Light Up the Sky: 6:30 p.m. The highlight of this celebration, which has been has been taking place for more than 20 years, is the large fireworks display at 9:10 p.m. There will be 10 or more inflatables, a performance of the national anthem and performances by mariachis and Hispanic bands. Food vendors will be there. Free. Maryvale Baseball Park, 3600 N. 51st Ave., Phoenix. 602-262-6575, www.phoenix.gov.
Celebration of Freedom: 6 p.m. The festival features beer gardens, an art walk, music and street performers, games and family activities. Heritage Lane is filled with inflatable replicas of America's greatest monuments, a 35-foot replica of the USS Arizona, the Veterans Honor Walk and Fallen Heroes Memorial. Saturday events include Motorcycles on Main and East Valley Tribute to America. Sunday events include the American Iron (pre-1975) Classic Car Show, Salt River Brass Band performance and the Missing Man Ceremony. The festival ends with a Salute to America program and fireworks display. Free admission. 58 W. Main St., Mesa. 480-890-2613, www.azcelebrationoffreedom.org.
Patriotic Comedy Shows: 8 and 10 p.m. both nights, with an additional show at 6 p.m. Saturday. Wear patriotic shirts and watch games and scenes are played out around the themes of Fourth of July and America. $10-$12, $8-$10 with $2 discount. Reservations are required and you must ask for the discount when making them. Jester'z Improv Comedy Theater, 7117 E. McDowell Road, Scottsdale. 480-423-0120, www.jesterzimprov.com.
Independence Weekend Comedy Shows: 8-10 p.m. Friday, 6-10 p.m. Saturday. Wear your patriotic shirts and watch as games and scenes are played out with themes of Fourth of July and America. Showtimes are 8 and 10 p.m. both nights, with an additional show at 6 p.m. Saturday. Reservations are required, and you must mention the $2 discount when making them. $12 or $10 in advance when mention discount for 8 and 10 p.m. shows , $10 or $8 in advance when mention discount for 6 p.m. Saturday show. Jester'z Improv Comedy Theater, 7117 E. McDowell Road, Scottsdale. 480-423-0120. www.jesterzimprov.com.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: Hotel guests are invited to see a patriotic fly-over and presentation of the colors ceremony, followed by a concert. Guests can catch the concert broadcast live on screen at the south pool. Special room packages are offered as part of the "Fourth of July Freedom Fest." Call for details and reservations. $199-449 per night, includes concert and fireworks. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E. Princess Drive. 480-585-4848. www.fairmont.com/scottsdale.
- Three Dog Night: 7:30 p.m. July 1. This band has sold more than 50 million records of '70s feel-good classics, including such hits as "Joy to the World, "Black and White" and "Shambala." Enjoy a five-minute fireworks display after the concert.
- Zowie Bowie: 7:30 p.m. July 2. This Scottsdale-based band is now a popular act in Las Vegas, presenting hot dance, hip-hop and top 40 hits in a high-energy performance. Enjoy a five-minute fireworks display after the concert.
John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting: 7:30 p.m. July 3. He performs music with a current social message to make emotional connections with such hits as "Superman," "100 Years" and "Chances." Enjoy a 20-minute fireworks display after the concert.
Resort Festivities: 10 a.m. Lawn games, a bocce-ball tournament, s'mores and three- to four-course dining options are offered all three days. Featured July 1 is a Core beer experience from 5 to 6 p.m., a nighttime golf-putting challenge from 7:30 to 9 and Ranger Rick's Bug Experience from 8 to 10 p.m. On July 2, a cosmic slide party begins at 7 p.m., followed by a night sky telescope experience. A barbecue buffet is available from 6 to 8:30 p.m. July 3 with a free fireworks show on the Brisa lawn July 3 at 8:45 p.m. Open to resort guests and the public. Dining reservations required. $25-$75 dining, $18-$38 barbecue buffet, $15 Core beer experience, free fireworks show. The Ritz-Carlton-Dove Mountain, 15000 N. Secret Springs Drive, Marana. 520-572-3000. www.ritzcarlton.com.
Fourth of July Weekend Lodging Special: Book two nights and get two nights free. Rooftop viewing of the fireworks at Steele Indian School Park is available. Relax by the pool and stay in a standard room for $99 a night, a junior suite for $109 a night or a one-bedroom, pool-view suite for $129 per night. Must e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the Fourth of July promotion. Clarendon Hotel and Suites, 401 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix. 602-252-7363, www.theclarendon.net.
Independence Day Menu: 5-10 p.m. A patriotic-themed, prix-fixe menu is prepared by chef Jacques Qualin and bar chef Julie Hillebrand Tomey. Starter choices are chilled watermelon gazpacho, endive and sugar snap peas salad or shrimp cocktail. Entree options are grilled lobster rolls, baby-back ribs or a J&G burger. Desert selections are cherry pie, a trio of ice cream sandwiches or a strawberry sundae. Featured cocktails include a sour cherry Caipirinha, J&G Cream Soda and a blueberry lemonade with Ketel One Citroen. $38. J&G Steakhouse, 6000 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 480-214-8000. www.jgsteakhousescottsdale.com.
Anthem Independence Day Celebration: 6-10 p.m. Highlights include live music, including a performance by the newly crowned Anthem Idol, Dave Hatley; wet and dry inflatables; and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Food and beverages are available. Free. Anthem Community Park, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway. 623-742-6050, www.onlineatanthem.com.
The Greencards: 8-10:30 p.m. The concert opens with Rondavous at 8 p.m., followed by the Grammy-nominated bluegrass band the Greencards. They perform songs from "The Brick Album," due out June 21. $5-$15. Harold's Cave Creek Corral, 6895 E. Cave Creek Road. 480-488-1906, www.ticketmaster.com.
Independence Day Celebration: 5:30-9 p.m. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat barbecue dinner, complimentary watermelon, a Western stage show and an Indian dancer. The evening ends with a patriotic tribute and fireworks display. Reservations required. $32, $22 for ages 3-12. Rockin' R Ranch, 6136 E. Baseline Road, Mesa. 480-832-1539, www.rockinr.net.
Sizzlin Summer Bash: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate in Sedona with pie-eating contests and rock-and-roll and blues performances. Kids activities include face painting and star-spangled crafts. A balloon artist makes animals. Free admission. Oak Creek Brewery hosts a barbecue with sliders, ribs and mini brats. Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, 336 Arizona 179, Sedona. 928-282-4838, www.tlaq.com.
Independence Day Fireworks Show and Car Show: 7 p.m.-1 a.m. The car show, presented by Art of Noize, features late-model cars and drop-down pickup trucks. A fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. Hamburgers, hot dogs, quesadillas, salads, sandwiches, icy drinks, fruit drinks, ice cream, sodas and beer are available. Chairs and blankets are welcome. A deck with misters is available at the sports bar. $4 admission. Victory Lane Sports Park, 22603 N. 43rd Ave., Phoenix. 623-581-6000. www.playvictorylane.com.
Independence Day Weekend: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. In addition to the water slides and other attractions, see fireworks on Saturday and Sunday evening. The shows feature music by KZON 101.5-FM. An all-you-can-eat barbecue offers grilled chicken, hot dogs, salad, Western-style beans, corn on the cob, watermelon and beverages. Admission is $34.99 for those taller than 42 inches, $27.99 for those shorter than 42 inches and age 65 and older, free for age 2 and younger. The barbecue costs $11.99, $9.99 for ages 3-11. Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix, 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale. 623-201-2000, www.wetnwildphoenix.com/Events.asp.
Arts and Crafts Festival: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Browse more than 80 craft booths, featuring stained glass, jewelry, wood items, pottery, hand-woven baskets and hand-knitted and crocheted items. The fire department hosts a pancake breakfast, and the senior center serves Navajo tacos. There is also a quilt raffle. For the kids, there is a playground, clowns and face painting. Free admission. Pine Community Center, Arizona 87, north of Hardscrabble Mesa Road and south of Randall Drive. 928-978-0469. www.pinestrawberryartscrafts.com.
Resort Special: Stay at the resort and enjoy an afternoon barbecue prepared by chef Mel Mecinas from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 2 and 3. The meal includes sirloin burgers, grilled chicken breast, bratwurst, slow-roasted pork shoulder, fingerling potato salad and coleslaw. Live music, smoothies, mint-scented towels and snow cones are available at the pool from 2 to 4 p.m. Room packages are available. Barbecue available to resort guests only. Check-in begins at 4 p.m. and checkout is at noon. $129-$184 room rate per night, $11-$19 for barbecue. Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, 10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive. 480-513-5039. www.fourseasons.com/scottsdale.
Cave Creek's Third of July Fireworks: 5 p.m. The celebration starts with a barbecue followed by live music by EastonAshe outdoors and Young Country indoors. The party also features drink specials, prizes, face painting and the Games2U Mobile Video Theater. Call for reservations. Free admission. Harold's Cave Creek Corral, 6895 E. Cave Creek Road. 480-488-1906, www.haroldscorral.com.
Independence Day Music Festival: 5 p.m. The headliner is country singer Blake Shelton, a vocal coach on NBC's talent show "The Voice." Other performers are Crystal Bowersox, the runner-up on the ninth season of "American Idol," and Casey James, a third-place finalist on the same show. Fireworks cap off the evening. Gates open at 5 p.m. $18.50-$92. Salt River Fields, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale. 480-270-5000, www.saltriverfields.com.
Fireworks Party: 6 p.m. This adults-only party offers guests two complimentary cocktails, live entertainment, patio seating for the fireworks display at 8:30 p.m. and hors d'oeuvres. Buffet items include barbecue pork empanadas, smoked corn enchiladas and mac and cheese. Call to purchase tickets. $50. Red Allen's at the Wigwam, the Wigwam, 451 Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park. 623-535-4973. www.wigwamresort.com/dining.html.
Lon's BBQ: 5-8 p.m. The barbecue offers five starters and features smoked prime rib, jidori chicken and Mexican street corn. Desserts choices are Lon's Cowboy Candy Bar, Schnepf's Farm apple cobbler and angel food cake. Dine inside or on the patio. Menu available online. There is also musical entertainment, and diners can take in the local fireworks shows. Reservations required. A two-night holiday package at the Hermosa Inn begins at $239, and includes a room, the barbecue, Sunday brunch, drinks and appetizers in the Last Drop Bar, and breakfast for two. $59, $19 for age 12 and younger. Lon's at the Hermosa, Hermosa Inn, 5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley. 602-955-8614. www.lons.com.
Lake Pleasant Fireworks Show: 5-10 p.m. Family activities include trackless train rides, bounce houses, water slides and live DJ music. RV, car and ATVs are displayed. The Perfect Poise Car Club shows hot rods and "chopped down" trucks. A fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. Food and beverages are available, including hot dogs, pulled-pork sandwiches, hamburgers, carne asada, snow cones, ice cream, soda, lemonade and water. Coolers and lawn chairs are welcome. $10 parking, free admission. Pleasant Harbor RV Resort, 8708 W. Harbor Blvd., Peoria. 928-501-5253. www.pleasantharbor.com.
Parking Lot Picnic Party: 7 p.m. Celebrate with an all-American picnic, featuring chilled cocktails and beer, a beer garden and outdoor festivities. Late-night menu options include the Big Earl burger, french fries, onion rings, grilled cheese sandwiches and mozzarella sticks. Also bring a chair or blanket for views of neighboring firework displays. Free admission, menu prices vary. Big Earl's Greasy Eats, 6135 E. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix. 480-575-7889. www.bigearlsgreasyeats.com.
All American Festival: 5-10 p.m. Peoria's celebration features live music on multiple stages, a kids zone, water zone, hot-dog-eating contest, family activities and fireworks. There is also an F-16 flyover. $5, free for age 12 and younger. Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 N. 83rd Ave. 623-773-8700, peoriasportscomplex.com.
Hometown Fireworks Celebration: A co-ed volleyball tournament begins at 9 a.m., followed by swimming from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Superstition Shadows Aquatic Center, 1091 W. Southern Ave. A kids zone offers bounce houses, water slides and games from 6-9 p.m.; free watermelon is available. Judging for a bicycle-, tricycle- and wagon-decorating contest begins at 6:30 p.m. Classic rockers One Minute Millionaires perform from 7-9 p.m. Fireworks are at 9 p.m. Free admission. Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive. 480-983-2181, www.ajcity.net/events.
Fourth of Zoo-Ly: 6-10 p.m. Enjoy a barbecue dinner on the zoo's lakeside lawn, free carousel rides and access to Stingray Bay. Face painting, bounce houses and special guests and music are planned. Get a VIP view of the fireworks at Tempe Town Lake at 9 p.m., and cool treats will be served. Beer and wine are available. Reservations required. $40, $35 for ages 3-12, free for age 2 and younger. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway. 602-273-1341, www.phoenixzoo.org.
Celebrate the Fourth of July: Noon. This family event features nine water slides, bungee jumping, climbing walls, pony rides and electric swings. There also are crafts tents for kids, contests, games and giveaways. Four bands will perform and food vendors are available. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Tickets available at Prescott City Hall, Grace Sparks Activity Center, Freedom Station and Fry's Markets. Use your wristband after July 4 at Freedom Station for one free round of miniature golf or one attraction. Free parking and shuttle at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. $15, $12 in advance. Pioneer Park, 1200 Commerce Drive, Prescott. 928-777-1349, www.cityofprescott.net/events/index.php?year=2011&month=7&id=4509.
Surprise Fourth of July Celebration: 5:30 p.m. Watch a Rookie League baseball game featuring the Texas Rangers vs. the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.; the game begins at 5:30 p.m. Concession stands offer food and beverages. A 20-minute fireworks show set to patriotic music follows the game at about 8:30 p.m. Tickets are required, with a limit of six per family. Early pickup recommended at Community & Recreation Services Office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. Free admission. Surprise Stadium, 15850 N. Bullard Ave. 623-222-2000, www.surpriseaz.com/specialevents.
Star-Spangled Shoot Out: 5 p.m. Rawhide Western town presents cowboys, gunfights, live music and food. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. $10, free for age 5 and younger. Rawhide at Wild Horse Pass, 5700 W. North Loop Road, Gila River Reservation. 480-502-5600, www.rawhide.com/calendar.html.
Great American Picnic: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. This old-fashioned picnic features a pig roast, bike show, live music, pet parade and games. Swimming pool available for a fee. There also will be a beer garden and raffles. Free admission. Globe Community Center, 1274 S. Hagen Road. www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=201485379893153.
Lake Powell Fireworks Display: 9 p.m. July 4. This annual celebration is at the Lake Powell National Golf Course and is among the largest fireworks displays in northern Arizona. Free. Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas, 100 Lake Shore Drive, Page. 928-645-2433, www.azpyro.com.
Queen Creek Fourth of July: 5-10:15 p.m. There will be bounce houses, water rides, food and merchandise vendors and live music. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m. $10 per car. Schnepf Farms, 24810 Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. 480-888-1709, queencreekchamber.org.
Tempe Town Lake Festival: 4 p.m. Bring blankets and chairs, grab a spot on the lawn and hear bands perform rock, folk, pop and country music. Kids activities include bounce houses, rock walls, face painting and relay races. VIP packages including misted seating, a barbecue dinner and two drink tickets are available. Fireworks are choreographed to patriotic and classical music. Food for sale includes hamburgers, hot dogs, roasted corn, fry bread and snow cones. Tickets available at Valley Fry's Food Stores and various city of Tempe locations. $30-$60 VIP barbecue, $15 for two in advance, $8 for one at the gate, $6 in advance, $5 at city of Tempe locations, free for age 12 and younger and those with current military ID. Tempe Town Lake, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway. 480-350-5189, www.tempe4th.com.
Freedom Wireless Fabulous Phoenix Fourth: 6 p.m. The patriotic program includes an F-16 flyover. Entertainers perform on three stages. More than 50 booths include food and beverage vendors and community displays. A kids zone offers inflatables and activities. Fireworks wrap up the evening. Free. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. 602-262-6412, phoenix.gov/parks/fabphx4.html.
Splash Bash: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Highlights include swimming and water games. Kids can dive for pennies and nickels in the play pool and cash in their loot for prizes. A biggest-splash contest and wet-shirt family relay will be held. A DJ will play music. Free watermelon. $2, free with recreation swim pass. Litchfield Park Recreation Center, 100 S. Old Litchfield Road. 623-935-9040, www.litchfield-park.org.
Fire in the Sky: 7-9 p.m. A fireworks show is accompanied by a tailgate and lawn party. Spectators are asked to donate canned or non-perishable food items. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and food. Text "Fireworks" to 83990 or see website for details. Free. www.gilbertaz.gov/calendar/eventDetail.cfm?recordID=3084.
- Central Christian Church of the East Valley Gilbert Campus, 965 E. Germann Road, Gilbert.
- Campo Verde High School, 3870 S. Quartz Street, Gilbert.
- Gilbert Soccer Complex, 4260 S. Greenfield Road.
Freedom Parade: 8 a.m. Decorate a bike, stroller, skateboard, golf carts, wagons and even your pets and yourself to join this neighborhood parade or come out to watch the half-hour march. After the parade, participate in a red, white and blue contest to win prizes and compete in a water balloon toss. Meet at 7:30 a.m. Donations go to Packages From Home, which sends care and comfort packages to deployed American military personnel. Free, donations accepted. Mescal Park, 11015 N. 68th St., Scottsdale. 602-570-0303. www.scottsdaleaz.gov/parks/mescal.asp.
Great American Picnic: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. This old-fashioned family picnic features a pig roast. Highlights include a bike show, live music, a patriotic pet parade and games. On-site swimming pool available for a fee. There is also a beer garden and raffles. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club. Presented by American Legion Riders Henry Berry Post 4. Globe Community Center, 1274 S. Hagen Road. Free admission. www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=201485379893153.
Old Fashion 4th of July: 6-9 p.m. Family activities include sack races, an egg toss and a watermelon-eating contest. A DJ provides music. Food and beverages are available. Lawn chairs are recommended. A fireworks display begins at dark. Free. Youngker High School, 3000 S. Apache Road, Buckeye. 623-349-6604. www.buckeyeaz.gov.
The July Four: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. . Pick up a patriotic package featuring a half-pound of hand-sliced smoked brisket, a half-pound of seasoned pulled pork, four large barbecue buns and a five-ounce bottle of signature barbecue sauce to bring out to picnics and fireworks shows. $17.76. Bobby Q, 8501 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix. 602-995-5982. www.bobbyq.net.
July Fourth Celebration VIP Package: 4 p.m. The festival is filled with family activities, including face painting, live entertainment, food vendors and a desert sky fireworks display at 8:45 p.m. The VIP package features a buffet dinner served in the Geronimo Ballroom and free parking. VIP package must be purchased by July 1. $55 registration after June 24, $45 registration by June 24, $15 age 12 and younger. Tubac Golf Resort and Spa, 1 Otero Road. 520-398-3531. www.tubacgolfresort.com.
4-Cent Sangria: 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. The pizzeria offers its signature recipe white sangria with fresh-cut fruit for 4 cents each. One glass per customer. La Grande Orange Grocery, 4410 N. 40th St., Phoenix. 602-840-7777. www.lagrandeorangegrocery.com.
$4 Entrees: 11 a.m. Purchase one entree and get the second for $4. Look for selections like Dixie pan-fried chicken, rib-eye steak tacos and brussels sprouts salad. Add such drinks as a house-infused prickly-pear tequila margarita or Lucy's "spiked" lemonade. Dessert options are available, including red velvet cake and chocolate nouveau. Menu prices vary, $4 for second entree. Chelsea's Kitchen, 5040 N. 40th St., Phoenix. 602-957-2555. www.chelseaskitchenaz.com.
2011 Chandler 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular: 4-10:30 p.m. Activities include a kids carnival, dunk tank, 35-foot water slide, water-balloon wars, 24-foot rock climbing wall and games. A push, pull, pedal and bicycle parade is featured at 6 p.m. Live music is performed beginning at 7 p.m. A fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. Food and beverage vendors are on-site. Presented by the Chandler Lions Club and the city of Chandler. $5 parking, free admission. Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road. 480-236-9123. www.chandleraz.gov/default.aspx?pageid=162.
Let's Celebrate Independence Day: 6:30 p.m. Dance the night away to the music of the Colorado Connection, playing tunes from the 1950-1990s. Cash bar. Tickets available online or at the door, while supplies last. $10. Sonoran Plaza, 19753 N. Remington Drive, Surprise. 480-491-8121, www.ticketturtle.com/index.php?theatre=scg.