As Fourth of July is celebrated in communities throughout Cochise County, some areas are holding Independence Day festivities on Saturday while others are organizing activities on Sunday.
Regardless of which day communities choose to celebrate America’s birthday, the traditional parades, barbecues, family entertainment and spectacular fireworks displays are planned for the public’s enjoyment.
Independence Day kicks off a day early in Palominas this year with the annual Palominas Unorganized Parade at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.
The parade lineup is at the fire station at 9903 S. Palominas Road. Participants need to be at the fire station by 8:30.
“Every year we put on a great Fourth of July patriotic parade, filled with goats, dogs, horses, tractors, classic cars and floats,” said Susan Ostrander, a member of the Palominas Community Club. “People bring their lawn chairs or sit in pickup trucks along Palominas Road and enjoy the colorful entries.”
Ostrander urges spectators to come “wearing your red, white and blue finery” and join the fun.
Following the parade, there will be a free carnival for kids with games and prizes at the Church of Palominas, 10466 E. State Route 92.
The parade is sponsored by the Legion Riders of the Bisbee American Legion Post 16 and the Palominas Rural Health Clinic of the Copper Queen Hospital in Bisbee.
Independence Day in Benson will be celebrated on Saturday with a lineup of family-fun festivities.
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.
“As it stands right now, fireworks are on, and hopefully we’ll get some rain sooner rather than later,” Mayor Joe Konrad said during a recent city council meeting.
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 an annual water fight hosted by the Benson Fire Department starts around 10 a.m.
Spectators pack the park to cheer on favorite teams and enjoy cooling off in the overspray. Children in swimsuits are seen splashing in puddles while the fights are underway.
Vendors are scattered throughout the park while live music and other activities keep the crowd entertained.
Here’s the entertainment 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: 7:15-8 p.m.
Fireworks: 8:30 p.m.
Arizona Thunder Productions: 9-10 p.m.
The Fourth of July celebration in Huachuca City is happening on Sunday. The town’s pool, which is next door to the city park, will be open to the public free of charge from 1-6 pm.
Fourth of July festivities start at 4 p.m. with a presentation of the colors by Tombstone High School JROTC, followed the the national anthem and welcoming remarks from Mayor Johanne Wallace.
The town is serving free hot dogs, chips, watermelon, sodas and water.
“We’re going to have free games and face painting for the kids,” said Stephanie Fulton, Huachuca City Library director. “We’re going to have a hula hoop and pie eating contest and a cake walk. Local band Restless will be performing live music from 4 until 8 p.m.”
Weather permitted, the fireworks display starts around 8 p.m.
The public is advised of the following road closures because of the fireworks show:
From approximately 3 until 9 p.m., road closures will be in place at Gila Street from School Drive to Skyline Drive and from Gonzales Boulevard to Edgewood Street. The area behind Huachuca City Town Hall, from the police department and library, will be blocked off for pedestrian access only.
“We welcome everybody to our small but mighty hometown celebration,’’ Fulton said. “Come celebrate America’s birthday with Huachuca City. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and plenty of sunscreen and enjoy an evening of family-fun, entertainment and a dazzling fireworks show.”
For information, call the Huachuca City Library at 520-456-1063.
While Tombstone’s main Independence Day festivities are planned for Sunday, the Arizona Rangers are holding a Saturday parade at noon on Allen Street. The parade is Saturday’s only activity.
A lineup of Fourth of July activities happening on Sunday start with a kids’ parade at 11 a.m. Signup is at 9:30 on Sixth Street. In past parades, children came dressed in Western attire and some wear patriotic red, white and blue. They ride bicycles down Allen Street, are pulled in wagons by a parent or older sibling, and others gallop down the street on stick horses. First-, second- and third-place prizes are awarded.
“Following the kids’ parade, for the first time this year, the Vigilettes are hosting an Independence Day parade with floats, motorized vehicles, marching groups and horses,” said Cassandra Morgan, Tombstone Chamber of Commerce office manager. “Participants are invited to decorate their vehicles, horses and wagons for this patriotic parade.”
There will be a pin-up contest on Allen Street at noon with about 12 ladies participating.
Also on Sunday there will be children’s events at the city park at Third and Allen streets. Children will compete in games for prizes from noon-4 p.m. Free ice cream and hot dogs will be provided while supplies last. The Vigilettes car show will be in the Tombstone Historic District on Fifth Street 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tombstone Fire Department is presenting its annual fireworks display at Medigovich Field. The shoot-off time is at sundown, 7:30 or 8 p.m. This may be delayed or postponed due to extreme weather or exceptionally dry conditions.
For information, call the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce at 520-457-9317 or the Tombstone Vigilettes at 520-975-7764.