The Biggest Fourth of July Celebrations in Phoenix

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks
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When it comes time to celebrate our nation's Independence Day, few places do it up as big the Greater Phoenix area. It might be hot outside on July 4, but you can be sure that tens of thousands of people will be out and about, enjoying fireworks, staying cool with water slides, listening to local musical groups, playing games, watching outdoor movies, and singing patriotic songs.

There are three July Fourth festivals in the Phoenix area, however, that never fail to capture the spirit of the occasion, and they are the largest and most well-attended events of them all. If you're visiting Phoenix from out of town, these are the celebrations to attend. Not only will they have family-friendly activities and exhibits but they also are sure to feature top-notch entertainment, with nationally known performers taking the stage. And at the end of the evening, the fireworks displays will be stupendous.

All three of the Fourth of July festivals described are accessible by Valley Metro Rail....MORE It's your best option because parking at these well-attended events, and driving around restricted streets, will be challenging.

More Options for Enjoying July Fourth

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    Saguaro Cactus By Superstition Mountains Against Cloudy Sky
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    Mesa, Arizona, is one of the largest cities in the metro Phoenix area and is located in the  East Valley. The Arizona Celebration of Freedom is one of the most popular Independence Day events in the Greater Phoenix area.​

    When Is Arizona's Celebration of Freedom?

    July 4, 2018, from 6 to 10 p.m. Fireworks start at approximately 9:30 p.m.

    Where Is It?

    The celebration takes place at Mesa Convention Center and Mesa Amphitheatre and along Center Street between Second Street and University Drive. Parking around downtown Mesa is free, as is street parking. You can use Valley Metro Rail to get to the event. Use the Main Street/Center Street Station. Walk north two blocks.

    What Will Happen?

    The Arizona Celebration of Freedom includes live music, patriotic displays, family fun, fireworks, and more. Check the schedule of bands, entertainment, exhibits, and activities online.

    • The festival will include Revolutionary War reenactments from We Make History, the only reenactment group of its type in the...MORE southwestern United States. 
    • A Fallen Soldier Memorial honors Arizona's fallen heroes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    • There are two stages of live musical entertainment. The Salute to America program at 9:20 p.m. precedes the fireworks.
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will welcome new U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony.
    • Independence Hall will host presentations of the historical flags of the United States. 
    • Kids will enjoy free carnival-style and inflatable games and a splash and soak zone. The Freedom Express, a trackless train, will offer free rides to children and adults from 6 to 10 p.m. 
    • Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. and be followed by the band Cold Shott and The Hurricane Horns.

    What Does It Cost?

    Admission is free and all activities are included. Bring cash for food, beverage, and merchandise vendors.

    What Else Do I Need to Know?

    • The streets and sidewalks will be filled with entertainment, food and beverage vendors, art displays, and people. Walk through America’s Heritage Lane with national monuments and figures of America history and freedom. 
    • Bring a water bottle and take advantage of free water bottle refill stations.
    • Chairs and blankets permitted. Small coolers and food permitted. 
    • No alcoholic beverages may be brought in. No smoking. No personal fireworks or sparklers. No clothing with gang signs. No bicycles. No pop-up tents. No pets. 
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    Phoenix, Arizona Downtown Skyline
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    The City of Phoenix is, of course, the largest city in the state of Arizona and is in the geographic center of what is referred to as the Valley of the Sun, or the Greater Phoenix area. The Phoenix Fourth of July event is one of the biggest in the state and has one of the largest free fireworks show. It is usually televised. Typically, approximately 100,000 people attend this Phoenix Independence Day celebration.

    When Is the Fabulous Phoenix Fourth?

    July 4, 2018, from 6 to 10 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

    Where Is It?

    It is at the Steele Indian School Park at 300 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix (map). No vehicles will be allowed in the park during this event. This event is accessible by Valley Metro Light Rail. Check the July 4 light rail schedule information. Free parking is available at the light rail park-n-ride lots.

    The Arizona Department of Transportation usually provides detailed motorist information, including any travel or road restrictions, for this event. Call 5-1-1, then...MORE *7. The call is free.

    What Will Happen?

    A patriotic program and local entertainers are scheduled. There will be free inflatable rides and activities in the Kids' World, arts and crafts, classic car display, and a Splash Zone area where participants can cool off. The fireworks begin at approximately 9:30 p.m.

    What Does It Cost?

    Admission is free. Food and beverages are available to purchase. Bring cash.

    What Else Do I Need to Know?

    Make note of what is allowed, restricted, and closed:

    • Bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the show and fireworks from the grass. 
    • Coolers are permitted but no alcohol or glass containers. Bring a lot of water. 
    • No pets. No skates or skateboards. No consumer fireworks or sparklers. No fold-out tables. 
    • Fishing in the lake will not be permitted and the dog park will be closed.
    • Central Avenue between Osborn and Campbell and Indian School Road between 7th Street and 7th Avenue will be closed beginning at 5 p.m. During the fireworks, 7th Street will be temporarily closed between Highland and Indian School Road and will be restricted until event traffic clears after the festival.
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    independence day
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    Tempe, Arizona, is probably best known for being the home of Arizona State University. Many popular events take place during the year in and around downtown Tempe, which includes Tempe Town Lake and Tempe Beach Park, where the Independence Day celebration occurs. The July Fourth celebration is well-attended and has one of the largest fireworks displays in Arizona. It is produced by the Kiwanis Club of Tempe.

    When Is the July Fourth Tempe Town Lake Festival?

    July 4, 2018, at 5 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:20 p.m.

    Where Is It?

    The event takes place at Tempe Town Lake in downtown Tempe (map).

    What Will Happen?

    The Family Fun Fest is an inflatable village with free rides, activities, rock climbing wall, and more. Special kids' entertainment includes face painters and relay races. The Main Stage features local live entertainment.

    A Color Guard, patriotic program, and flyover will begin at 6:45 p.m. At 7:15 p.m., headlining musical performers take the main stage. The 35-minute fireworks show will...MORE be shot from the Mill Avenue Bridge at 9:20 p.m. followed by more musical entertainment.

    Food and beverages are available for purchase. There will be a beer garden. Bring cash for purchases.

    What Does It Cost?

    There are many ways to obtain tickets.

    • Tickets will be $10 at the gate. Children 12 and younger and active duty military with a military identification card get in free. Sales will stop when the park reaches capacity. Presale tickets will be honored all night.
    • Tickets can be purchased online through July 4 at 10 a.m. for $7 plus service fees. VIP tickets are also available online for the VIP garden. These tickets​ include a seat with a view of the fireworks show in a misted area, barbecue dinner, and two beverage tickets. $60 for adults; children 12 and younger are $30. Service charges apply. 
    • Tickets will be on sale through July 4 at all Fry’s stores for $8.
    • Tickets, $7 each, will be on sale through July 3 at 5 p.m. at the following locations:
      • Parks & Recreation Administration Office, 3500 S. Rural Road (second floor Tempe Public Library)
      • Kiwanis Recreation Center, 6111 S. All America Way
      • Tempe Transit Store, 200 E. Fifth Street
      • Escalante Community Center, 2150 E. Orange St.
      • North Tempe Multi-Generational Center, 1555 N. Bridalwreath St.

    How Do I Get There and Where Should I Park?

    There are several pay lots near Tempe Beach Park, but parking is always challenging during big downtown Tempe events such as this one. This event is accessible by Valley Metro Rail, which will be following a Sunday schedule. You can find parking maps and information about free bus transportation online

    The Arizona Department of Transportation usually provides detailed motorist information, including any travel or road restrictions, for this event. Call 5-1-1, then *7. The call is free.

    What Else Do I Need to Know?

    Tens of thousands of people attend this celebration. It's first-come, first-served on lawn seating, so get there early. Here's what to bring or leave at home:

    • You may bring in one large clear bag and a small clutch purse. No non-approved bags or backpacks are allowed.
    • Blankets, portable chairs, small cameras, and small umbrellas are welcome. 
    • Only manufacturer's sealed containers of water (1 gallon per person) are allowed, but no other food or beverage. No coolers.
    • No skates, skateboards, or bicycles. No knives or weapons. No personal fireworks or sparklers. No pets. No gang attire.