Originally Published: July 3, 2000 7:15 p.m.
PRESCOTT – Thousands of colorful spangles will decorate the night sky, a local band will play foot-stomping marches, and families will participate in summer games.
It's traditional Independence Day fare, and it all will take place at Prescott's annual fireworks celebration at the Prescott High School football field on July 4.
The City of Prescott's Parks and Recreation Department is once again planning a wide range of festivities for the annual fireworks display.
The evening will begin at 6 p.m., with a host of family-oriented activities at Prescott High School, 1050 W. Ruth St. The early-evening events include an appearance by Kookie the Clown, face painting, fabric art on Phippen Art Museum T-shirts, and a 7 p.m.-to-9 p.m. appearance by KPPV Radio's Mary Pat Cavanaugh.
Rounding out the fun will be games that families have participated in through the generations, such as three-legged races, wheelbarrow races, and a screaming contest. Kids and adults also can participate in Earth ball events and parachute games.
By about 7:15 p.m., the crowd will have another treat – music by the Prescott Community Band, a July 4 mainstay in Prescott for the past 20 years.
Rich Longfield, who started the band 20 years ago, is back as director this year, and he is enthusiastic about the band's offerings. "Our summer program is pretty entertaining," Longfield said. The band's repertoire includes songs that are sure to inspire patriotic sentiments. Marches, American folk songs, and Disney movie themes will make up much of the concert.
"We play quite a variety of stuff that is light," Longfield said. Since this year's rodeo parade theme is American heroes, Longfield said the Community Band chose famous march composer John Phillip Sousa as its hero, and will feature Sousa's music.
The band consists of about 40 to 45 members, all local musicians. Longfield said Tuesday's program will include an opportunity for some of the band members to introduce themselves and tell where they are from.
The band will perform for about an hour.
At about 9 p.m., the main event will get under way. The fireworks display, for which the city spent $9,999, will involve about 25 minutes of entertainment. The display will include 530 shells – about the same program as last year, said City Recreation Supervisor Libby Reiman.
Lantis Fireworks of Draper, Utah will conduct the fireworks performance.
For safety, Reiman said the city is requiring viewers to stay in the football field bleachers during the display. Law requires that spectators be at least 400 feet from the fireworks shooting area, Reiman said. Other areas that are too close for safety include the corner of Ainsworth and Division, and the Mountain View Cemetery.
Along with the bleachers, spectators are free to sit on the ballfields below the football field. And Reiman said people often park in yards and lots all around the fireworks display to catch a good view.
The Prescott fireworks display will be synchronized with the Prescott Valley show and patriotic music from KPPV. Spectators can bring their boom boxes and tune into KPPV for music during the displays.
Refreshments will be available from Jamba Juice and the baseball field concession stand.