The Fourth of July is a popular holiday for family vacations, community celebrations, barbecues, and fireworks, and there are plenty of concerts, festivals, and events happening in the Phoenix area this year you can enjoy if you're planning a holiday to the Valley of the Sun.
From annual Fourth of July gatherings like the "Old Fashioned Fourth" in Buckeye to day-long events like the "4th of July Spectacular" in Wickenburg, the residential communities and small towns in the greater Phoenix area offer a wide range of ways to celebrate America's birthday. You can enjoy everything from sampling patriotic recipes prepared by local chefs to participating in contests and special tournaments against tourists and residents alike.
While many of these events are free to attend, food and beverages are often available for purchase and some attractions and games do require a small fee to enjoy. You are also not allowed to bring personal fireworks or alcohol to many of these events, in accordance with Arizona firework and liquor laws, so be sure to check the local rules before you plan your family's holiday celebration.
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On July 3, 2018, the community of Anthem will host its annual Independence Day celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. with fireworks starting at 9:30. The residential master-planned community of Anthem is located north of Phoenix and its annual Fourth of July event is a great way to celebrate America away from the big crowds of downtown's festivals.
Although most of the event is free to attend, the waters slides, rides, and inflatables do charge fees, and you can purchase food from many local vendors on-site. Other features of this annual celebration include live music, dancing, family-friendly activities, and, of course, the fireworks finale.
Free parking is available on the street, in the Community Park parking lots, and in the Community Center lot as well as the Boulder Creek High School. You are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, but while coolers are permitted, no alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park.
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The southeastern Phoenix town of Apache Junction will host the "Hometown Fireworks Celebration" all day on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. This annual event incorporates an entire day of family activities, sporting events, fun, music, and fireworks.
The day starts with the 4th of July Co-Ed Volleyball Tournament, which takes place at the Superstition Shadows Aquatic Center starting at 8 a.m. Spectators must pay pool admission, which is waived for tournament participants, but you'll also get access to public swimming afterward from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In the evening the gates at the high school football stadium will open at 6 p.m. for the main event. Along with live music and entertainment for adults, families can also enjoy game booths and activities for kids including inflatable bounce houses, water games, bean bag toss, and prize ponds. There will also be a bicycle, tricycle, and wagon decorating contest and free watermelon (while supplies last).
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Buckeye is located in the West Valley and is actually one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Its annual celebration, "Old-Fashion Independence Day" returns in 2018 on July 4 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Youngker High School.
Admission to this community-run event is free, but some of the family-friendly activities do require a small fee to participate. Fireworks will kick off at 9 p.m., and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets so they can relax on the field and enjoy the show.
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About 30 minutes south of Chandler, the city of Casa Grande will celebrate the Fourth of July at the Palm Island Family Aquatics Park from 10 a.m to 2 p.m and the Ed Hooper Rodeo Park and Paul Mason Sportsplex, starting at 7 p.m.
In the daytime enjoy open swim, activities, and games at Family Swim Day for a small fee, and then head over to the Sportsplex for free activities and fireworks in the evening. Bring lawn chairs and blankets as well as cash for food vendors, but leave the alcohol and pets at home for this event.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Chandler's signature Independence Day celebration takes place at Tumbleweed Park, on the Southwest corner of Germann and McQueen Roads, on July 4, 2018, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Although the event is free to attend, parking will cost you a small fee per vehicle. Entertainment includes local band School of Rock Sugar Skulls, DJs, the Presentation of Colors by the United States Marine Corp Color Guard, and a fireworks show. Activities include a coloring area, corn hole games, a photo booth, Sesame Street attractions, and a goodies and giveaways table.
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Florence is one of Arizona's oldest towns, located southeast of the Phoenix area in Pinal County, and this year, it will host Freedom Fest all day long on July 4, 2018.
You can spend the afternoon at the Florence Aquatic Center for the open swim session starting at noon, then head to Heritage Park at 5 p.m. for activities including corn hole and mud volleyball tournaments, bingo, inflatable toys, and live music by the Laura Walsh band.
Freedom Fest comes to an end with a 30-minute fireworks show starting at 8:30 p.m. Admission for the open swim is school supplies or a backpack that will be donated to local children in need, and the concert and firework show are both free to attend.
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Fountain Park, in the northeast part of the metro Phoenix area, is a great place to celebrate an enjoyable and relaxing 4th of July with family and friends. Fourth at the Fountain returns on July 4, 2018, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Activities and entertainment include live music, kids bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, and prize raffles and tunes by DJ Steve Grosz, followed by a closeout firework show starting at 9 p.m.
Food vendors selling Italian ice, frozen lemonade, and other treats will be on-site, but otherwise, the event is completely free to attend. Parking is also available nearby, but several city streets will be closed to traffic for the holiday.
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The town of Gilbert is a growing, mostly residential community southeast of Phoenix in the East Valley, but if you happen to be in town for the holiday, you can catch a great fireworks show at the annual July 4th Celebration at the Higley High School in Gilbert on July 4, 2018, from 6 to 8:45 p.m.
There will also be food trucks on-site selling food, but otherwise, the town of Gilbert keeps it simple for their Fourth of July celebration. You can also see the fireworks from Centennial Elementary School, Legacy Traditional Academy, Higley Unified School District Administration Parking Lot, and other sites along Recker and Pecos Road if you'd prefer a more intimate setting.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Goodyear is located in the West Valley area of Phoenix and hosts an annual Independence Day event at the Goodyear Ballpark on July 4, 2018, from 6 to 10 p.m. If you'd like to spend the whole day at the ballpark, you could also buy tickets to the USA Baseball Tournament happening from morning through early afternoon.
The "Star Spangled Fourth" event is free and features a water slide, bounce houses, live music, a hot dog eating contest for adults, and a 20-minute firework display to end the night.
Blankets, seat cushions, and towels are allowed, but you cannot bring any commercial cameras, sparklers, drones, noisemakers, chairs, hard or large coolers, glass, cans, alcohol, skates, skateboards, or pets into the ballpark. Additionally, you can rent out one of the Goodyear Ballpark Luxury Suites for the event, which are air-conditioned and feature party facilities for groups of 15 people.
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Another great West Valley city, Litchfield Park will celebrate the Fourth of July with its annual Splash Bash on July 4, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Recreation Center downtown.
This community-sponsored event does require a low admission price ($2 per person) unless you have a Litchfield Park pool pass. There will also be food and beverages available for purchase, but you are not allowed to bring in liquor, coolers, or large amounts of prepared food (snacks are okay).
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Maricopa is southwest of the Phoenix area that celebrates the 4th of July with a community barbecue. The "Great American Fourth" event takes place at Copper Sky Regional Park, right across from the aquatic center, on July 4, 2018, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Entertainment includes a Kid's Zone with water toys, bounce houses, and family-friendly activities as well as a beer garden for adults and music performances appropriate for all ages followed by a firework show to close out the night.
The City of Maricopa will be providing complimentary shuttle service for this event to cut down on traffic, but limited parking will be available on-site. You can bring lawn chairs, blankets, and small coolers, but no cooking or grilling is allowed so you should bring extra cash for the food vendors.
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The main draw of the West Valley, though, is Peoria's annual All-American Festival, which has been providing patriotic entertainment to the town for over 35 years. The All-American Festival returns this year on July 4 to the Peoria Sports Complex from 5 to 10 p.m.
Headlined by The Ryan Sims Band in concert, the All-American Festival will also feature a cornhole tournament, a kids zone, a water zone, food eating contests, food and beer concessions, and plenty of family-friendly activities throughout the event.
There is an admission charge for the festival, and some activities have an additional fee. You can purchase discounted tickets in advance, or full price at the gate if it is not sold out.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Phoenix: Fabulous Phoenix Fourth
The City of Phoenix hosts several Independence Day events, but the Fabulous Phoenix Fourth is the main attraction on this summer holiday. The 33rd annual event will take place on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Steele Indian School Park and will feature one of the largest firework shows in the Southwest.
There will also be two full stages featuring international artists, food and beverage vendors, arts and crafts activities, interactive exhibits, and a classic car display as well as a kid's area with inflatables, rides, and a water spray park.
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Another West Valley city, Tolleson will host its annual Independence Day celebration at the Veterans Park on July 4, 2018, from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Featuring family fun, cookie-eating contests, a cheeseball toss, live music, water slides, and a full fireworks show, this free local event is a great way to spend the holiday just outside of Phoenix.
Parking is free, but there will also be a shuttle service provided between lots a little further from the park entrance. There will also be food and beverage vendors on-site, so remember to bring cash if you want to eat while you're there.
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Wickenburg is in the far northwest part of the Valley of the Sun, and this wild west town will host its annual Fourth of July Spectacular all day long on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at various venues in the city.
Activities kick off with open pool hours at the Wickenburg Municipal Swimming Pool from 1 to 5 p.m. featuring music and games, and in the evening, festivities move to Sunset Park where you can enjoy carnival games, crafts, water slides, and a big firework show from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.