Summer events during 2020 were put on hiatus, and the COVID-19 pandemic made the usually bustling city of Prescott quiet while residents and visitors attempted to slow the spread and minimize participation in Special Events. It has brought a smile to many faces over the last few months to see people safely gathering for events and getting ready for a summer of fun to be shared with friends and family. Each year at the start of July we take time to reflect and celebrate the freedoms we are all so fortunate to have and share our joy as we gather with family to take part in barbeques, special events, and firework. We are grateful for our freedoms, for our loved ones, for making memories, for a beautiful and safe hometown, and for the opportunity to celebrate some of our favorite summertime events.
We are so pleased that the World’s Oldest Rodeo was able to continue for its 134th year to capacity crowds this year. The opportunity to celebrate our western heritage always dazzles spectators and brings guests to our community from all over the world. It’s truly an honor to host this globally recognized event each and every year, it truly increases the comradery in this community as we join together and celebrate one of the many things that make this city great. In addition to the Rodeo celebration, this year our downtown streets will once again be alive with laughter and celebration as Prescott hosts all of the usual annual events including the Prescott Frontier Days ™ Rodeo Parade, the Kiwanis Kiddie Parade, Arts & Crafts Shows on the Plaza and the Rodeo Dance. Everyone can conclude the weekend by taking in the beautiful 4th of July fireworks show over Watson Lake and enjoy one of our fantastic local restaurants with a leisurely meal for the extended Holiday Weekend. These events taking place as normal this year represent the resilience and strength of our community and country.
While also taking the time to enjoy all of the blessings and celebrations, I also remember what we’ve lost. It is important to pause and reflect on 19 young men who gave their lives on June 30, 2013, battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew was a team of true heroes, and we will never forget the sacrifice they made for our community. It’s an honor to participate in the memorial events commemorating this day. And we have the opportunity to continue to honor their memories every day through the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Learning and Tribute Center at our own Prescott Gateway Mall. The Center tells the story of the Hotshots and displays artifacts, memorabilia, and accounts as a way to educate and inspire residents and visitors. In addition, the Center also educates visitors on wildland fire prevention and firefighting. I encourage everyone to take in this experience and take a moment to remember and honor these men. If you are moved to do so, you can volunteer at the Center, to help keep their work continue. For hours and information, go to www.GMIHC19.org.
Prescott represents what is wonderful about our state and our country. The patriotism, resiliency, and giving the character of our citizens fill me with pride all through the year. I hope each and every one of you will enjoy this 4th of July; fill it with family, reflection, and celebration. God Bless Prescott!
Mayor Greg Mengarelli