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Thu, Oct. 17

Celebrate America's spirit in Williams on July 4
Independence Day parade heads down Route 66 at 4 p.m.

Northern Arizona Antique Tractor and Engine Association members head down Route 66 during last year’s Fourth of July parade. The tractors will again make an appearance during this year’s festivities. Clara Beard/WGCN

Northern Arizona Antique Tractor and Engine Association members head down Route 66 during last year’s Fourth of July parade. The tractors will again make an appearance during this year’s festivities. Clara Beard/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The Williams Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce invites one and all to the 2012 Fourth of July Parade on Route 66. The theme of this year's parade is "Celebrate America's Spirit." Attendees can expect to see an assortment of entries all celebrating what makes America great.

Kids, decorate your bikes and ride along with the floats. If you are younger than 18, you'll need your parent's permission to be in the parade and each participant will receive a prize for their efforts. Spruce up your bicycle with streamers, ribbons and bows and parents are encouraged to ride with their children.

The parade kicks off at 4 p.m. at the corner of Ninth Street and Route 66 ending at Pine Street. The line up starts at 3 p.m.

Show your spirit and come out to support your community. If you are interested in participating, please pick up an application at the Williams Chamber or the post office.

Ice cream social

The Community United Methodist Church will also host their traditional ice cream social Wednesday at 2 p.m. While ice cream will not be served prior to 2 p.m., it is recommended that connoisseurs arrive shortly thereafter to guarantee a taste of genuine, homemade, smooth and chilly ice cream. Donations are requested and proceeds assist the Williams Ministerial Association.

Tractor display

The Northern Arizona Antique Tractor and Engine Association is returning and will display their tractors on South Second Street Wednesday. The tractors will also appear in the "Celebrate America's Spirit" parade.

Historic steam train rides

On the Fourth, the public will have the opportunity to take steam engine excursions for the Railway's regular 65-mile journey from Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and back. Another departure will be Sept. 15 in honor of the Railway's anniversary. Tickets will be sold at the Williams Depot. For more information, call (800) THE-TRAIN or visit TheTrain.com.

The Grand Canyon Railway and Resort also offers a three star hotel, state-of-the-art RV Park with 124 spaces and full hookups and cable and a Pet Resort.

For more information on Williams' July 4 events, contact the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce at (928) 635-0273.

Gun blasts from the past

Smoking guns, frilly petticoats and leather boots will take over Williams when the Railhead Shooting competition returns June 28 - July 1. The competition is held at the shooting range north of Williams on Highway 64.

Last year, over 160 people turned out for the Railhead Shooting competition over the long Fourth of July weekend. Participants in Railhead operate under an alias and are expected to dress in full period dress from the 1890s or older. The Phoenix-based Cowboy Shooters Association sponsors the competition. The firearms used in the Railhead competition vary widely and are dependent on the type of shooting event each competitor participates in. The public is welcome to watch the shooting competition. Admission is free for spectators. Hearing and eye protection are mandatory on the range.

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