Planning for Marana's Fourth of July celebration is moving along, with Comcast agreeing to sponsor the fireworks show for $10,000, and a number of Arizona Pavilions businesses offering to participate.

Tom Ellis, director of Marana Parks and Recreation, told the Marana Town Council last week the Star-Spangled Spectacular is "the most costly, logistically challenging of all our events."

With Comcast's support, fireworks are slated for a 9 p.m. show at the shopping complex in southwest Marana, and should last about 25 minutes that Saturday. Radio stations are simulcasting patriotic music during the display.

A test fireworks shot was fired from a site near the Pavilions in early June. "We had reports from all up and down the valley that people could see the fireworks," Ellis said. Viewing reports came from Dove Mountain and Heritage Highlands as well.

Parking areas have been identified, and maps of the Pavilions area created to show people where they can park, where they can participate and where the restrooms are located. Traffic planning "is still going through some minor tweaking," Ellis said.

"We are very relieved Tucson decided to follow Marana's lead and have their fireworks," Ellis told the council. "There was some concern that without them Marana would be overrun."

A number of businesses in and near Arizona Pavilions have agreed to hold events and promotions on the Fourth. Among them are the Pines Golf Course, Tower Theatres, Boston's Pizza, Native New Yorker, Nana's Kitchen, Cricket Communications, La Quinta Inn, KFC / Taco Bell, Keva Juice, Starbucks, Papa Murphy's, Fry's and ATA Karate.

There'll be a stage, with entertainment and demonstrations. The band Giant Blue is playing horn-laced blues and rock. Those festivities run from 6 to 10 p.m.

In recent years, the Star-Spangled Spectacular has been held at Ora Mae Harn Park, which is a more expensive, more challenging site for the town. Given a tight budget, the town decided to move the celebration to Arizona Pavilions, and ask for business support.

"We've got a good thing, we've got a good thing," Ellis said. "We're confident this new design … is truly a community-building event."

"The key to this event is media," Ellis said, with the information blitz beginning. "The key is getting the word out, so people know where to go."

"I think this is going to be a spectacular Spectacular," Mayor Ed Honea said.

For information, call 382-1950, or go to

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