COVID-19 restrictions and fears may have put a damper on some Independence Day events, but others are still on.
In Pima, July 4 will start at 6 a.m. with the annual flag raising and all-you-can-eat breakfast hosted by the Eastern Arizona Museum and Town of Pima. Breakfast is free to veterans and active duty members; others will be asked for a donation, which will raise funds for the museum. The town has canceled its free lunch and related activities, but will have a free swim day at the Pima Pool. A sundown fireworks show at Vard Lines Roping Arena will cap the festivities.
At the Graham County Fairgrounds, young anglers can reel in prizes in the Sons of the American Legion’s annual July 4 fishing derby. Contestants will be divided into three age groups; 1-6, 7-11 and 12-15. Trophies will be given in each age group for the longest fish, heaviest fish and most fish caught. Free hot dogs, watermelon and water will be served. The fishing derby runs from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The Gila Valley Fourth of July Parade down Safford’s Main Street has been canceled, but the annual fireworks show will go on. The display will start around 8 p.m. at the Graham County Fairgrounds. Both events are sponsored by the Safford Lions Club. Fireworks spectators are being asked to stay in their vehicles.
Events in Thatcher and Morenci have been called off with one exception — the Morenci fireworks display at sundown.
Willcox will offer free swimming at the city pool on the Fourth and a sundown fireworks display at the high school football field.
In Duncan, the town is putting on an 8 a.m. parade and evening fireworks, but a group is collecting donations for “The Biggest Small Town 4th of July.”
Activities will include pie-eating and hot dog-eating contests, a car show and bike show, a water balloon fight on the football field, corn hole competitions for adults and children, and an evening street dance on Main Street.
The event will also feature vendors, bands playing in the park and a hamburger dinner. For anyone looking to escape the heat, several churches will have indoor activities.
Visitors can also stop in at Country Chic/Duncan Visitor Center, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary on the Fourth with prizes, gifts and popcorn.