July 4 block party will perform double duty for Kingman
KINGMAN - With no fireworks show in 2015, the City Council on Tuesday voted 4-1 to hold a downtown block party July 4 that will feature free hotdogs and watermelon, sodas and music for residents - along with a chance to participate in a community event that could help the city win $3 million in the America's Best Communities competition.
Kingman is one of 50 quarterfinalists in the competition. The plan is to provide glow sticks to attendees, who will walk en masse up Fourth Street toward the Mohave County Superior Courthouse once the sun goes down.
The march is to be videotaped and photographed and included in the city's Best Communities presentation. The funds would be used for improvements. The Chamber of Commerce, which is spearheading the city's effort, will cover the cost of insuring the event. The Council set aside $3,000 for the event and Dora Manley has stepped in to organize and recruit either a DJ or band to provide musical entertainment.
The only problem is the issue of finding police officers and firefighter-paramedics who can work the event on such short notice.
Both Police Chief Bob DeVries and Fire Chief Jake Rhoades said it would be difficult, but doable. The only downside is providing them overtime pay just four days into the new fiscal year. For that reason, Councilman Larry Carver cast the lone no vote.
Councilman Mark Abram volunteered to have Frontier Communications pay for the glow sticks. "I bet I can find a corporate sponsor for the glow sticks," said Abram, Frontier's general manager in Kingman, after he successfully lobbied the Council to not provide them instead of sparklers for the walk up Fourth Street.
The city will close down Spring, Oak, and Third, Fourth and Fifth streets for the event, and a recording of film legend John Wayne speaking about America will be played on the loudspeaker.