Music lovers will have an extra reason to celebrate this Fourth of July — the Rim Country’s Fourth of July fun will be fueled by lots of great music.
Things get going Friday, July 1 at the First Friday festivities on Historic Main Street in Payson when Junction 87 performs at Bootleg Alley Arts & Antiques.
The band took top honors for Best Local Music Band in the Payson Roundup’s 2011 Best of the Rim Country awards, in which area residents cast ballots for their favorites in a variety of categories. Members Billy Ichida, Bob Lewis and Jim Norman and primarily perform old country and western standards and 1950s rock.
The great sounds of summer continue Saturday night with big band music at the town’s free Concert Under the Stars series in Green Valley Park.
The Terry McFee Orchestra presents The Music of the Greatest Generation at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 2.
The 10-piece orchestra will be bringing the music of the 1940s to the Payson park’s amphitheater area, along with a number of patriotic tunes including a medley of the armed services’ hymns and a few surprises. There will also be a dance contest (probably featuring the twist, not swing).
Gary Larkins, trumpeter with the band, will narrate the program with Licia Ware and Terry McFee providing the vocals. McFee will also be playing the trumpet and Ware the keyboards.
Also performing are saxophonists Bob Hartrick, Mike Wojciechwicz, Jeff Kelly and Chuck Hitmar; trombonist Mark Witt; bassist Orlando Gordoa; and drummer Burt Lewin.
McFee said the band has been around for about 20 years, and has this group playing together for five or six years. He said one of their favorite places to play is Green Valley Park, but they also enjoy working ballrooms and presenting concerts.
The downturn in the economy has reduced the number of programs the orchestra to only five to 10 a year. However, the members work in smaller groups and also in a Dixieland band and a Tijuana Brass-style group, so they are able to stay busy.
They have a great time when they come to Payson and are hoping the audience will too. The orchestra will have CDs and T-shirts for sale, so guests can take some of the show home with them.
Remember the Green Valley Park amphitheater area has no seating, so bring lawn chairs or blankets and sit back and enjoy the cool evening air and even cooler sounds from one of history’s great eras for music.
Music continues on Sunday at the Payson Elks Lodge when the band Goin’ 4 Broke performs from noon to 2 p.m. at the Elks Independence Day Celebration. The Moose Lodge, in Star Valley, will have RoseLyn perform at its Red, White and Blue Celebration, which begins at 11 a.m.
Fourth of July, party in the park with the Higher Power Band from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. as the best dance music from the last 40 years is on the night’s playlist. There will be something for everyone — from music made popular by Louis Armstrong, Patsy Cline and Dean Martin to the sounds of Elvis, the Beatles and Michael Jackson.
The members of the Higher Power Band love coming to Payson, said vocalist and keyboardist Licia Ware.
“It’s incredible. The people are so warm and kind, you feel like you’re home. It was so beautiful, none of us wanted to leave last year,” Ware said.
Returning with Ware to the Rim Country are bassist Orlando Gordoa; Burt Lewin, drums; Dave Fisher, guitarist and vocalist; and Steve Lopez, vocalist, guitarist, keyboard and fiddle.
Other Fourth of July holiday activities start Friday, July 1 and continue through Monday, the Fourth of July. Here are some of the details:
Book sale and quilt raffle — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, July 1, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 2 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, July 3 at the Library Activity Room located behind the cultural hall at the Pine Community Center.
First Friday — The Time Out Thrift Shop will have a Half-Price Sale Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2. Everything in the shop and on the sidewalk will be sold for 50 percent off the listed price. The shop is located at 500 S. Beeline Hwy. (across from Wendy’s) and will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the Humane Society Thrift Shop, 501 W. Main St., will also have specials for First Friday; First Friday on Historic West Main in Payson will be celebrated from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. by many of the merchants and galleries on the street.
Fourth of July Arts & Crafts Festival — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 2 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, July 3 at Pine Community Center grounds.
Cub car wash — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 2, Walgreens parking lot.
Chili Cook-Off — Payson Event Center; Sunday, July 3; check-in is at 9 a.m., with the awards program at 4 p.m. Admission is $4 per person, which includes a tasting cup and spoon, plus a ballot to vote for the People’s Choice contestants. The chili for the People’s Choice awards will be served starting at 11 a.m., while the chili for the CASI contest will be served beginning at 2 p.m.
Elks Independence Day Celebration — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, July 3 at the Payson Elks Lodge is at 1206 N. Beeline Highway.
Moose Red, White and Blue Celebration — 11 a.m., Sunday, July 3 at the Moose Lodge in Star Valley.
Payson’s Patriotic Party — The Town of Payson’s festivities for the Fourth of July begin at 8 a.m., Monday, July 4 with a patriotic ceremony at the Green Valley Veterans Memorial. This will be followed in the afternoon by old-fashioned games and fun from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., including sack races, an egg toss, a tug-of-war and foot races. Fireworks over the lake will begin at 9 p.m.