By GSN NEWS STAFF
When it comes to celebrating Independence Day with the traditional bombs bursting in air, East Valley municipalities are in an explosive competition.
Every municipality is vying for the attention of its residents that night with fireworks displays and, in some cases, accompanying attractions to lure families to their nighttime show.
Gilbert is no exception.
This year, the town is teaming up with The town of Gilbert, Central Christian Church and the Higley Unified School District to put on a show at Higley High, with a celebration starting at 6 p.m. and fireworks wrapping it up at 8:30.
To make sure folks get an eyeful, organizers are posting signs along Pecos and Recker roads pointing to not only the main venue at Higley High but also to alternative viewing sites at Centennial Elementary, Logan Traditional Academy and, naturally, nearby Higley’s district headquarters.
The show is free, though spectators can purchase food and non-alcoholic beverages from food trucks at Higley High. People can bring coolers and are urged to bring lots of water.
But don’t put beer or other alcoholic beverages in those coolers, Alcohol is forbidden at the viewing sites, as are smoking or sending off a few rockets or firecrackers of your own.
If you’re driving around the East Valley and can’t make it back to Higley in time, here are some other spots where you can celebrate the nation’s birthday with a bang:
Arizona Celebration of Freedom
Mesa’s celebration downtown has a variety of activities for kids and adults, including a tribute to fallen heroes in battle and patriotic displays.
Where: Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St., Mesa.
When: 6-10 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.
Admission: Free but attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods or bottles of water for the needy.
FOURTH OF ZOOLY
The Phoenix Zoo will serve a classic summer BBQ and top it with a view of the Tempe Town Lake Fireworks Spectacular show at a VIP seating area in the back of the zoo. There will be free carousel rides and free entrance to Stingray Bay along with special animal viewing.
Where: 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix.
Time: 7-10 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.
Admission: $45 for anyone 13 and over; for kids 3-12, $35; kids 2 and under free.
Information: phoenixzoo.org, 602-273-1341
Chandler 4th of July Celebration
Traditional fireworks show will be preceded by shows by two youth bands, cornhole and other games, a Marine Color Guard, and a Sesame Street step-and-repeat. People are encouraged to bring their own games, as well as soccer balls or baseballs and mitts.
When: 6:30-9:30 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.
Where: Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler.
Admission: Free but $5 for parking.
Tempe Town Lake Festival
Tempe lays it all out with games, vendors, a beer garden and numerous attractions for kids and adults.
When: 5:30-10 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m.
Where: Tempe Beach Park, 620 N. Mill Ave., Tempe.
Admission: Prices vary with general admission $7 to $10, beer garden VIP tickets $30-$60 and that comes with a dinner, drink tickets and special seating in a misted area. Children under 12 and active military free. Information: tempe4th.com
Arts Center Celebration
Celebrate July 4th in cool comfort at the Tempe Center for the Arts. VIP tickets allow entry into TCA and terrace rooftop for fireworks viewing. General admission allows entry into TCA lobby and ground floor rooms. Food trucks on site will have plenty of delicious food and a cash bar all the beverages to quench your thirst. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Where: 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe.
When: 6-10 p.m.
Admission: $15 general admission, $30 for VIP.