MARICOPA — With COVID-19 cases in Arizona still rising daily, the city of Maricopa decided to nix its annual Fourth of July event, instead opting to ramp up its fireworks with an even larger and brighter display than previous years.
The fireworks will be set off at 9 p.m. on Saturday at both Copper Sky and an undisclosed location on the north side of town. Though there will not be public seating available, residents are encouraged to pull up whatever lawn chair, beach towel or picnic blanket they have and watch from the comfort of their backyards.
The city is also working on a live stream feed for those out of town or not in a viewable area to still see the fireworks.
“We had to make it more vertical so people could see it, so I’m looking forward to a bigger show,” said Niesha Whitman, city event coordinator. “We’ve got some bigger shells, so a lot of our stuff is going to be in the air. We’re not going to have the ground (fireworks) that you would normally see in past years.”
In prior years, the fireworks would be accompanied by lawn games, entertainment and vendors at Copper Sky. This year, the city is offering friendly virtual competitions from Maricopans’ own homes. Whitman said they hope to have a cornhole competition, a backyard boogie and a few other fun contests the day of — with non-virtual prizes for those lucky winners.
Despite the current pandemic, Whitman hopes the new and improved fireworks will help bring the community together to celebrate the creation of the United States.
“People are missing each other,” Whitman said. “We felt like this would be a great way to just bring the community together to still celebrate, although we can’t do everything that we’ve necessarily done in the past, it will still be a good time to just commemorate the birth or the independence (of our nation).”