Fourth of July festivities fill the day and spill into the evening around the Rim 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. 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 Fire House 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.
Concert under the stars and fireworks
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 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 and 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.
Oxbow participating in First Friday for charity
The Fourth of July First Friday Art and Antiques event will have an added attraction with a special program at the Oxbow.
From 4 p.m., Friday, July 4 and starting at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 5, the Oxbow Saloon will be open to host a fund-raiser sponsored by the Payson Rodeo Committee to benefit its scholarship fund, Christmas for Kids, and other local charities.
Dancing and music will follow the Fourth of July fireworks at the park. Code Blue, Silver Star, Smoot Mahooty, Different Daze -- a classic 50s, 60s and 70s rock band, Hans Olson, plus classical magician Allen Wade and Junction 87 will be jamming and entertaining both inside and outside at the Oxbow Saloon.
For information call Vince Rader (480) 606-2009 or John Landino (928) 468-6684.
Keep pets safe
While we celebrate the Fourth of July we need to keep the safety of our pets in mind.
Don't take them to the activities in Green Valley Park, on Main Street or up in Pine. There will be too much going on, causing them to get overly excited and difficult to control.
The evening's fireworks display is no place for pets either. The loud noises, flashing lights and smell of sulfur can cause excessive fear in pets. Some are so frightened they may run through glass windows or escape and run into traffic.
Leave your pets at home and indoors.
Close all doors and windows and put on music to muffle the sound.
Close curtains and blinds to block flashing lights.
Make sure pets have identification in the event they escape and become lost.
Try to distract your pet with chew toys and games.