Perfect July 4th Weekend Jaunts by Hampton Rhodes

Perfect July 4th Weekend Jaunts

Around the country, individuals and families are making plans to celebrate the weekend leading up to July 4th. This week, Z’Scoop takes a look at some out-of-the-mainstream places that can provide great family entertainment that’s off-the-beaten-path but not-too-far-away for folks in Arizona, Florida, Iowa and Massachusetts. Pack your bags and come along for some real Americana Adventure and Fun!

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, Chandler, AZ
Celebrate America and our heritage at this traditional fireworks show on Independence Night at Tumbleweed Park presented by the City of Chandler and produced by R-Entertainment.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Tumbleweed Park
5 – 10:30 PM
Fireworks Spectacular Show at 9 PM presented by Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers
Parking: $5 per vehicle.

Event Information
Event Opens 5 PM
Fireworks Show 9 PM presented by Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers
Event Ends 10:30 PM

Main Stage presented by The CW6
5 PM to 6 PM — People Who Can Fly
6:15 PM to 7:15 PM — Blaine Long
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM — People Who Can Fly
8:45 PM to 10:30 PM — DJ

People Who Can Fly Biography
People Who Could Fly is an indie pop band formed in 2013 and based in Phoenix, AZ. The group’s style draws influence from acts such as Walk the Moon, the 1975, The Killers, and Two Door Cinema Club. The group is currently recording their third EP, and plans to tour heavily in support of the release in late Summer 2017. People Who Could Fly has performed with national acts including Rick Springfield, Howard Jones, Roger Clyne, Death Cab for Cutie, & Fitz and the Tantrums. The band also provided entertainment for The Arizona Cardinals (NFL) in 2016. Their album, “Neon Electric” was produced by Grammy-winner Robb Vallier (Gin Blossoms, Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert).

Blaine Long Biography
As a singer-songwriter, Blaine Long has been on a musical journey for most of his life. Born in West Virginia and raised in Arizona, Blaine was a high school dropout who had to learn the hard way, from serving up fast food to digging ditches and odd jobs. Raised with a strict Christian upbringing and unsatisfied with the normal conventions of daily life, Blaine discovered guitar, singing, and especially songwriting. Blaine and his wife decided to adopt their daughter in 2011 and then their son in 2013. Putting family first while pursuing the craft of song-writing and performing, Blaine releases an album per year and shows no sign of stopping. Blaine brings a wide range of performing experiences. He has played corporate events, large theaters, restaurants, coffee shops, and house concerts. He played for the U.S. Air Force in Okinawa, Japan in 2015. Blaine was featured on a compilation album, “The Project” with Nils Lofgren from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, American blues singer Francine Reed, and local Arizona legends Hans Olson, Walt Richardson, and many more. Blaine has opened for many national acts including John Hiatt, Edwin McCain, and Martin Zellar. Blaine got a “three chair turn” during his Season 11 audition for The Voice. Ultimately joining Team Blake, Blaine shared with America his passion for performing, songwriting, and connecting with his audience. Today, Blaine Long’s music is marked by warm and soulful vocals and a powerful rhythmic acoustic guitar style. You can find Blaine on most nights working on his craft in front of a live audience.


  • Laser Tag
  • Game on Wheelz — Experience video games indoors in a trailer with air conditioning.  Great for all video gamer’s skill levels.
  • Face Painter
  • Balloon Artist
  • Archery Game Inflatable
  • Deluxe Basketball Shootout Game
  • Field Goal Challenge Football Kick & Throw Game
  • Western Shooting Game
  • Lego Trackless Train — This 18 passenger train will ride through the park for all to enjoy.
  • Inflatable “Car Wash” — Come walk through a car wash themed inflatable with misters that will help to cool you off during any heat.

Date: July 4th, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM until 10:30 PM
Location: Tumbleweed Park
Address: 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler, AZ 85286
Phone: 480.782.2735

Fourth of July Fireworks 2017 in St. Augustine, FL
St. Augustine’s Fourth of July celebration at the Castillo de San Marcos includes a live music concert and a spectacular fireworks display over the historic bayfront. “Fireworks Over the Matanzas” is one of the biggest and best fireworks displays on the East Coast, featuring 5,000 individual shells exploding as high as 2,000 feet and as low as 100 feet.

Starting at 6:00 PM, the popular local band The All-Star Orchestra performs a two-hour show of big band and swing music along with patriotic favorites. The concert is free and open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to bring lounge chairs for seating.

The fireworks begin at 9:30 PM.

St. Augustine has been putting on a spectacular fireworks show on July 4th for the last two decades. Lighting up the sky over the waters of Matanzas Bay, with the Castillo de San Marcos and the Bridge of Lions in the foreground, the “Fireworks Over the Matanzas” display is truly unforgettable. Visitors are welcome to line the streets and sit anywhere along the Bridge of Lions and South Castillo Drive to view the fireworks from downtown.

The 20-minute fireworks show is choreographed to sync with a soundtrack of patriotic music over an extensive sound system that carries over the entire bayfront area. The show is produced by Fireworks by Santore, who has also produced fireworks shows for such major entertainment venues as Sea World Orlando and Walt Disney World. Fireworks Over the Matanzas is one of the best places in Florida to catch fireworks on Independence Day.

After the Fireworks Over the Matanzas display, around 10 PM, guests can visit any one of the historic downtown pubs and restaurants, like the world-famous Columbia Restaurant, for a bite to eat and a cool drink. Remember, St. Augustine enforces “no open container” laws, so visitors should make sure they drink only inside St. Augustine’s restaurants and bars.

Check out places to stay in St. Augustine, FL for July 4th weekend with options available at the beaches, downtown, and near I-95.

When: Tuesday, July 4, 2017, from 6:00 to 10:00 PM. Concert from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, fireworks begin at 9:30 PM. Road closures from 8:30 to 10:30 PM.

Where: St. Augustine’s historic district. Some of the best vantage points are on the Bridge of Lions and at the Castillo de San Marcos.

For more information on this event please call (904) 825-1004 or visit here.

The Clear Lake Iowa 4th of July Celebration – Clear Lake, IA
Clear Lake’s premiere festival includes a midway, amusement rides, bingo, huge open-air vendor market by the lake, live music nightly in the bandshell, a traditional Independence Day parade down Main Avenue, and the biggest and best fireworks display in the area over the lake on the 4th!

Thursday, June 29th:
Evans United Shows Carnival opens at 5 PM
Arts & Craft Fair open 5 – 9 PM
Live Music Crossfire (Classic Rock) 7 PM

Friday, June 30th:
Arts & Craft Fair 10am – 9 PM
Evans United Shows Carnival Opens 12 PM (Wrist Band Day $17 noon – 5 PM)
BINGO tent opens 12 PM
Live Music with The Punching Pandas

Saturday, July 1st:
Arts & Craft Fair 10 AM – 9 PM
Evans United Shows Carnival Opens 12 PM
BINGO tent opens 12 PM
Live Music Arch Allies (Styx, Journey & REO Speedwagon Tribute Band) 7 PM

Sunday, July 2nd:
Family Fun Day & Wrist Band Day
Arts & Craft Fair 11 AM – 5 PM
​Evans United Shows Carnival opens 12 PM (Wrist Band Day $17 noon-5 PM)
​BINGO tent opens 12 PM
Family Fun Day Events (sponsored by CL Tel/CL Vision & Woodford Lumber & Home)
Family Feud Game Show 1 PM
Family Fun Time Games 3 PM
Live Music StraitRun Band (Family Rock Band) 7 PM

Monday, July 3rd:
Arts & Craft Fair 10 AM – 9 PM
Evans United Shows Carnival Opens 12 PM
BINGO tent opens 12 PM
Live Music The Hepperly Band

Tuesday, July 4th:
Parade, 10AM Parade Route
Arts & Craft Fair 11 AM – 9 PM
Evans United Shows Carnival opens at Noon
BINGO tent opens at Noon
​Denny’s School of Dance, 1:30 – 3:30 PM
Clear Lake Municipal Band 8:30 – 10 PM
​Fireworks over Clear Lake 10PM (Musical Tribute on 106.1FM, AM1490, & AM1300)

Date: June 29th through July 4th, 2017
Time: Various (See Schedule)
Location: Downtown Clear Lake, IA
Address: Various (See Schedule)

Independence Day Weekend in the Berkshires, Western MA
Saving the best for last this week, there is so much going on in Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires that we jus had to list them all — fireworks, parades, exhibitions, Top-Talent concerts, and Summer Stock Theatre — its all here and more, awaiting you in the glorious Berkshire Mountains of Western Mass.

Ongoing Exhibits
The Berkshire Museum: GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World
Chesterwood: Out of Site: Contemporary Sculpture
Clark Art Institute: Picasso: Encounters @ The Clark
MASS MoCA: Nick Cave – “Until” Exhibit
The Mount: SculptureNow 2017
Norman Rockwell Museum: Inventing America: Rockwell & Warhol

July 1
John Mellencamp with Emmylou Harris & Carlene Carpenter at Tanglewood. The Tanglewood Popular Artists Series featuring John Mellencamp with Emmylou Harris and Carlene Carpenter. In the Shed. 7 PM.

London’s National Theatre in HD: Salomé at The Mahaiwe. This charged retelling turns the infamous biblical tale on its head, placing the girl we call Salomé at the center of a revolution. 7 PM.

Arias and Sinfonias From Biblical Oratorios at Aston Magna Music Festival. Dominique Labelle, soprano, with Aston Magna string ensemble. 6 PM, St. James Place, Great Barrington.

History Talks: MA/NY Border Wars in the 1700’s at Bidwell House Museum. Gary Leveille, Berkshires historian and author, on the fifty years of boundary battles among the early Dutch and English settlers on both sides of the elusive border. Held at Tyringham Union Church, Main Road, Tyringham.

Tireless: A Tap Dance Experience at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. This exclusive, Pillow-only engagement brings together astonishing tap artists from our backyard and beyond in a program introduced by the “tireless ambassador of tap” Michelle Dorrance (The New York Times). Live Music. 2 PM & 8 PM.

NW Dance Project at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Known for their “cutting edge contemporary work” (The Portland Tribune), this Portland, Oregon-based dance company brings classically-trained, versatile dancers and an all-original repertory. 2:15 PM, Doris Duke Theatre.

Million Dollar Quartet at Berkshire Theatre Group. Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, and an epic night of rock ‘n roll, Million Dollar Quartet brings you into the recording studio with icons, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. 2 PM & 8 PM, Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge.

Children of a Lesser God at Berkshire Theatre Group. In today’s culture, there are endless methods of communication. Are we truly listening to one another? At the core of the Tony Award-winning Children of a Lesser God, written by Tony Award-winner Mark Medoff, is a poignant story about human communication, connection, and compromise. 2 PM & 8 PM, Main Stage, Stockbridge.

4000 Miles at Shakespeare & Company. In this Obie Award-winning and beautifully crafted piece, Amy Herzog gives us Vera and Leo, a grandmother and grandson, locked in a moving and most amusing battle of wits. Life has dealt them a series of shocks, and yet, they and two intrepid young women continue to seek meaning through human contact in a touching and humorous portrait of the disenfranchised. 

The Birds at Barrington Stage Company. Mysterious masses of birds have begun to attack at high tide, driving strangers Nat and Diane to take refuge in an isolated, abandoned cabin and to form a bond to survive their haunting new circumstance. Yet if two is company, three is a crowd, as the sudden arrival of a young woman with a mysterious background ruffles feathers and quickly threatens to destroy their so-called sanctuary. 3 PM & 7:30 PM, St. Germain Stage.

Ragtime at Barrington Stage Company. At the dawn of the 20th century when everything is changing … and anything is possible, Ragtime weaves together three distinctly American tales — a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician — united by their courage, compassion and their belief in obtaining the American Dream. 8 PM, Main Stage.

Roommate at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek star in this absorbing comedy about self-discovery. 3:30 PM & 8 PM, Main Stage.

A Comedy of Errors at The Theater Barn. In this sequel to Lend Me a Tenor, it’s 1930s Paris and the stage is set for the concert of the century — as long as producer Henry Saunders can keep Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his hot-blooded wife Maria from causing runaway chaos. Prepare for an uproarious ride, full of mistaken identities, bedroom hi-jinks, and madcap delight. 4 PM & 8 PM.

Anything Goes at Mac-Haydn Theatre. Set sail on this classic Cole Porter adventure aboard The SS American! This hilarious boy meets girl comedy on the high seas features some of the most magical songs in musical theatre history. Hits like “DeLovely,” “I Get a Kick Out Of You,” “Friendship” and the show-stopping “Blow Gabriel” are sure to please! 4 PM & 8 PM.

Shaker Barn Music: Sarah Lee Guthrie at Hancock Shaker Village. New American roots music series in a Berkshire barn, on a summer night, with great local beer and spirits, and soulful music that sets the fireflies dancing, featuring Sara Lee Guthrie. 8 PM.

Fireworks at Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT. Great family fun! Infield and Outfield Gates open at 6 PM with all concession stands open. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets and enjoy Lime Rock’s unique ambience until the fireworks begin about 9 PM.

July 2
Precision & Pageantry Drum & Bugle Corps Show, Pittsfield. A fun family event held at historic Wahconah Park to benefit the Pittsfield Parade committee. 3pm. Tickets $15-$25.

Anything Goes at Mac-Haydn Theatre. 2 PM.

Roommate at Williamstown Theatre Festival. 2 PM, Main Stage.

NW Dance Project at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. 8 PM, Doris Duke Theatre.

4000 Miles at Shakespeare & Company. 3 PM, Bernstein Theatre.

The Birds  at Barrington Stage Company. 3 PM, St. Germain Stage.

Ragtime  at Barrington Stage Company. 2 PM, Main Stage.

Anything Goes  at The Mac-Haydn Theatre. 7 PM.

Natalie Merchant  at Tanglewood. Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant makes her Tanglewood debut, bringing her distinctive voice and style to the Koussevitzky Music Shed. 7 PM, in the Shed.

July 3
The Birds at Barrington Stage Company. 5 PM, St. Germain Stage.

Million Dollar Quartet at Berkshire Theatre Group. 7 PM, Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge.

Children of a Lesser God at Berkshire Theatre Group. 7 PM, Main Stage, Stockbridge.

David Lutkin and Friends at Barrington Stage Company. Lookin’ for a little down-home, Americana patriotism this year? David Lutken and his banjo-stringing, harmonica-playing band will treat you to a treasure trove of American Folk Music guaranteed to get your hands clapping and your feet stomping. Back by popular demand! 8 PM, Mr. Finn’s Cabaret.

James Taylor at Tanglewood, Lenox. James Taylor returns to Tanglewood with his All-Star Band. 8 PM.

July 4
4th of July Hometown Parade, Pittsfield. Steps off at 10 AM on South Street with a Celebrating Our Heroes theme.

4th of July Celebration, Williamstown. Celebrate our nation’s independence in inimitable Williamstown style! At 11 AM, gather on Spring Street for Williamstown’s classic holiday parade. At 1:30 PM, make your way to Williams College’s Sawyer Library to hear WTF actors read the Declaration of Independence and the British reply before viewing the Chapin Library’s Founding Documents of the United States collection.

4th of July Community Celebration at Shakespeare & Company. Join us for an all-American Independence Day celebration with music and a public reading of one of the most stirring, influential, and potent documents in our country’s history: The Declaration of Independence. Reading begins at 3 PM. Food is available for purchase on site from Firefly Gastro Pub.

Pittsfield Suns vs Brockton Rox Baseball at Wahconah Park. Collegiate baseball at its best as the Pittsfield Suns takes on the Brockton Rox at historic Wahconah Park with 4th of July Fireworks after the game. 6:30 PM (fireworks 9 PM).

James Taylor at Tanglewood. 8 PM.

Million Dollar Quartet  at Berkshire Theatre Group, Stockbridge. 2 PM.

Roommate  at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. 4 PM.

Children of a Lesser God  at Berkshire Theatre Group, Stockbridge. 2 PM.

Cymbeline  at Shakespeare & Company. A rarely performed story of intrigue and deception in the face of steely resolve, Cymbeline bears the wondrous language of the seasoned playwright through wild plot twists, mistaken identities, and a heart-rending quest for love. 6 PM.

For even more information, click the Event or Exhibit, or explore more happenings in the Berkshires here.

So get out of town and enjoy time with your loved ones. There are all kinds of wonderful things going on this 4th of July Weekend — some of them right in your own backyard!

Chandler, AZ
St. Augustine, FL
Clear Lake, IA
The Berkshires in Western Mass

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