While some Gila Valley Fourth of July events have been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, the fireworks shows will go on.
An executive order issued Monday by Governor Doug Ducey banned organized public gatherings of more than 50 people, but that doesn’t mean the Fourth has been canceled. Ducey’s order made an exception for city, town or county-approved events with safety precautions, including social distancing, in place.
For the Safford and Pima fireworks shows, both previously approved, social distancing measures were included in planning the events. Instead of gathering in one place, spectators are being asked to stay in their vehicles. Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis said this would also keep groups of more than 50 from forming.
In Pima, the celebration will start at 6:30 a.m. with the annual flag raising and all-you-can eat breakfast in Heritage Park. Hosted by the Eastern Arizona Museum and Town of Pima, the breakfast is free to veterans and active duty members. Others will be asked for a $3 donation, raising funds for the museum. Lewis said that with breakfast served on a come-and-go basis, there wouldn’t be more than 50 people at a time.
The Pima Pool will be open Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; admission will be $2. The sundown fireworks show at Vard Lines Roping Arena will cap the festivities.
Safford’s fireworks show, sponsored by the Safford Lions Club, is also a go. As in Pima, spectators are being asked to stay in their vehicles. The display will start around 8 p.m. at the Graham County Fairgrounds.
Another July 4 event, the annual Sons of the American Legion fishing derby, has been canceled due to the governor’s ban on large groups. The derby was scheduled to run Saturday morning at the fairgrounds.