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Prescott officials: July 4 fireworks will go on
6/29/2012 9:59:00 PM
By Cindy Barks
PRESCOTT - With an eye toward the weather forecasts, Prescott officials reported this week that the city's annual July 4 fireworks event is still a go, albeit with a smaller mortar size.
"We're cautious about the weather and the fires," Special Events Manager Becky Karcie said this week. "We'll stay up on that, and we'll definitely go by what the fire marshal says."
But for now, she said the city plans for Fireworks Productions of Arizona to do a fireworks display at the traditional Pioneer Park site.
A Thursday press release from the city also confirmed that the fireworks would go on, despite the continued hot, dry weather.
"After coordinating with the pyrotechnic fireworks contractor on a safer launch site as well as a reduction in explosive mortar size from eight inches to six inches, (interim Fire Chief Dan Fraijo) determined that the fireworks show will be held as scheduled," stated the news release.
Added Fraijo: "If there is rain, the eight-inch explosives will be allowed."
If a lack of rain between now and July 4 does force a smaller mortar size, Karcie said the show would increase the number of five-to-six-inchers, "so it will be just as grand."
The launch site will remain at Kuebler Field, but will be adjusted slightly.
Along with the standard precautions put in place by the on-site Prescott Fire Department units, Fraijo stated in the news release that he has received a commitment from the U.S. Forest Service to provide an additional fire engine and six people.
As they have in previous years, firefighters will water down the hillsides, and a specialized mobile firefighting vehicle will be stationed at the site.
"Any time you have extreme fire conditions, there is a great concern for public safety," Fraijo said. "With the precautions we've taken, the fireworks show can go on."
The annual fireworks will take place at 9 p.m., Wednesday, July 4, and will culminate a full day of activities at Pioneer Park, 1200 Commerce Drive, in northeast Prescott.
Beginning at noon that day, the city will conduct its summer extravaganza, which will include virtually nonstop live music, food booths, and a host of games, rides, and crafts.
The music schedule includes:
2 to 4 p.m. - The Mix Band, playing a wide variety of music, from the Eagles to the Rolling Stones.
4:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Crossfire, a classic rock/southern rock band.
6:40 to 8:30 p.m. - Road One South, playing blues, rock and jazz.
Road One South will play again after the fireworks - a performance that not only prolongs the party, but also helps to ensure that the thousands of people who attend the event do not all leave at the same time, Karcie said.
Other activities will include a zip line, water slides, bungee trampoline jumping, climbing walls, carnival games, electric swings, train rides, and a craft tent.
The event also will bring back pony rides, a petting zoo, and a sandbox, Karcie said, noting, "There will be a lot for the little guys to do."
A free raffle of a $100 gift card will take place for people who fill out a short survey at the admission gates. While admission is free for the fireworks and bands, carnival rides and water slides will require a wristband ($12 for pre-sale, and $15 at the gate).
Prior to the event, wristbands are available at: Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.; Grace Sparkes Activity Center (824 E. Gurley St.); Freedom Station (2992 N. Park Avenue, Prescott Valley); and all Fry's Markets.
Free parking and shuttle rides are available at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 3700 Willow Creek Road. The city allows coolers, strollers, and shade canopies, and Karcie said the city would allow people to begin arriving at 7 a.m.
In addition to the worries about the dry weather, organizers also must contend with the possibility of monsoon downpours. Karcie said most of the activities would go on in rainy weather, although some of the children's activities, such as the jump castles, might be delayed because of slippery conditions.
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