Eureka Casino’s Rockets over the Red Mesa Fourth of July celebration was once again the summer event of the season as thousands of residents and visitors enjoyed taking part in the annual baking contest, hot dog eating contest, browsing the vendor booths to learn more about the various non-profit organizations in the city, listening to the Nevada Pops celebrate 100 years of music history and last but not least watch an amazing fireworks display.
Visitors to the event met first with the city’s non-profit organizations who took advantage of the Lees’ generous offer of the free space to allow them to raise awareness of their cause as well as solicit volunteers and donations.
According to representatives of the various groups, Non-profits such as We Care for Animals, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue and the Exchange Club of Mesquite, Nevada are grateful to the Lees for their support of the community as well and are extremely happy with the amount of people they spoke to at this year’s event.
Resident Joanne Barker thinks that the Eureka’s 4th of July celebration is awesome and says, “God Bless the Lees for everything they do for the community. They are true Americans.” Barker’s friend Debi Anderson agrees with Barker and says, “This is what July 4th is all about. To me July 4th means freedom to partake in things like this… to do what we love and above all to honor those who continue to fight for our rights to enjoy these things.”
New to Mesquite is Jessica Callan who says the 4th of July has always meant family to her. “It’s always been the day when dad didn’t have to work and the whole family spent the day, usually at the beach, enjoying the freedom to be together, grateful that we live in a country that allows us to pursue our dreams, be ourselves and live our lives as free Americans. It’s my dad’s favorite holiday by far.”
Beaver Dam resident Chuck Embree couldn’t agree with these ladies and the non-profit organizations more. Embree is a veteran who served 4 tours in the Vietnam War and he says, “The price of Freedom isn’t FREE, it isn’t cheap…it all comes at a very high cost and so does an event like this. The Lees and the Eureka are the best. They honor the price of freedom and they allow the entire community to join in on honoring those who have paid the price. As a fellow business owner, VFW member and member of the American Legion, I am proud and grateful to the Lees for what they do every year for the community on our nation’s birthday and to honor those who’ve paid a very high price for freedom.” Embree has a long history with family members paying that high price, Embree say his Great-Great Grandfather was the first secretary of war under George Washington and is also extremely proud of his family heritage.
As the daylight grew to dusk, Mayor Al Litman presented the Flag, Old Glory was raised and the Nevada Pops entertained the crowd with a musical montage commemorating the past 100 years of music. The concert alone lasted a bit more than an hour and the moment everybody was anticipating began with not only a bang but accompaniment by the Nevada Pops as well.
Bombs bursted, rockets glared and the audience gave the appropriate oohs and ahhs one would expect to hear at such a glorious fireworks display but some of the oohs and ahhs came with concerned undertones as a several unplanned explosions occurred on the fireworks stage. One of the explosions was so large that audience members far behind the V.I.P. seating felt the rush of heat across their faces and upper bodies. Thankfully most of today’s pyrotechnic displays are remote controlled keeping crew members far from the actual explosions and no injuries were reported.
Despite the unexpected bursts, audience members left the celebration with smiles and laughter on their faces. Many guests expressed how grateful they were for the experience the Lees provided to them, their family and friends so that, as a community, Mesquite residents and visitors could celebrate the independence they all shared on July 4, 2014.