Parade, water fight, live entertainment at the park, food, vendors, DJ, and fireworks.
That’s the order of the day Wednesday for the Benson and San Pedro Valley July 4 celebration.
Aptly themed “It’s a Grand Old Flag,” this year’s celebration could be tough to top, according to event organizers.
The parade, long a staple of the city’s July 4 celebration will have its full array of tractors, firetrucks, marching, walking, mounted and motorized entries.
“It’s looking really good,” commented Dorthey Moncada, the city’s parks and recreation director, and whose department spearheads the annual celebration.
A variety and a number of food vendors registered early, she said, noting late entries are more the norm than exception when it comes to the parade.
“We always have late entries,” she said. More than 20 food vendors registered early for the day at Lions Park for the activity-filled day.
Lisi Harris gets things going with a rendition of the national anthem at 9 a.m. at the onset of the parade at the emcee tent on Fifth Street between Huachuca and San Pedro streets.
Activities move to the Big Ramada at Lions Park with live music and entertainment following the parade.
The water fight, hosted by Benson Fire Department, pits firefighters typically from Cochise and neighboring Pima counties, who face off in five-man teams — two teams at a time — armed with high-pressure fire hoses aimed at a barrel suspended on a cable between two poles overhead. The objective is to push the barrel onto the opposition’s territory via the high powered hoses that deliver the 120-psi water spray, to the welcoming crowd below. The event is a local favorite.
Parade winners will be announced at 11:15 a.m., with Nightlife kicking off the live music at 11:45 a.m. Cochise County Line Band followed at 1, Benson Barbershoppers at 3:15 p.m., Sound Check at 4 p.m., Benson High School Dance Cats at 5 p.m., followed by Mariachi Alegre at 5:45 p.m.
The fireworks are expected to start about 8:30 p.m., following the Benson Alumni Community Band from 7:15 p.m. to 8 p.m., with Arizona Thunder Productions providing the pre fireworks entertainment at 8 p.m.