By Nolan Madden
Area residents and visitors will find plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day this weekend, as most communities have holiday events planned.
The 4th of July Freedom Festival opens with a 5K Color Fun Run starting at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 4. Participants are asked to arrive at First Street and Kinsley Avenue beginning at 7 a.m. for a group photo on the Route 66 shield. The race will end at Vargas Field.
The entry fee is $25 for adults and $15 for kids age 12 and under, which includes a T-shirt. All proceeds will go to support the annual Freedom Festival event. To register, visit www.active.com.
The color run will be followed by a small festival with carnival games, a dunk tank, bounce houses, a water play area and a barbecue.
For more information, contact Laura Carrell at (520) 603-5698 or the Winslow Chamber of Commerce at 289-2434.
The fireworks show will begin at 8 p.m. at Vargas Stadium.
The Fourth of July Bike Parade will kick off Holbrook’s festivities at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Hunt Park. Kids are encouraged to decorate their bikes, trikes, wagons, strollers, skateboards and more, then follow the fire truck around the park.
The Fun in The Park event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, also at Hunt Park. Join in the fun with carnival games, slip-n-slide, human foosball, disc golf, a dunk tank and lots of other fun activities.
The annual Holbrook Volunteer Firemen’s Barbecue will be served beginning at 12 noon at Station No. 3 on the mesa. The all-you-can-eat meal of slow roasted beef, beans, coleslaw and ice cold lemonade will be served for $10 for adults and $5 for children.
The firemen will also present a fireworks show at dusk at the Navajo County Complex in south Holbrook.
The annual Joseph City Fourth of July celebration will feature great hometown fun, including a patriotic parade that will head down Main Street beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, traveling from McLaws Avenue and ending at Tanner Park. Contact Julie Clifford for more information at 587-2750.
At 8:30 a.m., a flag raising ceremony will take place at Tanner Park, followed by volleyball and horseshoe tournaments beginning at 9 a.m. The annual ice cream churn-off will take place at 10 a.m. Contact Rachelle Hansen for more information at (928) 587-7940.
There will be even more family fun with an obstacle course, cotton candy, 25-cent games, prizes, snow cones, water games and more.
It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without a barbecue. Burgers and hot dogs will be available at the park from 11 a.m. until 12 noon at a cost of $6 and $5, respectively.
A basketball tournament will open at 2 p.m. at the high school, followed by a Home Run Derby at 5 p.m. Contact Kacey Halbison for more information at (928) 386-8947.
The celebration is hosted by the Joseph City Chamber of Commerce.
Taylor will host its 61st annual Independence Day celebration this weekend.
The annual Cowboy Poetry and Country Music session will be held at 7 o’clock tonight (July 3) at Rodeo Park. Local and visiting cowboy poets and musicians will perform.
The firing of the first anvil at 5 a.m. at Taylor Ball Field will signal the beginning of Saturday’s celebration. Accompanied by patriotic music by the Jennings Band, the anvil will then travel to Freeman Park, the LDS Stake Center and end up at the ball field on East Center Street to start the Fun Run at 6 a.m.
The Celebration Run features a 10K run, or a two-mile run or walk, and is open to all ages. Registration will be taken until the race starts. A fee of $20 will be charged to all participants who register for the run and a shirt. Please bring the correct change if you are registering at the run. A fee of $15 will be charged to participants who register for the run alone. Registration forms are available online at ci.snowflake.az.us (go to Community Info > Seasonal Events).
There will be a Patriotic Program at 10 a.m. at the Taylor Stake Center, 309 W. Willow, where the inductees to the Taylor Hall of Fame will be announced and the Jennings Band will entertain. This year’s keynote speaker will be Norris Baldwin.
Country music at Rodeo Park will feature Gary Kirkman and Floyd Fuentes Band. The barbecue begins at 12 noon and 5 p.m.
The 2015 Snowflake/Taylor July 4th Softball Tournament will be held at Centennial Fields, Taylor Field and Snowflake fields.
The annual Night Rodeo begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6 to 12, and $30 per family.
The fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m., and a dance will be held on the pavilion from 9:30 p.m. to midnight for $2 per person.
The Taylor-Shumway Heritage Foundation will open the Taylor Museum, located at Main and Center streets, for tours, as well as books and souvenirs for sale, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The other historical sites will be open from 1 to 3 p.m.
On Monday, July 6, The Taylor-Shumway Heritage Foundation will hold its Hayride Jamboree at 5:30 p.m. at the Margaret McCleve Hancock Log Cabin, located at Main Street and Willow. There is no cost, but donations are accepted. The evening will include a horse drawn wagon ride tour of historic Taylor, followed by a pioneer dinner and entertainment.