Happy birthday, America! Tucson has planned a weekend filled with celebrations to mark the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Southwest Arizona’s hot, dry weather, which has helped fuel the burning of close to a million acres across the state, has caused some commercial properties to rethink their holiday offerings.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain opted to replace its annual fireworks display with a holiday-inspired laser light show.

“With the fire issues we’ve had throughout the state, the most prudent thing to do was to error on the side of caution,” said Liam Doyle, the property’s general manager.

The show will feature custom light choreography inspired by Dove Mountain’s dramatic canyon setting. The multi-sensory laser experience will be presented starting about 8:45 p.m. on July 3 and will last approximately 30 minutes.

“We’re confident we will still create a memorable experience for everyone,” Doyle said.

The laser show is part of a complete weekend of activities offered by The Ritz-Carlton for its guests. For more information, visit www.ritzcarlton.com or call 1-800-241-3333.

The Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort also will host a weekend-long package of activities for guests. On June 29, the resort announced it had replaced its fireworks show with a laser light show due to weather and fire conditions, according to marketing manager Robert Moreno. Its July 3rd schedule will begin with a barbecue and end with a concert featuring two bands – Ryanhood and 80’s and Gentlemen – at the Pusch Ridge Golf Course and laser light show at 9 p.m. Special pricing is available for non-guests.

The Town of Marana is hosting its annual Star-Spangled Spectacular on July 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Arizona Pavilions, near Cortaro Road and I-10.

The event attracts 10,000 to 20,000 people each year, said Josh Wright, director of the town’s new strategic initiatives department.

The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Sponsored by Comcast, they will be set off from a location behind The Pines Golf Club. A full complement of fire services will be on hand to ensure the public’s safety.

Wright has been working with local businesses to amp up local participation in the event. There will be three themed areas that will provide something for everyone, Wright said.

An area for family activities, such as a children’s movie, and fireworks viewing will be set up on the west bank of the river in Crossroads Park.

Children’s activities and games from such businesses as The Batter’s Box and Mathnasium will be offered on the south side of North Cortaro Road.

The Pines will once again present a beer garden, live music and a picnic area with food vendors.

For more information, visit www.marana.com or call 382-1946.

More Celebrations

The following holiday events are scheduled to take place outside Northwest Tucson.

Free concert

Celebrate America’s birthday with patriotic songs at Arts Express’ 27th Annual Let Freedom Sing Concert. It is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday, July 4, at the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. This year’s theme is United We Stand.

Tickets are free but must be reserved online in advance. For ticket information, visit www.arts-express.org/let-freedom-sing/ or call 319-0400.

Kino Sports Complex

Freedom Festival 2011 presented by KIIM FM and Clickjab returns to Kino Sports Complex Saturday, July 2. Parking is free and gates open at 3 p.m. This year’s entertainment includes country artists Neil Russell, Ash Bowers, Sunny Sweeney, Steve Holy and headliner Tracy Lawrence, who will take the stage from 9 to 10:15 p.m.  A fireworks finale will immediately follow the final act.  

Discounts are given for advanced tickets. For more information, visit www.kinosportscomplex.com/tickets.html.

On Monday, July 4, the Tucson Padres will play the Reno Aces in the Triple-A Baseball Star-Spangled Spectacular at Kino Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m.; the game starts at 7. Parking is free.  

A professional fireworks show is scheduled for immediately after the game. To buy game tickets, visit www.tucsonpadres.com.  

(1) comment

John J Flanagan

Beyond the festive celebrations characteristic of the 4th of July, one must look at the heart and soul of our nation on this date and time in our history.
Plagued by political divisions, costly foreign wars, threats of terrorism at home, economic distress, catastrophic natural events and floods, we must realistically look at ourselves and renew our commitment to the present and the future.
As a Christian and the editor and publisher of the Oro Valley Christian Reader, I am particularly troubled by the moral decline of our country, the vulgarization of our media and people, and the blatant anti-Christian sentiment we are seeing. Related to free speech and viewpoint expression, constitutional rights, we are now seeing attacks against references to God made by graduating students from our schools, as if such free speech is offensive and illegal?
It was recently reported that the Houston National VA cemetery's anti-Christian director has ordered that references to God and to Jesus Christ are not permitted during VA funerals. This policy is now under review following numerous complaints by the VFW and other organizations.
As we look at our land today, how can this be? The blood shed by Christian men and women who were killed in America's wars over the years, their love of freedom and liberty, family, and country unquestioned. Yet, a minority of progressives and groups like the Civil Liberties Union seek to deprive our people of the right to express freely their religious faith.
As I look at the fourth of July this year, I wonder how long before these same groups move further along in their agenda, to render the Christian faith illegal, to suppress speech, except what the ACLU and these groups consider correct and authorized.
As a former combat Marine Sgt who fought in Vietnam, I fear that the blood shed by my fellow servicemen and women will have been shed in vain if the political agenda being promoted today continues. We must value our free speech, our religious freedom, our Constitutional rights as a free people, or we will lose them. God bless our land, and may He turn around hearts that are blind to the assaults against our liberty. There is much at stake, as America moves forward this 4th of July.

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