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Live Music, Family Fun & Fireworks at Tempe 4th of July Celebration

By Dave Cooper

Nicole Pesce at Tempe Center for the Arts

Summertime offers many occasions for people to gather with friends and family to celebrate warm temperatures and many outdoor activities. The 4th of July seems to be a highlight of the season as we also honor America with parties, picnics, festivals and fireworks. In Arizona, we have many destinations to choose and participate in these traditional fun holiday events. With a multitude of July 4th festivities around our beautiful state, we can’t possibly showcase all of them, but here’s one nearby you can attend.

For those remaining in the Phoenix-area, perhaps the grandest Valley 4th of July celebration each year takes place at Tempe Town Lake. On Monday July 4 2011, it’s the Kiwanis Club of Tempe 60th Annual Fireworks Spectacular. The day’s celebration begins at 4:00pm and continues until 11:00pm. Tickets purchased before July 4 are only $6.00 with children under 12 getting in free. On July 4, prices will be $8.00 or two for $15.00. Entry is free for anyone presenting a current military ID. For detailed information about tickets, visit http://www.tempe4th.com/tickets.asp.

To open this year’s 4th of July celebration, a special 2011 Star Spangled Idol musical performance will be featured on center stage. Sponsored by the Tempe Kiwanis Club, the winner of a recent amateur singing contest will have the honor of performing America’s national anthem before an audience of nearly 35,000 people.

Live music is always a favorite activity at this popular annual event and this year’s lineup features plenty of fine local talent. Kicking of the musical program at 4:30pm is rock band Jinx the Tragedy. Folk/Pop artists the Bears of Manitou follow at 5:15pm with Roxster taking the stage at 6:00pm to lay down their brand of 80’s rock sounds.

From 7:00 until 7:30pm a special presentation will take place as the Mesa Police Honor Guard pays tribute to active, veteran, and deceased military personnel, also to law enforcement officers, both locally and nationally. This demonstration will include a musical performance by their Bugle Corp as the Honor Guard proudly displays National Colors, State Colors, and their Organizational Colors. A breathtaking military jet flyover during this patriotic ceremony is also scheduled.

Tempe Center for the Arts Theater

Country music is spotlighted next as Casey Lee Smith takes the stage at 7:30pm, with pop sounds following at 8:15pm featuring the Lil’ Debbie Band. The night’s grandest spectacle of all takes command at 9:00pm as the Kiwanis Club of Tempe 60th Annual Fireworks Spectacular will present the best fireworks show in the Valley shot from the Mill Avenue Bridge. A magnificent display of intense light and brilliant color will glimmer and dance atop Tempe Town Lake’s iridescent surface as this event is choreographed to patriotic and classical music. Rounding out the night’s activity is a performance from 10:00 to 11:00pm by pop/rock outfit Grand Theft Audio 3 (GTA3).

Expansive food courts and beer tents are part of any great festival. At this year’s Kiwanis Club of Tempe 60th Annual Fireworks Spectacular you can enjoy a wide variety of tasty treats like burgers and hotdogs, Mexican and BBQ, fry bread, roasted corn, snow cones, and much more.

A Splash Playground featuring water games and other fun, wet-and-wild activities will be available to keep cool on a hot summer evening. A Family Fun Fest area is designed to entertain kids. This family-friendly zone is equipped with bounce houses, rock climbing walls, face painters, and lots of fun things to amuse kids of all ages.

Learn more about tickets, band schedules, vendor information, parking and travel suggestions, what you can and cannot bring into the festival, and other details at http://www.tempe4th.com/index.asp.