SIERRA VISTA — Independence Day is here, and with Sierra Vista’s celebration comes a list of activities at Veterans Memorial Park, followed by a spectacular fireworks display at Domingo Paiz and Stone fields.

Festivities started Wednesday evening and resumed bright and early Thursday morning with a lineup of food vendors, activities, demonstrations and entertainment at Veterans Memorial Park.

Wednesday afternoon found Rotarians in the park’s bandshell area setting up tables and organizing booths for food, beer, wine and beverage sales.

Rotary Club of Sierra Vista members Joe Puett and Randy Sueskind were at the park Wednesday helping with the set-up.

“Our Rotary Club was the first Rotary in Sierra Vista, founded on June 7, 1960,” said Puett, one of the club’s past presidents. “Three other Rotary Clubs spun off ours and they assist us with this event.” The other three are Sierra Vista West, Sierra Vista South and Sierra Vista Sunrise.

The Rotary Club of Sierra Vista hosts the Fourth of July celebration every year in partnership with the City of Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca and with assistance from the other three clubs, Puett said.

The club solicits money from the community to pay for the annual fireworks display, which costs about $30,000, he added.

“We also run the beer booth and Pepsi booth every year during the celebration. And we host the noontime ceremony that takes place on the Fourth, where our guest speaker this year is Major General Robert Walters, Jr., the commanding general of the U.S. Army Center of Intelligence on Fort Huachuca.”

Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller also will speak, as well as the current Rotary Club of Sierra Vista President Fred Shirley.

Sueskind serves as the overall event coordinator, while the fireworks coordinator is Wayne Gregan.

“We have a great pyrotechnic crew,” Sueskind said. “Ever single crew member has been doing this for at least 10 years and they get re-certified every year.”

Thursday marks the show’s 52nd year in Sierra Vista, Sueskind said.

“Our Rotary Club is the primary organizer, but there are several partnerships that work together to put on a spectacular show for the community’s enjoyment,” he added.

The Kiwanis club sponsors the entertainment, starting with a youth talent show which is followed by local band Train Wreck and a street dance.

Festivities start up again bright and early Thursday morning with the annual Pets and People Promenade at ramada number three in Veterans Memorial Park.

Presented by New Frontier Animal Medical Center, registration is from 7 to 7:30 and entries are judged from 7:30 to 8 with the promenade from 8 to 8:30.

Activities in the park continue through the day, until around 8 p.m. when the 52nd annual fireworks show starts from the Stone Complex. Spectators can see the display from Veterans Memorial Park, or go to Domingo Paiz and Stone fields for the annual show.

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