Town Won't Cancel Fireworks

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Around 9 p.m. on the Fourth of July after the music from the free concert by Western Fusion has faded into the night, the sky above Green Valley Park will explode with the town's annual fireworks display.

Despite restrictions and forest closures put in place because of the severe fire danger, the Town of Payson decided not to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks.

But every precaution will be taken. The fireworks will be set off over the lake in Green Valley Park and, prior to the show, the area will be covered with fire retardant foam. The nearby park grounds will be heavily irrigated, and Payson Parks and Recreation department director Bill Schwind is not anticipating any problems unless the wind kicks up.

The Fire Department will have officers on hand to keep track of embers.

This year's July 4 display will include 2,205 total effects.

"It's way cool," Schwind said.

More than 30 minutes of shells filled with colored gunpowder will be shot into the air by Fireworks Productions of Arizona to light up the Payson night.

"The grand finale will be a 60-shell piece including 35 of the big ones," Schwind said.

Local firefighters and police officers who are members of Public Safety Christmas for Kids will be selling bratwurst, hot dogs and Albert Hunt's barbecue beef sandwiches out of their concession stand. Profits will benefit Payson children at Christmastime. The concession will be open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., children of all ages can win prizes, including pool passes and teddy bears for tossing a tortilla the farthest or crossing the finish line first in leap frog, three-legged and gunny sack races, and, in the time-honored tradition of Independence Day picnics, compete in a tug of war.

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