Although the crowds were light for the daytime July Fourth events, it appeared everyone came out of the woodwork to watch the ever spectacular fireworks put on by the Town of Payson and the Northern Gila County Sanitary District.

“I think the crowds were bigger than ever — and the traffic didn’t clear out until later than usual,” said local photographer and music DJ Craig Miller. His house sits right across from Green Valley Park so he gets an up close and personal view of what’s going on every year.

Courtney Spawn, the director of Payson’s Parks and Recreation Department, estimated the crowd for the fireworks to be anywhere from 7,500 to 10,000 people.

She has an idea why the crowds keep growing.

“The fireworks are always impressive; people keep coming back for the great show or they get hooked for years to come once they see it,” she said.

The half-hour show had red, white and blue fireworks, great domes of sparkling light fireworks and those whistling fireworks that perk up the ears — or set off car alarms.

All in all, Spawn believes everyone enjoyed the event.

“Seeing all the components come together to provide participants the opportunity to come out to Green Valley Park, celebrate our nation, and have a great experience in Payson is the ultimate goal,” she said. “A big thank you to all the town departments that are involved in making this a successful and great event: Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Police Department, Fire Department, Streets Department, Water Department — and our partners at CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team).”

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I cover the Town of Payson, courts, wildfire, business, families, non-profits, the environment and investigative reporting

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