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Mon, Jan. 20

Fourth of July event to see fireworks launched off barge in middle of lake, day full of family fun
‘One heck of a show’

Bright colors rain down from the sky while the Fourth of July fireworks erupt over Pioneer Park in Prescott. (Courier file photo)

Bright colors rain down from the sky while the Fourth of July fireworks erupt over Pioneer Park in Prescott. (Courier file photo)

With this year’s shift of the July 4 fireworks show from the downtown area to Watson Lake, Prescott could have an event that is nearly one-of-a-kind in the state.

“I don’t know of another barge (fireworks) show in Arizona,” said Steve Gottlieb of Eagle Management and Events, the contract organizer of this year’s July 4 celebration.

Along with staging the fireworks from a barge in the middle of the lake, Gottlieb said the prospect of fireworks lights reflecting on the surface of Watson Lake will make for a unique experience.

“It’s going to be one heck of a show,” he said.

Recreation Services Director Joe Baynes also referred to the uniqueness of the event during a presentation to the Prescott Parks and Recreation Board this week.

Although acknowledging that the complicated planning for the event “keeps me up at night,” Baynes predicted that the lake setting for the fireworks display would be popular.

“I think it’s going to be beautiful — one of the best in the state,” Baynes said. “But it has its challenges.”

(See related story on traffic challenges.)

Along with the fireworks show that will start at about 9 p.m., Eagle Management and Events is planning a celebration starting at noon that will include: a kids’ zone with 12 inflatables, nine water slides, and three bounce houses; a stage with live bands; a beer garden (no coolers or barbecues will be allowed to be brought in); and 12 food trucks.

The event will charge a $5 entry fee, and a $20 fee for wristbands for use of the water slides and inflatable bounce houses.

The fireworks will consist of 8-inch mortars that will shoot at least 840 feet in the air, Gottlieb said.

The city advertised for event-promotion companies in December 2018, and Eagle Management and Events submitted the only proposal.

The city does not contribute to the cost of the celebration or fireworks, but will be providing the traffic control for this year’s event.

When questioned by the Parks and Recreation Board members about the traffic details, Baynes said the planning is still underway. He said more information would be available after a planning meeting next week.

More information on the evolving details of the celebration offerings is available at:

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or

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