Fourth of July Guide: From Fireworks and Family Fun to Busty Babes and Bikinis

Categories: Events

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Photo by cameraworx via Flickr.
Though Christmas and Thanksgiving may be more popular, Independence Day is perhaps the purest and most American holiday.

Not because of all the kitschy red, white and blue crapola or the incessant flag waving -- but because it's about life, liberty and the pursuit of the perfect barbecue dinner. 


Planning a traditional holiday? We've got the scoop on some of the Valley's best fireworks shows and family outings. If you're hunting for a more unique way to wear your patriotism on your sleeve (or your thong bikini, whatever) get a little "fourplay" at a more off-the-grid event.

The Red: Traditionalists will dig these hot holiday happenings. Tips: Don't forget your lawn chair. And your sunscreen. And your cheesy "I Heart America" tee shirt, Statue of Liberty foam crown and flag-print bandanna, if you want to blend in.

The biggest gig in town is the Fabulous Phoenix Fourth at 6 p.m. on July 4 at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix. They've got brass bands, a military fly-over, bbq vendors, inflatable kiddie rides, and of course fireworks. The best part? It's FREE, and that's something all Americans can get behind right now.

If you're brave enough to face the dreadful parking sitch, or smart enough to take the light rail, Tempe Town Lake is saluting July 4 with an all-day Tempe 4th festival featuring live bands including The Big Zephyr and Roxter, BBQ foods, an honor guard presentation and fireworks. Dump your kids off at the "Fantastic Family Fest" and grab some fry bread at the food court, or be good and rock climb along with them. Fireworks begin at 9:10. Tickets are $6 in advance (at Fry's stores) or $8 at the gate. VIP Tickets which include a catered dinner from SKYE Restaurant, 2 beer tickets and a misted seat for the fireworks are available for $60 ($30 kids) at ProTix 

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Photo by **Maurice** via Flickr.

​Due to the crap economy, Glendale's fireworks display was cancelled this year. Bummer. West siders can head to Goodyear's Star-Spangled Fourth at Goodyear Ballpark from 6-10 p.m. on July 4 for live music from the Groove Merchants, water activities, fireworks and a the mother of all backwoods, patriotic, corn-fed Midwestern activities -- a pie-eating contest. Admission is free. 

Peoria's Sports Complex will have four entertainment zones, F-16 flyovers, fireworks and beer beginning at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Cost is $5; 12 and under free. 

The White: Oh-so-innocent events you can attend without having to explain why that woman's bikini looked like dental floss to your kids later.  

If your family is anything like ours, you might already be spending your holiday weekend with some animals. If you'd prefer them furry and cute, head to the Phoenix Zoo at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 4 for their annual Fourth of Zoo-ly celebration, which includes kids' activities, a zoo tour, fireworks show and a catered barbecue dinner from Andrew's in Tempe. Admission is $40 adults; $35 ages 3-12.  

The Wigwam Resort & Spa is hosting a Great American Picnic on their golf green at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 3. This party aims to be as American as mom and apple pie, with a barbecue cookout, animal talks with the folks from World Wildlife Zoo and a concert by country band The Stealing Angels. Yee-haw! The fireworks show (scheduled for just before 9 p.m.) is free, but you can score reserved front-row seats with a picnic ticket. Cost is $15 adults; $9 kids. (Tip: If you've got the extra $50 and don't have little ones in tow, spring for the VIP Lounge at the Grill, which includes dinner buffet, two cocktails, dessert and a private air-conditioned viewing room for watching the fireworks.)

The name alone makes us want to check out the "We're Not Scared of Hell...We Live in Phoenix" themed Cave Creek Thieves Market, 7 a.m.- noon on Saturday, July 3 at 38410 N. School House Rd. in Cave Creek. Dig through piles of antiques, crafts, handmade items and random garage sale stuff in hopes of finding a gem.

At Wet 'n' Wild Water Park in Glendale on Saturday July 3, you get a free fireworks show with admission to the park -- and a way to keep cool while watching it. Cost is $34.99 for adults; $27.99 for kids and seniors; 2 and younger free. An all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner will be offered for $10-12 extra.



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