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Goodyear returns to full in-person events with Star Spangled Fourth

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After more than a year of canceled, drive-thru and virtual events, the city of Goodyear plans to return to in-person celebrations with a literal bang.

The city’s Star Spangled Fourth at Goodyear Ballpark on Sunday, July 4, will mark the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic halted events across the country in March 2020 that Goodyear will say “welcome in” to everyone.

Goodyear modified its 2020 celebration so families could watch fireworks from their vehicles while listening to patriotic music on their radios, but had to cancel altogether after Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order banning gatherings of 50 or more people in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus in the state.

“We were all really disappointed” when the cancellation announcement went out shortly before the holiday, Brenna Hosey, the city’s festival and events coordinator, said in a recent telephone interview.

Now that the executive orders have been lifted and more residents are fully vaccinated against the virus, the city is moving forward on events that resemble those held pre-pandemic.

“The Star Spangled Fourth is the city’s first opportunity to gather people back together,” Ms. Hosey said. “The essence of a live event just can’t be matched. That’s something we’re excited to get back to.”

Ballpark gates will open at 6 p.m. and the fireworks show will begin at 9.

Attendees can watch from inside the ballpark or they can tailgate in the parking lot if they’re not yet comfortable in crowds.

“To accommodate both, Southwest Fireworks (the city’s pyrotechnics contractor) is creating displays that are larger and will rise higher than ever before,” Ms. Hosey said.

Those inside the ballpark can sit in stadium seats or bring blankets to spread out on the field. Lawn chairs and umbrellas will not be allowed.

Valley musician Chauncey Jones and his band will perform top country hits and patriotic songs throughout the evening, and will play patriotic music during the 30-minute fireworks show, Ms. Hosey said.

Specifics are still being worked out with vendors, but celebrants will find many of the same family-friendly activities they enjoyed at past Star Spangled Fourth celebrations, including beach ball and glow necklace giveaways.

“They add to the patriotic ambiance of the event,” Ms. Hosey said of the necklaces. “You look out and see a sea of red, white and blue when the sun goes down.”

The city also has some surprises in store as part of its 75th anniversary celebration, she said.

Alcohol, firearms, pets, sparklers and other fireworks, drones, hard-sided coolers and most beverage containers will not be allowed into the venue. For a full list of what is and isn’t allowed inside the ballpark, visit goodyearbp.com and click on Ballpark Information and Ballpark Policies.

For updates on the event and to watch a “know before you go video,” follow the city’s Facebook page, @goodyearazgov. For more information on Chauncey Jones, see videos and listen to his music, visit chaunceyjonesmusic.com.

Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at kosullivan@newszap.com or 760-963-1697.

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