TUSAYAN, Ariz. - This year's Fourth of July celebration in Tusayan is shaping up to be better than ever, courtesy of The Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau. Held on July 4, the celebration promises family fun for all, featuring a parade, food vendors, face painting, great live music and more.
Grand Canyon Chamber's General Manager Josie Bustillos said not only will there be plenty of games in store for the kids, great live auction prizes are up for grabs as well for the adults.
"We are going strictly live auction this year and we've got some great stuff," Bustillos said. "Also, there will be Hoover Dam trips, a stay at Mormon Lake with horseback riding and snowmobiling. We have video cameras and a Kindle Fire. A Las Vegas flight, dinner for four at the Arizona Room and the El Tovar, a Laughlin stay, first class round trip and dinner with the Grand Canyon Railway, Diamond Resort stay in Sedona, are just a few of the live auction items."
Immediately after the parade at 3 p.m., head back over to the event area adjacent to McDonalds for organized games.
"This year's kid zone is going to be different than in the past," Bustillos said. "It's going to be old-fashioned games this year like sack races, a piñata and a bean toss. Things like that. We will give awards to the kids too."
Big John's BBQ out of Flagstaff will be dishing their delicious barbecue all day, and hot dogs and shaved ice will also be available.
The Grand Canyon Brewery will be pouring their product, which will be available in a special beer garden area.
Arizona favorite Whiskey Rodeo will be performing after the parade to get people moving on the dance floor until around 8 p.m.
There is still time to enter the parade. The chamber asked that participants follow their "Happy Birthday Arizona" theme in honor of the state's centennial year, and fill out an application at the chamber.
"The parade is free, we do ask that participants fill out an application because we have judges," Bustillos said. "The parade will line up on 302 as always. We ask that people are lining up at least an hour beforehand. We would like Arizona birthday related floats. My theory on this theme is we have a hundred years to work with. People could be really into this if they got creative. It's the history of Arizona basically."
This year the parade's Grand Marshals will be local favorite Rex Stermer and his sons. Stermer is a Vietnam veteran, one of his sons is a Gulf War veteran and the other is an Iraq War vet.
"Since our theme is 'Happy Birthday Arizona' it just seemed right to honor him, he comes here and does this for the community for free," Bustillos said.
The local American Legion will lead the parade as the honor guard.
"The Park Service is bringing their horses The Red Feather Inn and the Squire will have floats in the parade, as well as the Grand Canyon School District," Bustillos added.
Since the chamber has gone back to the day parade, they are encouraging young attendees to decorate their bikes as well. Bikes will also be judged.
A Mayor's Award, Spirit Award and Best of Show Award will all be up for grabs when Tusayan's biggest parade of the year sets off. There is still time to participate, pick up your application at the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and get creative.
"Honoring vets, it's a great way to celebrate Arizona's hundredth birthday, and what a better place to do it on the date of our Nation's independence than right outside the state's treasure - the Grand Canyon," Bustillos said.
Right after the parade is over, head over to the kid's zone to take part in a variety of old fashioned games.
"We went back to games for the kids so they aren't bored," Bustillos said. "We plan on having a piñata, face painting we are trying to do a lot of things for the kids."
For more information, contact Josie Bustillos at the chamber at (928) 638-2901.