Fourth of July festivities fill the day and spill into the evening around the Rim Country next Friday. Some of the fun continues through the weekend.
Activities in Payson start with a program by the Payson Patriotic Events Committee at the Veterans Memorial and bandstand in Green Valley Park. A flag-raising ceremony will be at 8 a.m., July 4 at the memorial, with words of welcome, followed by a program at the bandstand. The program will include reading the Declaration of Independence and a discussion of the country's founding document.
Organizers say the patriotic program should conclude at or before 10 a.m.
After hearing the Declaration of Independence read at Green Valley Park, make a trip to Pine and visit the 28th Annual Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Festival at the Pine Community Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, July 4. Around noon, wander over to the Pine Fire Department on Hardscrabble Road, where personnel will be serving Firehouse Brats.
If a trip to Pine on the Fourth doesn't fit into your schedule, food and fun start at Green Valley Park around noon.
The Payson fire and police departments are teaming up to raise funds for the Christmas for Kids Charities with afternoon festivities at the park. There will be hot dogs, brats, snow cones, soda and more available for $1 to $5 from noon to 9 p.m. Fund-raising activities planned include a dunk tank, a bounce house and a rock-climbing wall.
Starting at 7 p.m., Friday, July 4, enjoy a concert under the stars by local artist John Carpino and his band, The Hot Cappuccinos.
The Hot Cappuccinos are a six-piece variety rock band performing a wonderful mix of classic rock, country rock, reggae, Motown and originals. Singer and songwriter John Carpino -- voted "Best of Payson" for 14 consecutive years now -- has assembled some of Rim Country's finest musicians -- Billy Ichidan lead guitar and fiddle, "Deak" Dietrich on lead guitar and pedal steel guitar, David Brooks on bass guitar, Marty Tkachyk on drums and Lu Carpino on keyboards, percussion and vocals. The combination is dynamic -- an energetic, fun sound with an emphasis on strong vocals and harmonies.
The fireworks are planned to light up the night sky at about 9 p.m.
Green Valley Park is not the only venue for holiday fun, the First Friday Art and Antiques Walk on Main Street starts at 4 p.m. the Fourth of July -- an hour earlier than the usual First Friday start time of 5 p.m.
First Friday on Main Street will include the art and antiques walk; classic car displays; a magician performing at Deming Park, across from the Oxbow; food, such as kettle corn, brats and hot dogs; a watermelon eating and seed spitting contest at the Community Presbyterian Church; carnival games at the Community Presbyterian Church; and several bands performing.
The bands and entertainers scheduled to appear on Main Street during the First Friday Art and Antiques Walk for the Fourth of July include:
- Bob Meighan Band at Main Street Mercantile
- Bill Camp at Artists of the Rim Gallery
- Code Blue band at Amon lot
- Different Daze band at Down the Street Art Gallery
- Smoot Mahooty band at Bootleg Alley
- Hans Olson, inside the Oxbow Saloon
- Junction 87 band, inside the Oxbow Saloon
- Silver Star band, inside the Oxbow Saloon
- Rage N River band, inside the Oxbow Saloon
- Wizard Wade Magician Show at Deming History Park -- across from the Oxbow Saloon, with three, 45-minute shows starting at 4:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
Holiday fun continues in Pine from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 5, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, July 6 with the arts and crafts festival.
There will be 65 vendors at the festival, according to Gail Jones, who is one of the coordinators. Among those participating will be face painters and someone doing temporary tattoos, she said.
Go to the festival early on either Saturday or Sunday and you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast prepared by the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department. It is only $5 per plate, which includes pancakes, sausage, coffee and orange juice, and is served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.