PHOENIX – Valley Fourth of July celebrations won’t be the same this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be fireworks to enjoy.
Two of the biggest annual events – Fabulous Phoenix 4th and the Tempe Town Lake Festival – are among those that have been canceled, but the skies will be filled with explosive color in other area communities.
While Arizona’s economy is partially reopened, large gatherings remain prohibited to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. So for the celebrations that are going on, the usual festivals are mostly being replaced by fireworks shows people can enjoy from their vehicles or yards.
However, multiple cities canceled their planned shows just days before the holiday after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued new regulations designed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Tempe is taking a different approach, providing residents with sparklers to be lit outside their homes at 9 p.m. as a show of unity.
But for good old-fashioned Fourth of July fireworks, here’s where you can still look to the skies (weather permitting; click links for additional details; all events free except where noted):
Apache Junction: The 8:30 p.m. show will be visible from most parts of the city, and there will be limited drive-in viewing locations near Superstition Shadows Park.
Gilbert: The show at Crossroads Park (2155 E Knox Rd.) will begin at 8:30 p.m., two hours after the parking lots open.
Litchfield Park (The Wigwam): The resort canceled its annual Red, White & Boom event but will still set off fireworks at 9 p.m. You need to be staying at The Wigwam or have a reservation at one of its restaurants to enter the property, but the show will be visible from the surrounding area.
Mesa: This year’s Titan Solar Power Arizona Celebration of Freedom will be a 30-minute drive-in event starting at 9 p.m. in the Fiesta Mall parking lot.
Queen Creek (Schnepf Farms): The farm will host vendors and food trucks, with fireworks starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets ($25 per carload general admission) must be purchased online in advance. The event listing says the number of tickets sold will be limited to prevent crowding and accommodate social distancing.
Scottsdale: Tickets for the celebration at WestWorld of Scottsdale can be purchased online for $25 per carload. The event is set for 7-9:30 p.m., with food and drinks (including alcoholic beverages) available for purchase. The fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Surprise: A 20-minute display will start at 8:40 p.m. in the area around Bullard Avenue and Paradise Lane. Residents can watch from their vehicles or homes, and limited parking will be available at Surprise Stadium, Surprise Aquatic Center and Dreamcatcher Park.