The United States of America’s flag was presented by members of the American Legion Post #15.
About 10 a.m. booths were opened to the public. Raffle tickets for various drawings sponsored by various groups were on sale. There were also vendors with colorful booths selling jewelry, candles and stuffed animals. Food and drinks were in plentiful supply and there was even a ring toss game and face painting for the kids. The Humane Society was also present to set up animal adoptions.
The Children’s Theatre sponsored the event and Dee Rodriguez, the group’s director, said the turnout was great.
“We had a really good number of vendors, we even had some from Phoenix and the White Mountains,” she said.
The children’s parade kicked off about 3 p.m. Rodriguez said the parade was smaller than usual, but credits that to a mix up of starting times.
Before the awards were announced for the parade’s participants, Marcie Wilson sang the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
A stage erected on Vargas Field showcased seven bands from Winslow and the surrounding area throughout the day.
Tommy Dukes from Winslow, was the headliner of the evening. The talent show had 10 participants and Haley Brooks won with a performance of “The Heart Goes On” from the movie Titanic.
Rodriguez felt the day went really well. “It just gets bigger and better every year. I would like to thank the people of Winslow who came out and helped the kids,” she said.
After the festivities in the park ended, many walked over to Emir Nassar Stadium to finish the night’s celebration. The music group Nostalgia began the evening’s activities by performing songs from the past and present for the crowd.
Next on the agenda was the raising of the American Flag by members of the American Legion Post #15, Edward Gonzales and Gary Carlson. Brenda Hayes and Mary Alice Hayes sang the Star Spangled Banner, accompanied by Julian Peterson on the saxophone during the presentation.
In order to ensure it was dark enough so the upcoming fireworks could be seen perfectly, Nostalgia took the stage once again to perform.
Once the sky reached a blackness that served as the perfect backdrop for the display, the stadium lights dimmed and the show began.
Dan Simmons, along with the Winslow Fire Department, were on hand to set off over 480 aerial fireworks and 1800 ground fireworks. Half way through the show, the Stars Dance Team performed for the crowd.
The fireworks started up again and finished with a spectacular finale of colorful explosions.
Lita Muse, Dispatcher for the Fire Department, was responsible for the fund-raising for the display. She said the people of Winslow donated enough money to reach the Fireworks Fund’s goal of $12,000. She added that the fund gathered enough money to make a good start for next year’s display.
Fire Chief Boney Candelaria said he felt it was an excellent show and was a successful event because no one was hurt. “I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback from the public. My crew did a really super job out there,” he concluded.