Fourth of July 2020 Celebrations in the East Valley, Alternatives to Fireworks Displays

July 1, 2020 update: Since Governor Ducey’s new executive order Chandler, Gilbert, Goodyear, Peoria and Surprise have canceled their Fourth of July fireworks shows. Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek has canceled its in-person event, but will still light fireworks for people to watch from home.

Many families love making Fourth of July memories each year. It’s a wonderful time to teach kids lessons of freedom and patriotism while satisfying their deep fascination with things that go “boom!”

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, and to adhere to CDC guidelines, East Valley cities are still holding celebrations but have amended shows for community safety this year, many holding drive-in events.

Here’s a list of our favorite events that are happening in 2020:

Chandler:

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular at Tumbleweed Park

  • When: July 4, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Parking Lots will open at 7:30 p.m. With a limited number of spots, parking will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be closed once at capacity.
  • Highlights: The health and safety of the community continue to be the utmost priority. To that end, this year’s event will not offer entertainment, interactive attractions and concessions. Each parking spot will have 30 feet between vehicles. Guests may remain inside or sit on one side of their vehicle while adhering to social distancing guidelines. No tailgating, grilling, alcohol, personal fireworks or sparklers will be permitted.
  • Cost: $5 per vehicle, cash only.
  • Fireworks start: 9 p.m.
  • What to bring: Chairs and blankets.
  • Parking and event information: https://www.chandleraz.gov/explore/special-events/july-4th-fireworks-spectacular

Gilbert:

Gilbert Centennial 4th of July at Crossroads Park

  • When: July 4, 6:30 p.m. The parking lot will open at 6:30 p.m., with parking spots available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Where: Crossroads Park, 2155 E. Knox Road, Gilbert
  • Highlights: Social distancing guidelines will be in effect for this event. Firework viewing will be drive-in style from the parking lot, with no lawn seating available. Food trucks will be available, but attendees may also bring their own food and beverages (excluding alcohol). No on-site cooking is allowed. On-site restrooms will be available during this event. Attendees must remain within 5 feet of their vehicles, unless accessing the food trucks or restrooms. Groups are limited to 8 people per parking spot at all times.
  • Cost: Free
  • Fireworks start: 8:30 p.m.
  • What to Bring: Chairs and blankets.
  • Parking and event information:  https://www.gilbertaz.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/special-events-and-permits/gilbert-s-july-4th-celebration

Mesa:

Arizona Celebration of Freedom Drive-In Fireworks at Fiesta Mall

  • When: July 4, 9 p.m.
  • Where: 1425 W. Southern Ave., Fiesta Mall
  • Highlights: Drive-in fireworks show only. Cars will be parked in every other parking spot. Guests will be asked to remain in an empty spot on a specific side of the car  so that each group of guests has their own spot for watching. We ask that all guests be courteous to others and remain six feet or more away from other guests not in their immediate party. Following of other CDC guidelines, including wearing face masks, is encouraged.
  • Cost: Free
  • Fireworks start: 9 p.m.
  • What to Bring: Chairs and blankets.
  • Parking and event information: http://azcelebrationoffreedom.org/

Queen Creek:

Schnepf Farms Fourth of July Celebration, Tailgate Party

  • When: July 4, 4 – 9 p.m.
  • Highlights: This year the Hometown 4th at Schnepf Farms is more of a “tailgate party” setting! This allows guests to have the option to stay inside their car if they’d like to have an incredible view of the fireworks but still social distance from the crowd. Your parking spot will be your area to hang out before the firework spectacular and you’ll be able to bring in your own food, drinks, games, etc. The event will also have food trucks, a beer and wine bar and several vendors to visit if you’re interested. There will be plenty of space for guests to have their own areas and remain socially distant from others. They are selling a limited number of tickets to this event so pick them up quickly!
  • Cost: $25 per carload
  • Fireworks start: 8:30 p.m.
  • What to Bring: Chairs, blankets and water. Bottles of water will be available for $1. No ice chests, alcohol, umbrellas, firearms or illegal drugs.
  • Parking and event information: Parking passes are for sale ONLINE ONLY and must be purchased in advance. No parking passes will be available at the gate. https://schnepffarms.com/4th-of-july/?v=e748b7c8fd06

Alternative Celebration Ideas

Maybe your family has decided to stay close to home for the Fourth. There are so many fun alternatives for celebrating, we’re sharing several of our favorites:

  • Glow-in-the-dark bubbles. Just add a little bit of glow-in-the-dark paint to your bubble solution and you’ll have glowing bubbles!
  • Confetti poppers. Filled with patriotic confetti, these favors are perfect and safe for celebrating.
  • Glow Sticks. Everyone loves them, they are inexpensive and there are patriotic colors available!
  • Silly String. Let the kids run off their energy—sure, we know it makes a mess, but it’s outside and you can hose things down the next day.
  • Hot dog eating contest. Each year there’s Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Easting Contest at Coney Island. Why not start your own tradition?
  • Fence painting contest. In honor of Mark Twain’s novel, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” challenge your guests to paint a fence. In the novel, Tom fooled his friends into painting his Aunt’s fence. You could, too!

From our family to yours, we wish you a safe, heath and Happy Independence Day.

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