Fireworks will light up the Ahwatukee Foothills sky this Independence Day eve for the community’s annual Red, White and Boom! festival.

Live bands, traditional backyard games and a flag raising ceremony are a few of the highlights expected at this year’s event this Saturday, July 3, at the Ahwatukee Country Club and presented by the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve got lots of activities, and we really want families to come and spend some time,” Chamber President Terri Kimble said.

Families will be able to enjoy all kinds of games, food and drinks starting at 6 p.m. Kids can enjoy face painting and temporary tattoos, and kids of all ages can enjoy playing with hula hoops, bean bag tosses, big Jenga-like block games.

“People can just sit back, relax and let the kids have fun. Or the adults, for that matter,” Kimble said.

While the games are going on, three different youth bands from Mesa’s Rock n’ Roll High School will take the stage. Classic rock group Bret Kaiser and Speedway will go on at 8 p.m. and will continue their show after the fireworks display.

People who want to get up and walk around will have plenty of booths to check out, including entries featuring former Arizona Diamondback Shea Hillenbrand distributing information about his Marley Farms’ petting zoo and its associated foundation. The Ahwatukee Republicans and Democrats will also be on hand registering voters.

Plenty of refreshments will be available to purchase, including hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza and more from local vendors. Water and soda will be on sale, and beer and wine will be available for $3.

Official business starts at 8:45 p.m. with a flag raising ceremony performed by Ahwatukee’s American Legion.

“Because that’s what the Fourth of July is all about,” Kimble said.

Fireworks start afterward at 9 p.m.

It’s free to get into Red, White and Boom!, but the chamber is still looking for donations to cover costs.

It will cost about $35,000 to put on festivities this year. The group was $15,000 short last week, at which point Ahwatukee Foothills businessman Darin Fisher issued a challenge: If the community collects $10,000 more, he’ll kick in the last $5,000.

About $5,200 of that was covered as of Tuesday afternoon, and more keeps coming in.

“It’s trickling in. We’ve got probably about $4,800 to go; we were at $6,500 on Friday,” Kimble said Tuesday. “It keeps getting better.”

There will still be opportunities to donate even at the event. M&I Bank will be on hand with its change van and will match the first $1,000 collected. Attendees can also purchase a special Boomer Bear stuffed animal for $15, or make their own.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and fireworks go off at 9 p.m. July 3 at the Ahwatukee Country Club, 12432 S. 48th St. Be sure to come in the 48thStreet entrance.

Parking will be available near the entrance, but since that area will be closed to cars at about 8 p.m. in preparation for the fireworks, get there early if you want to park close. Attendees can still walk into the 48thStreet entrance after 8 p.m.

For more information, visit the chamber’s website at www.ahwatukeechamber.com.

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