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A Fiery Close to the Fourth

Fireworks light up the night sky captured during a 30-second exposure reflected in the lake at the Continental Country Club in Flagstaff last year.

If it’s the last day of June in Flagstaff, then it’s time to roll out the red, white and blue.

Those colors used to be reserved just for the Stars and Stripes. But fashion has caught up to Old Glory, and this coming holiday weekend will no doubt see Flagstaff awash in patriotic dress and decorations.

Last weekend was a preview of how the Mountain Town does summer, holiday or not. On Saturday alone, the choices included the rodeo, a folk festival, Pride in the Pines, mariachi dancers and an outdoor expo. And don’t forget Movies on the Square after dark.

And did we mention most motels had “No vacancy” signs out front? When it hits 116 degrees in Phoenix, it’s hard to keep Flagstaff a secret in the summer (even if we topped 90 degrees for seven straight days).

So this weekend, expect more of the same, but in spades. Music will be in the air, with a kickoff concert by the Cadillac Angels in Heritage Square Friday night and a concert Tuesday afternoon by the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. Both are free, so arrive early.

And then there’s art – as in Art in the Park (Wheeler, that is) through Sunday, and the Hopi Festival at the Museum of Northern Arizona through Sunday. Movies on the Square is screening “Moana” on Saturday night and Babbitt Ford is hosting a classic car show Sunday.

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On Monday, Flagstaff jumps the gun on Independence Day with fireworks at Continental Country Club after a day of live music, picnicking and kids’ games – called “Lights on the Lawn.”

Then on July 4th, there are two footraces at 7 a.m., a band concert at 8:30 in Heritage Square and the annual Chamber of Commerce parade at 9. Attendance has been climbing from 10,000 past 15,000 to an estimated 20,000 in recent years – even finding a spot with a good view to stand, much less sit, can be a challenge. Organizers assure us that the Beaver Street construction will not disrupt the route, which goes south on Beaver starting at Elm, east on Aspen and north on San Francisco back to Elm. If you miss it or want more, there are also parades in Parks and Munds Park later in the day.

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And as mentioned above, the FSO will perform the annual free Independence Day Concert, a Flagstaff tradition dating back more than a century, at Fort Tuthill’s Pepsi Amphitheater. Gates open at 2 – bring a blanket and stretch out on the lawn.

And that night, there will be more fireworks in Williams, Winslow, Page and Twin Arrows. And as a bonus this year, the forecast is for perfect outdoor weather, with the monsoon slated to start after everyone is back to work Wednesday. Remember, though – no private fireworks or charcoal barbecues during Stage 2 fire restrictions.

For a detailed listing of holiday weekend events, check the Daily Almanac on Page A2 or visit our online calendar at www.azdailysun.com.

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