Tailgate cookouts, flying motorbikes, waterslides, fireworks – it’s all part of the plan for the Fourth of July.

The City of Maricopa’s annual Great American 4th is on Independence Day at Copper Sky. This year, there will be some additions to the festivities.

That includes the “Great American Tailgate,” allowing attendees to grill up food and enjoy their own beer at their vehicles before the traditional fireworks display. At past events, Community Services Director Nathan Ullyot said, beer-drinkers had been segregated into a beer garden.

“This way, more people can be in our fields just possibly using our facilities,” he said.

A $30 ticket for the tailgating includes a beer-and-wine permit. The tailgating area is the south parking lot by the ballfields. Those with tailgating tickets can show up as early as 1 p.m. to pick their prime parking spot for viewing the fireworks that evening.

The tailgating area is first-come, first-served. Tents, tables, chairs and grills are all allowed in the parking spaces and on the nearby soccer fields. It is a 21-and-over event, and staff will be checking IDs. Tailgate Passes must be pre-purchased in person from Becky Squires at the Copper Sky front desk.

At 5 p.m., a VIP Pool Party gets started in the Aquatics Center. Advance tickets are $15. Copper Sky annual members get five bucks off.[quote_box_right]IF YOU GO
: Great American 4th
When: July 4, 5-10 p.m.
Where: Copper Sky Regional Park
How much: Free (fees for parking, Tailgate, VIP Pool Party, waterslides)
Info: Facebook.com/COMCSRC[/quote_box_right]

Electric Blue DJ Eric Chudzik gets revved up at 5 p.m. That is also when kids and adults are invited to enjoy the bounce house waterslides with a $5 wristband. For annual members, it’s free.

Recreation Coordinator Matthew Reiter said there would be a limited number of vendors, and few selling food items. Attendees are encouraged to bring in their own food.

“There won’t be a vendors row out there,” he said.

That leaves more room for family fun and games, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Vince Morgan of Brigade FMX will put on a freestyle motocross show starting at 7:45 p.m. Reiter said that exhibition will be near the fireworks area on the south side of the park.

The fireworks show gets started at 9 p.m.

Those who are not tailgating can park in other parking lots for $5. Free parking with a free shuttle to and from the event will again be available at Butterfield Elementary, 43800 W. Honeycutt Road, Santa Rosa Elementary, 21400 N. Santa Rosa Avenue and Maricopa Ace Hardware, 21542 N. John Wayne Parkway.

This story is in the July issue of InMaricopa.