The 4th of July is typically not an exciting holiday in the greater Phoenix area... it always seems like there's a serious lack of festivities going on around town - probably because there are usually scorching temps in July. What many don't realize is that nearly every year, there is a fantastic celebration that takes place in Payson, just 1.5 hours from the Valley! It’s been a favorite for our family even before we bought the Inn. We have so many special memories of watching our girls over the years be completely mesmerized by the fireworks!
Green Valley Park in Payson covers nearly 30 sprawling acres, and features a lake, concert pavilion, huge playground, open grassy fields, 3.8 miles of walking paths, The Rim Country Museum, and the Zane Grey Cabin.
Year round, we love to come here and bring a picnic lunch. The kids run around and roll down hills, play on the playground, and feed the ducks. We can easily spend 2-3 hours here on a given day, and could probably stay longer!
Beyond just coming to relax and play, one of the top things that Green Valley Park is known for is its 4th of July Hometown Weekend Celebration. The fireworks display is by far the best in all of Arizona. The fire department sets it up so that the fireworks go off over the lake - It’s completely magical! The event is a full day affair starting at 1pm with games for the kids. The festivities roll on all day with a pie eating contest, live music, food and drink vendors, and more. A pro tip: I highly recommend getting there early to grab a spot. Parking is tricky, so make sure you check out the parking instructions on the event page. If you don’t want to bother with the parking situation, there is a shuttle option too. Bring picnic blankets, warm clothes for when the sun goes down, and plenty of water.
The fireworks begin right around 8:30 (give or take depending on weather conditions). Prepare to be amazed and in awe! Every year, I comment to Carson that it’s the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen. If you see us at the Hometown Celebration, come say hi!
If you’re looking for some activities closer to the Inn, we’ve got you covered there too. July 2-3 in Pine, is the Pine-Strawberry Arts and Crafts Guild. There will be vendors both days right in downtown Pine. It’s always a great time, with a little something for everybody. On July 2nd at 10am, there will be a First Responders Appreciation parade starting at Bandits in Strawberry, and heading down Fossil Creek Road.
We can’t wait to celebrate with you in Rim Country. Book your stay at the Inn sooner rather than later. We always have a 100% sell out rate for the holiday. See you soon!