CASA GRANDE — This year on the Fourth of July, the show will go on, with various festivities and events in most Pinal County communities.
While last year’s Fourth of July featured plenty of fireworks, most activities were celebrated virtually or in a COVID-safe manner and many stayed home to prevent the spread of disease.
But in 2021, Independence Day celebrations with music, food and various activities are back for communities throughout the area, which are planning fun and festive events. And there will be plenty of dancing this year.
In Casa Grande, residents attending the Fourth of July celebration at Paul Mason Sportsplex will dance to oldies, rock, cumbia and other music performed by the band Rhythm Edition.
In Florence, the town’s Freedom Fest event includes music by three bands, Pride Through Strife, The Jack and Mr. Skynyrd.
The event in Maricopa features live music from the band Highway 85.
Holiday travel is also expected to jump back to prepandemic levels this year, despite the highest gas prices in seven years, according to AAA.
More than 47.7 million Americans will travel to another community to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, and about 43 million of them will drive to their July Fourth celebration destination, according to AAA.
For those staying in Pinal County or welcoming guests to celebrate Independence Day locally, there are plenty of events, fireworks displays and other activities throughout the area.
Apache Junction, Sunday
Celebrations in Apache Junction include a volleyball tournament beginning at 7 a.m. at the Superstition Shadows Aquatic Center, 1091 W. Southern Ave. The aquatic center will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Evening activities at Apache Junction High School include water games and other activities. A wagon and tricycle contest begins at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks start at 8:30.
Arizona City, Saturday
The annual Arizona City Independence Day celebration includes food trucks, music, vendors and various activities. Holiday activities will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Arizona City Golf Course, 13939 S. Cleator Road. Fireworks, hosted by the Arizona City Fire Department, begin at dusk.
Casa Grande, Sunday
An event featuring music, fireworks and other activities is planned at Paul Mason Sportsplex, 2525 N. Pinal Ave. Gates open at 7 p.m. Fireworks start at 9. Admission is free. Food trucks will be on-site selling treats. The music group Rhythm Edition will perform oldies, funk, rock, cumbia and other musical styles. Fireworks may be watched at the sports complex or from a car. Admission is free.
Coolidge residents may make reservations to celebrate the holiday at the city pool by calling 520-723-4551. Up to five spots may be reserved between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Various contests and activities, including pool games, are planned. Later, beginning at 6 p.m., holiday activities are planned for Kenilworth Sports Complex, 10438 N. Christensen Road. Activities include arts and crafts, food vendors, a photo booth, games, music and free watermelon. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
Eloy’s Fourth of July Bash features a day full of activities. Free swimming will be offered from noon to 6 p.m. at the Eloy Aquatic Center. Evening activities are from 6 to 8 p.m. at Main Street Park and include a water slide, games, food, music, vendors and raffles. Fireworks begin after sundown.
The 127th annual Independence Day celebration in Florence begins with activities at the aquatic center at noon. A free party in Heritage Park will be from 5 to 9 p.m. and includes food trucks, live music, splash zones and a cornhole tournament. Fireworks begin at 8:30 p.m.
The first of three bands, Pride Through Strife, takes the stage at 5. AC/DC tribute band The Jack performs second, and the last band in the lineup is Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band Mr. Skynyrd.
This year’s patriotic salute includes a posting of the colors and a military tribute.
Maricopa’s Great American Fourth ‘80s-style event begins with a pool party at the Copper Sky Aquatics Center, 44345 MLK Jr. Blvd. Admission is $10, and $5 for Copper Sky annual members; children 3 and younger are free.
The Great American Tailgate starts at noon, the VIP Pool Party is from 5 to 8:30 p.m., Great American 4th is 7 to 10 p.m., GLOW Dart Boogie is from 7 to 10 p.m. The Highway 85 Band performs from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Vince Morgan Freestyle Motocross is from 8:30 to 8:55 and the grand fireworks display starts at 9.
Attendees may wear their favorite 1980s theme attire.
San Tan Valley/Queen Creek, Sunday
Schnepf Farms hosts its annual Hometown Fourth event, which it says has one of the biggest fireworks displays in Arizona. The event begins at 4 p.m. and features food and craft vendors, a foam pit for kids, music games and other activities. Attendees may bring lawn chairs and small pop-up tents as well as water. Tickets are $25 and include parking and general admission for a carload. Tickets for the foam pit are $5.