Originally Published: July 4, 2013 6:04 a.m.
PRESCOTT - The show will go on.
City of Prescott officials said today's Fourth of July celebration in Pioneer Park would go on as scheduled. A special memorial fireworks display is planned to honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who perished while battling the Yarnell Hill fire.
City of Prescott Special Events Manager Becky Karcie said 19 purple fireworks will be launched in honor of the Hotshots.
"Fireworks Productions will be shooting off the fireworks. They will be donating 19 purple fireworks that will be dedicated directly to our lost firefighters. We will also have a memorial for them," Karcie said. "It's very important to continue. This came from our fire chief. He feels the celebration is a part of the community. Our fallen firefighters lived here. This was a part of their community, and it's important we keep going on. This is also a celebration for them as well."
Events get underway beginning at noon today and will run until 10 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Fire officials will be on hand to monitor the pyrotechnics display, city officials said.
"This is a celebration. It may be a very sad time for all of us, (but) we just have to remember that they would want us to enjoy our time, be with our families, and remember them for who there were and what they were doing for our community," Karcie said.
Other tributes to the fallen firefighters will also be held throughout the event. Attractions will include carnival rides, a water slide, a mechanical bull for children, zip lines, and live music.
Admission to the celebration is free; there is a fee for carnival rides and food. Wristbands for the carnival will be available at the gate at Pioneer Park for $15. Pioneer Park is located at 1200 Commerce Drive.
"There will be a water park and extreme motor cycle jumping, which is new this year," said Randy Berryman with event co-sponsor Nackard Companies and Pepsi Cola. "This year is real important, with everything that has gone on. We will have a lot of families out here."
Berryman said he's received a number of calls from people wanting to support Prescott in their period of mourning.
"These are people who would normally go elsewhere. They want to be part of this this year, because they think it's more symbolic. I don't think any of the firefighters would want to see this event not go on, in spite of the tragedy that happened. I think they'd want it to go on," Berryman said.
The Town of Prescott Valley will dedicate its 18th annual fireworks display to the 19 fallen Hotshots. Festivities there start at 3 p.m. today and conclude with fireworks at 9 p.m. at Mountain Valley Park, located at 8600 E. Nace Lane. The annual PV event includes games for children, a beer garden for adults, and a live band.