Writer Grace Hill

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he sky lights up as dazzling fireworks fly high and bright, while onlookers voice their merriment with oohs and aahs. With a boom, bang and pop, Fourth of July once again brings family and friends together to not only celebrate the joy of summertime, but more importantly, to commemorate our nation’s independence and freedom.

Here are some of the coolest Fourth of July celebrations around the Valley. Dress in your best red, white and blue attire and watch the fireworks soar above!

July 1
Frontier Town’s Fourth on the First

Located in Cave Creek, guests will get a Western Fourth of July experience with mechanical bull riding; live entertainment provided by Redneck Revolution and The Saints of Las Vegas; and food like tasty street tacos, delicious margaritas, sugary cotton candy and more. Children will also enjoy cooling off at the splash area. The night comes to an exciting finish with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. Free admission. 4 p.m. Frontier Town, 6245 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480-488-9129, frontiertownaz.com.

July 3
Anthem Independence Day Celebration

This Fourth of July festival, going strong for 18 years, brings 20,000 people to the event each year. Spread throughout the Anthem Community Park, all sorts of fun will ensue, including wet and dry rides, inflatables, dancing and more. Guests can bring food and non-alcoholic beverages or purchase items at the food court and rotary beer garden. The night ends with a national anthem performance and fireworks show. Free; $15 wristband required for inflatables and rides. 6-10 p.m. Anthem Community Park, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy., 623-742-6050, onlineatanthem.com/independence-day.

July 3
Cave Creek’s 3rd of July Fireworks Extravaganza

Another great Western Independence Day celebration showcases the largest fireworks display in Cave Creek. This family-friendly event, hosted by Harold’s Corral, Roadhouse and the Buffalo Chip, features live music by Crown Kings and Hillbilly Deluxe; kids’ activities; and food and drink specials at all three restaurants. Free and reserved seating is available to watch the fireworks. Discounted room rates at the Carefree Resort & Conference Center encourage guests to stay overnight and explore the town. Free admission. 5 p.m. Harold’s Corral, 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480-488-1906, haroldscorral.com; Roadhouse, 6900 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480-488-3300, hideawayroadhouse.com; Buffalo Chip Saloon, 6811 E Cave Creek Rd., 480-488-9118, buffalochipsaloon.com.

July 4
Fabulous Phoenix 4th

One of the largest fireworks displays in the metro Phoenix area will once again shine brightly over the 100,000 plus spectators watching below. The free, family-friendly event includes live performances, interactive exhibits, arts and crafts, a classic car display, rides, inflatables, water spray zone and more. Guests will also enjoy delicious festival-style food and beverages as they watch the fireworks. Free. 5-10 p.m. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Rd., 602-262-6011, phoenix.gov.

July 4
Fourth at the Fountain

New this year, all holiday entertainment will be free to allow the whole community to attend. Included in the entertainment is music by DJ Steve Grosse, games and prizes. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and picnic baskets for a relaxing Fourth of July celebration. Some sweet treats will also be available for purchase. At 9 p.m., a beautiful fireworks display over the lake will end the evening. Free. 6-10 p.m. Fountain Park, 12925 N. Saguaro Blvd., 480-816-5185, experiencefountainhills.org.

July 4
Scottsdale’s 4th of July Celebration at WestWorld

This Fourth of July celebration will keep guests cool in the 300,000-square-foot fully air-conditioned venue. The event features a remarkable list of entertainment, including a kids’ zone; Stunt Master’s BMX show; All-Star Stunt Dogs Challenge by Stunt Dog Productions; a bull riding rodeo presented by Dirty Money Cattle Company; and pony rides and petting zoo from Carter’s Farm. Guests will also enjoy food and drinks and a magnificent fireworks display at 9 p.m. See website for ticket prices. 3-9:30 p.m. WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., scottsdale4th.com, westworldaz.com.

July 4
Tempe Town Lake Festival

This 66th annual Independence Day celebration showcases some of the best fireworks in the Valley and will launch to the beat of music from the Mill Avenue Bridge. Singer Kianna Martine will perform the national anthem followed by country songs. Soul and pop singer Levi Rebel will also perform. The event includes a flyover, rides, rock climbing walls, inflatables and more. An extensive food court will feature hamburgers, hot dogs, Macayo’s Depot Cantina, BBQ, fry bread, snow cones, ice cream, drinks and more. 5-10:45 p.m. Tempe Beach Park, 480-350-5189, tempe4th.com.