We started at Orchard Ranch in Dewey, where every year the residents deck out their golf carts, bicycles and puppy dogs in red, white and blue splendor, and parade through the park on their way to a small but solemn ceremony of remembrance of veterans and the freedoms we so gratefully share.
Since I am officially old enough (or creaky enough) I bought a three-wheel bicycle this past year, and we put in the back of the truck and took it along! I enjoyed riding along with the parade and taking photos as I pedaled.
After the parade, the Orchard Ranch crowd pulls out all the stops and fills the tables at the pavilion with all kinds of homemade goodies, and hosts a lunch that draws some 250 people. Unfortunately we couldn't stay, we had another date down the highway in Black Canyon City!
So we loaded up the bike and off we went. I have to say that when we arrived in BCC I had not once thought of taking the bike out again. It was too doggone hot! But the fans were on in the community center at High Desert Park, the hot dogs were on the grill in the kitchen and the ice cream was cold.
Hundreds of adults and kids came through during the day to enjoy the food, find out about community programs, and take a chance at dunking some town dignitaries in the tank. Black Canyon Fire Chief Tom Birch was a bit surprised that his kids had such good aim - they landed him in the drink quite a few times!
He dried off and then provided a huge treat for kids and adults - opening a fire hose for them to play in. If you're thinking of visiting Black Canyon City this summer, don't. It's HOT. Had I not been carrying my camera I would have been right in there with those kids under the fire hose! But...we were off again.
We returned to Prescott Valley in time to find a spot at Mountain Valley Park for the big fireworks show. I pulled out the three-wheeler and the camera once again and did my photographer thing!
So for all of you who were wondering who that crazy woman on the blue three wheeler was - now you know. I guess I should put a big "Press" sign on it.
The people in Prescott Valley get more sophisticated at the 4th of July celebration every year. I got a kick out of the RVs with lounge chairs, barbecues, and even artificial turf out front.
We staked out a spot right at the front, because I had to get those photos of the action!
Weren't the fireworks awesome this year? We were sitting next to a great family who had just moved here, and the grandkids were visiting. As they saw little fireworks erupt around the park, they kept asking if the show was starting. I took great pride in informing them, "you haven't seen anything yet!" And their ooohs and aaaahs when the show started in earnest were worth hearing.
I've enjoyed the show for the past 13 years, from several different locations - my yard when I lived in Castle Canyon Mesa (I could see Chino's and Prescott Valley's shows both at once!); the porch where I live now; Glassford Hill Road in front of the high school; and right there in the park.
I hope you all had as much fun as we did on July 4 - and thanks for letting the Prescott Valley Tribune be there to enjoy it with you!
Be sure to check out our fireworks and July 4th galleries online at pvtrib.com.