The City of Sierra Vista and Sierra Vista Rotary Club presented the 47th Annual 4th of July Celebration at Veterans’ Memorial Park the evening of July 3 and all day on the 4th. Fort Huachuca, a partner, offered military displays, mounted cavalry, music and a guest speaker.
Friday’s festivities kicked off at 7 a.m. with Cochise County Humane Society’s 4th annual Pets & People Promenade. Pet owners and their animals wore patriotic outfits to partake in a small parade and enter to win first, second or third place in contest categories highlighting the unique costumes and best displayed patriotism. Certificates were handed out by the Honorable Rick Mueller, Sierra Vista mayor.
Later that morning, celebration attendees had the opportunity to get more acquainted with Fort Huachuca as the 18th Police Detachment K-9 unit held two military working dog demonstrations and B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (Memorial) gave a riding presentation showing off their different formations and skills. After each event, audience members had the opportunity to meet the Soldiers, riders and animals while they asked questions.
Also posted in the park, Soldiers of Company B, 2-13th Aviation Regiment, and Company A, 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, each had displays set up to show the public weaponry and other unit-specific equipment.
Throughout the day, park visitors could catch performances on the Centennial Pavilion stage which included a performance by the Military Intelligence Corps Band, the Sierra Vista Community Band and other local performing organizations.
At the beginning of the holiday afternoon, attendees gathered at the main stage for the Salute to the Union ceremony to witness a presentation of colors, reading of the 4th of July proclamation, 50-state cannon salute and aircraft flyover. Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, served as one of the main guest speakers.
“This weekend as we rejoice and celebrate the gift of freedom, which Independence Day represents, I ask you to take time and pause, to think about the men and women currently in Afghanistan and other places around the world, who have volunteered to do their part in defense of this nation,” Ashley said.
Evening performances included a second concert by the MI Corps Concert Band and, this time with the Fort Huachuca Select Honor Guard’s cannon fire as they played the “1812 Overture.” The festivities concluded with a fireworks show that could be seen from various locations in and around Sierra Vista.