The fireworks portion of the town's Independence Day celebration has been postponed due to extreme fire danger.
The decision was made Wednesday morning as town officials met in the shadow of the Willow Fire burning just five miles southwest of Payson.
"We just can't put on a fireworks show in our community when we have a 32,000 acre fire right beside us. That isn't common sense," Payson Mayor Barbara Brewer said. "I asked Bill Schwind (Parks and Recreation Director) if he would consider looking at Labor Day weekend for the fireworks display. It would be nice -- cooler and safer."
"People are scared right now about this fire -- as we all are. We don't want to give our firefighters something else to worry over."
Town Recreation Specialist Charlene Hunt wants people to know there is still a big celebration planned for Sunday, July 4 at Green Valley Park.
"We're postponing the fireworks display, not canceling the Independence Day celebration," Hunt said. "We're being considerate of what's going on in Arizona with the fire situation."
Plans for the town's firework-free Independence Day celebration include family fun games and two free community concerts.
"We're having family games from, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Green Valley Park amphitheater, including gunny-sack races, tug-o-war, and other games and activities for all ages," Hunt said. "Then, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the band Young Country will be performing.
This band is very well known in the state of Arizona. "They were here two years ago and they are awesome -- they will have people up dancing."
At 9 p.m., when Young Country is done, the 108th Army Band will be playing an hour of patriotic music.
"The non-profit venders will be there with food, drinks and snow cones starting at 3 p.m.," Hunt said.
"We encourage everyone to come out and celebrate Independence Day as a community. Enjoy it as a family.
Bring a sweatshirt and lawn chairs," Hunt said
No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park.
For more information call 474-5242, ext. 7.