by J. J. Lamb and David Hook

This year, well over 8,000 people connected during the weeklong “A Colossal Fourth” celebration of community and country! The highlight was the spectacular fireworks on July 3rd. This wonderful display, as well as all the other A Colossal Fourth events, were the result of community-powered partnerships forged with the Vail Preservation Society. (By the way, a question we hear: Why are our fireworks on July 3rd?  We do like to be unique, but, in truth, the Arizona Fireworks company is booked solid for the next 30 years, and we can’t wait that long!)

Every year there are extra-special events at the July 3rd block party that become part of our heritage. This year we witnessed a wedding proposal and the beginning of a lifetime of love, a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by incoming Empire Freshman Emmy Overson, and the honoring of WWII USO Hostess and “Rosie the Riveter” manufacturing team leader, Marjorie Taylor Bass. A Colossal Fourth is a true celebration of heritage across generations.

The A Colossal Fourth committee works year-round, bringing partners together to make the community- and tradition-building events possible. Thank you to our key sponsors and those who host A Colossal Fourth events: Rita Ranch Automotive and Tire, Hacienda del Lago, Christ Lutheran Vail Church, Truly Nolen, Hughes Federal Credit Union, Dunkin’ Donuts, American Legion Post #109, Chiara Dental, Charron Vineyards, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, and the Rincon Valley Farmers Market. We encourage you to support them. And see a list of all of our partners, sponsors, and raffle donors on, and please join us in showing them deep appreciation.

Neither Vail or Corona de Tucson are incorporated: there are no municipal entities to host community events that build a sense of place and tradition. That is up to us. It is shared experiences that bring us closer together and build memories that connect across generations. That is why the Vail Preservation Society is proud to facilitate A Colossal Fourth. This is heritage preservation and connecting community, both vital parts of our mission since 2006.

The community response and participation in A Colossal Fourth is so gratifying! Rest assured we will be ready next year with expanded parking and shuttle bus service and additional food vendors, along with the great Kid Zone, Block Party, and Fireworks Extravaganza! We want to give a special thank-you to the Rincon Valley Fire Department—their over-and-above support and guidance make the fireworks possible. Thank you to the off-duty Pima County Sheriffs who make sure traffic moves safely, and to the staff of Hacienda del Lago who invested many, many hours before and after the July 3rd block party and July 4th parade. You are the unsung heroes! And, thank you to the A Colossal Fourth committee who plan the event and raise the $30,000 it takes to host it for all of us.


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J.J. Lamb