COOLIDGE — For the past 70 years Coolidge has held a community gathering to celebrate Independence Day in some form or another.
The annual tradition began on July 4, 1949, and was initially sponsored by the Coolidge Rotary Club. Rotary continued to organize the event through the 1960s.
Since that time, however, the annual celebration has been taken over by the city of Coolidge. Each year, the Coolidge Parks and Recreation Department sponsors a variety of family-fun activities that area residents can enjoy through Independence Day.
In recent years the event has seen rapid growth. As always, the celebrations kicked off at noon at the city pool, where locals got to compete in a number of swimming and diving contests for monetary prizes.
Contest winners were Korshawn (no last names available) in first place and Dase second for best trick, and Anajena first and Patrick second in the belly flop contest.
Then, over the course of the evening, hundreds of people came together at the Kenilworth Sports Complex to enjoy food, free watermelon and plenty of family-friendly activities.
Stadium lights were turned out at around 8:45 p.m. and, not long after, attendees were treated to a massive display of fireworks.