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Arizona's Celebration of Freedom in Downtown Mesa: June 29th and 30th, 2012

Summer seems to be flying by! This next week is big in my family.  We have Father's Day and then mine and my four daughters' birthdays all within 4 days.  Everyone gets celebrated.  For our birthday week, we started the tradition of taking our girls to stay at a hotel.  They think hotels are fantastic.  Last year we stayed at the Hyatt Place in the Riverview complex and had a wonderful time.  We loved the pool, the putting green and how they drove us in their golf cart to get our free birthday pancakes at IHOP.  This year, with Arizona's Celebration of Freedom in downtown Mesa just the week after, we decided to go camping on our birthdays and take advantage of the downtown Mesa Marriott's buy one night get one free deal.  I love the Celebration of Freedom and it will be great to be staying right by all the action during the two days.  Besides, my girls have been begging for years to stay at what they call the "Library Hotel" since it's located right near the main library.  We plan to enjoy the festival at our leisure, participate in the family fun run, watch a performance at the Mesa Arts Center, spend some time in the pool and then at the library (too bad they took out the carousel years ago), eat lots of yummy food, relax and take in the spectacular fireworks from our awesome seats (when we booked our room they promised us a top story room facing downtown Mesa).  I don't know who is more excited, me or my girls!  Besides, we get to feel like we are getting away without spending any money on gas.
(I sadly don't have any of my own pictures from past years, but I enjoyed this photographer's blog and photographs.)

So here is a rundown of all the weekend's events:    

Friday and Saturday, June 29th and 30th: Arizona's Celebration of Freedom in Downtown Mesa from 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM nightly.

About a mile block of Main street is shut down to traffic so there are streets designated as wet zones with water slides, other streets have games and obstacle course bouncers, face painting, watermelon...all for free.  One street will even have costumed American founders and blow up replicas of famous American history sites with patriotic storytelling . Food, vendors, music to dance to, and many patriotic exhibits. 

Also held on these nights will be the High Octane Car Show and Motorcycles on Main.

Several shows will be running at the Mesa Arts Center.  Friday, Actor/singer John Schneider (remember "Dukes of Hazard"...) will be performing at 7:30 PM.  Tickets are $35/$75.  Childsplay is performing Rock the Presidents at 6:30 PM and 8:00 PM and then Barney is on stage at 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM, and 9:00 PM.  Saturday is Barney again at 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 8:00 PM and Cartoon Network at 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM.  Besides John Schneider, all performances are free and no tickets are required.   

Go here for all the entertainment lined up for the weekend.  

Saturday June 30th at 7:30 AM is the Tie-One-On Family Fun Run in downtown Mesa. This fun run will help honor veterans and is held in conjunction with the Celebration of Freedom. The race starts at the corner of Main and Center. Go here to sign up.  (From what I have read, this is a free race).  Participants get a goody bag. 

Saturday, June 30th at 9:30 PM is the start of the fireworks show.  The best viewing is on the north side of Main.  The first year of the festival we drove to downtown Mesa just before the start of the fireworks and parked in the dirt lot behind the Circle K on the south west corner of Mesa Drive and University.  I don't know if parking will be different, but I thought we had an excellent view and we did not have to deal with congested traffic at all.   

If you would like to check out the deals offered by the Marriott Hotel for the weekend, go here.  They are offering a stay one night in a standard room for $119 and get the second night free or a stay one night in their standard room for $90 and receive a $25 food voucher at Café Azul Restaurant.

Of course an event of this caliber with so many free exhibits could not take place without the goodness of many volunteers. If you would like to lend a helping hand, please go here to sign up.

(Also what I love about this festival is that you can celebrate the 4th early and leave the next week open for several other celebrations going on around the state.)

Hope to see you there.  

1 comment:

Watson Family said...

My parents recently moved to Mesa and because you posted about this event, much of our family attended both Friday and Saturday and completely enjoyed ourselves! Thank you for all you do to help us find and create new and worthwhile family traditions!