson's Independence Day celebration including the fireworks display will almost certainly take place in Green Valley Park.

"We don't have a contingency plan," said Bill Schwind, director of the Payson Parks and Recreation Department. "These monsoon storms, if and when they do roll in, will only last for a brief period of time ... the chances of the event or the fireworks being cancelled are slim to none."

This year a shuttle service will move folks from the parking lots in Rumsey Park to the festival action as scheduled:

2 p.m. Rim Country Middle School volunteers will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs and sodas in the Julia Randall Elementary School parking lot across the street from the park. The proceeds will be used to buy books for the school.

3 p.m. Face painting and family games, including leap frog, tortilla tosses, gunny-sack races and tugs-of-war.

3:30 p.m. The Rim Country Museum will finally dedicate the completion of the Haught cabin, which was originally built in about 1910 and has been reconstructed near the museum between the original forest ranger garage and residence.

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. At some point during this hour, Congressman J.D. Hayworth will make an appearance at the new Veteran's Memorial to present Payson World War II veteran Marion Deal with the many military decorations he earned but lost over the years.

5 p.m. At lakeside, the Rim Country Rotary Club will hold its 4th Annual Firequacker Duck Race. Ducks can be "adopted" for $5 each, $25 for a six-pack and $100 for 25. The ducks will compete for up to $12,500 in prize money.

7 p.m. A two-hour free concert by the popular country-music band Western Bred in the Green Valley Park amphitheater.

9 p.m. It's showtime! This year's fireworks display, like last year's, will light the sky directly above the lake, but it will be visible from throughout the park and surrounding area.

Shuttle information:

From 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., shuttle buses will pick up passengers in Rumsey Park at Taylor Pool, the tennis courts, Ramada 5 (the largest ramada) and the south park entrance near Payson Parkway. The drop-off point will be curbside at the Green Valley Park amphitheater.

For more information, call the Payson Parks and Recreation department at 474-5242, ext. 7.

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