Full Day On Fourth Of July

Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

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Head to Green Valley Park July 4 for a fun-filled celebration, brimming with music, games, food and fireworks.

The festivities launch at 3 p.m. with a three-story rock wall. Adventurous spirits of all ages looking for a challenge will have the chance to climb the wall for $5.

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Fourth of July
Payson Parks and Recreation Independence Day Celebration
When: 3 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Green Valley Park
Cost: Free
Contact: (928) 474-5242 ext. 7

Why we celebrate
A reading of the Declaration of Independence to commemorate Independence Day will be held at 9 a.m. July 4 at the West Ramada of Green Valley Park. For more information, call (928) 951-2202.

A portion of the proceeds benefits the charity Christmas for Kids, which purchases gifts for underprivileged children at Christmas, said Holly Aungst, recreation coordinator for the Payson Parks and Recreation Department.

To raise additional funds for Christmas for Kids, the Payson Fire and Police departments will sell food and glow necklaces.

Along with tasty treats from vendors, a large gas grill near the ramada west of the amphitheater will be available for public use, Aungst said.

"Anyone who wants to use it can just come and grill their food," Aungst said.

For the youngsters and the young at heart, games such as sack races, tug of war and ring on a string will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.

"An area in front of the amphitheater will have game stations," Aungst said. "That way, kids can toss water balloons at one place and then run over and throw tortillas at one another. We tried to break it up a bit, so no one gets injured."

Patrons can also stop by the Payson Supply Line booth and donate money or small items that will be packaged and sent to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Accepted donations include personal hygiene items such as Chapstick and sunblock, insect repellent wipes, beef jerky and individually wrapped snacks, said Butch Klein, who began mailing care packages to soldiers more than two years ago.

The value of one box, including shipping, is about $150. The contents weigh about 35 pounds and can supply as many as 10 soldiers, Klein said.

"If you donate individual Kool-Aid or Country Time Lemonade packets, it's enough to shake up in a canteen," said Klein, who has sent more than 450 boxes overseas. "That way, soldiers don't have to drink Iraqi water, which is pretty bad."

Mayor Bob Edwards will speak at 6:30 p.m.

The entertainment continues with live music from John Carpino and the Hot Cappuccinos, a band specializing in '60s, '70s and '80s hits and a few patriotic tunes.

Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. and span 30 to 40 minutes of dazzling displays, Aungst said.

To ensure safety, the public will not be allowed within 280 feet of the fireworks display. Police and firefighters will enforce the boundary.

The dock and pier of Green Valley Lake will close at noon.

Taylor Pool will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., charging a special rate of $4 per family or $2 per person.

Restrictions include alcohol, glass containers, charcoal or wood fires, outside vendors, skateboarding or rollerblading and placing stakes in the grass.

"In years past, people would show up early and stake a tent," Aungst said.

"The stakes sometimes puncture underground electricity and water lines."

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