After a hiatus of 10 years, fireworks are set to return to Williams this Fourth of July.
According to Mayor John Moore, the city plans to reinstate the fireworks program as well as increase parade participation and bring more activities to the day.
“This has always been a very popular event in Williams,” Moore said.
The city has not had a Fourth of July fireworks display since 2007, when dry conditions resulted in a small fire.
Moore said the city feels comfortable bringing the fireworks program back to Williams after a winter of heavy precipitation and acquiring a new location for the launching.
“The city has reached an agreement to use the old Gonzales property,” Moore said referring to the historic Gonzales Dairy property that lies northwest of the city.
Moore said the property is a better location to launch fireworks because of a lack of trees and a large retaining pond.
During that 2007 incident, fireworks were launched near the city’s waste water treatment plant and within five minutes of the beginning of the show, five spots fires were ignited in the Flat Rock area.
A quick response by Williams Fire Department, Kaibab National Forest firefighters and other local fire departments kept the fire contained to just .6 acres.
Despite the preparations, the city was investigated by a Federal Grand Jury to determine if there was any wrong doing. The city was later cleared.
For this year’s event, the Williams Fire Department is coordinating the fireworks display and the city of Williams is organizing the activities.
Moore said past Fourth of July events have drawn thousands to the Williams area.
“We have gotten people from all around, as far as from Phoenix to watch our fireworks display,” Moore said. “Thanks to the owners of that property we’re able to get back to doing fireworks this year.”
Moore said although the city has received large amounts of precipitation this year, organizers will still monitor the wildfire potential this summer.
“We are always concerned about the dry situation,” he said. “And technically that could occur this year but we don’t think it will. If it does, we would have to cancel the fireworks.”
Moore said the city plans to begin activities at noon, which could include a cookout, wild west shows, a talent show or a battle of the bands. He said the annual parade will begin around 6 p.m. and the fireworks display will begin after dark.
Moore said he is looking to local businesses and residents to help with the activities and anticipates a large turnout for the event.
“It will be great for the town,” he said. “Of course, the Fourth of July we’re busy anyways but I think the fireworks will draw even more people to town.”