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1:54 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Church, social groups lead to fireworks

People & Places: Many volunteers contribute for one fun day

Ashley Lee of Chino Valley tries to hammer her toy frog toward the target during the 2016 Fourth of July celebration at Community Park on Monday.

Photo by Ken Sain.

Ashley Lee of Chino Valley tries to hammer her toy frog toward the target during the 2016 Fourth of July celebration at Community Park on Monday.

(Editor's note: A few days after this story was published, the town canceled its Fourth of July events because of fire danger. See story: No fireworks celebration in Chino Valley.)

Fireworks were first used to celebrate our country’s Independence Day in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, one year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. From that day on every Fourth of July in addition to all the parades, picnics, parties and games, everyone looks forward to the beautiful fireworks display at the end.

Pastor Todd League and his Word of Life church members became involved with the Chino Valley Parks and Recreation Department in 2013 to help with the town’s Fourth of July celebration.

“We all wanted to see fireworks in Chino Valley again so we joined together to make it happen. So now our church, the Lions, and the Rotary club besides Park and Rec. Foundation (headed by Lon Turner) are involved in this event,” League said.

In 2013, an anonymous donor donated the money for the Chino Valley fireworks. Since then the organizations and clubs involved have fundraisers, and use the money made from the food and games on the Fourth of July, to keep the event going.

This year’s event is at Chino Valley Community Park on Road 1 East, starting at 3 p.m. and going until 9 p.m. when the fireworks begin.

“Throughout the day not only will there be many games, water slides, face painting, the dunk tank, beer garden etc., but many free activities such as water melon and hot dog eating contests, but sack races and more with all proceeds from the day going towards next year’s Fourth of July event,” League said.

“The music this Fourth will be by the band “Alter Ego,” and also the Chino Valley pool will be open for free swimming,” he said.

Wrist bands for the Freedom Stations games on the Fourth can be purchased at the pool for $12 before the holiday, they will be $15 on the 4th of July.

“Everyone is volunteering something to make this event come together. I enjoy this event and do a myriad of things throughout the day,” League said.

“To me, helping with this event helps build community spirit.”

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