BENSON — Independence Day in Benson will be celebrated on Saturday with a lineup of family-fun activities.
The daylong list kicks off at 9 a.m. with the town’s annual parade, followed by activities at Lions Park, 435 N. Adams St.
The city’s fireworks display is expected to start at 8:30 p.m., unless dry conditions cause a cancellation, Mayor Joe Konrad said at Monday’s city council meeting.
“Regarding the Fourth of July celebration, fireworks are still scheduled for July 3rd, as there is projected precipitation in the forecast,” Konrad said. “Benson Fire Department will not be canceling them.”
However, Konrad said the fireworks company will have the final discretion as to whether it is safe to move forward with the display.
“As it stands right now, fireworks are on, and hopefully we’ll get some rain sooner rather than later,” the mayor said.
Hailed as one of the state’s longest running Independence Day parades, every year spectators delight in Benson’s lineup of floats, mounted units, dazzling rodeo queens, marching bands, tractors and firetrucks.
Lisi Harris will be singing the National Anthem at 9 a.m., marking the parade’s official start.
Following the parade, activities shift to Lions Park, where the crowd will have an opportunity to witness the highly anticipated water fight at 10 a.m. hosted by the Benson Fire Department. Firefighters and other emergency responders gather at the park where five-man teams face off — two teams at a time — armed with high pressure fire hoses aimed at a barrel suspended high overhead. When the battle starts, each team attempts to push the barrel into the opponent’s territory by delivering a powerful 120-psi spray through the fire hose.
Competitions last two minutes or when the barrel is pushed all the way into the opponent’s territory, whichever happens first.
Spectators pack the park to cheer on favorite teams and enjoy cooling off in the residual spray. Children in swimsuits are seen splashing in puddles while fights are underway.
Vendors are scattered throughout the park while live music and other activities keep the crowd entertained.
Independence Day lineup
Tony G D.J. and Karaoke — 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Parade winners announced — 11:15 a.m.
Freddie Martinez Band — 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Cochise County Line Band — 1-3 p.m.
Benson Barbershops — 3:15-4 p.m.
Mariachi Allegre — 5:45-7 p.m.
Benson Alumni Community Band — 7:15 p.m.-8 p.m.
Fireworks at 8:30 p.m.
Arizona Thunder Productions — 9 p.m.-10 p.m.