Wondering how to make the most of a trip to the Parker Strip for the longer-than-usual 4th of July weekend? Check out Parker Live’s top tips below, including where and when to see fireworks, which routes to take, where to hang out and how to stay safe.
1. Take Mohave Road or AZ-95 instead of CA-62
After recent deadly accidents, this one bears repeating: If you’re coming to Parker from metro Southern California, avoid taking CA-62 via Desert Center. The traffic will be heavy on Friday and Tuesday and the dips and curves can make it more unsafe than other routes in traffic. Instead, use AZ-95 via Blythe, CA (better) or Mohave Road via Ehrenberg, AZ (best). It isn’t much further as measured by miles driven, the traffic will be lighter and it’s a safer route for your friends and family.
2. Get on the Colorado River
If you have a boat, or know someone with a boat, you’re in the ultimate position to fully enjoy your weekend in Parker. If you don’t, no worries! There are lots of other ways to enjoy the river, including stopping at Spanky’s RV & Marine for their selection of water toys, inflatables and supplies. The many resorts up and down the river have lots of beaches and water access. Get your spot early! Sunrise is around 5:30am, sunset at around 7:50pm. Lighted boats can be out before and after dark. Personal watercraft generally can’t, so make sure you’re legal.
3. Wear sunscreen
The average high temp this weekend will be between 109 and 113 degrees. While that isn’t the highest we’ve ever seen, it’ll be hot, and easy to burn (especially when you’re playing in the water). Get a good sunscreen and reapply. Signs of heatstroke: red skin, changes in consciousness, rapid pulse, shallow breathing. Get the person out of the heat and call 911.
4. See some fireworks
If you like a good light show, you’re in luck. There are at least 3 professional fireworks shows over the 4th of July weekend in the Parker area:
- Roadrunner, Saturday at 9pm
- BlueWater Resort & Casino, Monday at 9pm
- Manataba Park (Mohave & 2nd Ave), Tuesday at dusk
Most kinds of personal fireworks (especially the ones which are launched into the air) are illegal in Arizona and California. For ground-based fireworks, check your jurisdiction. The Town of Parker, La Paz County, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Arizona State Parks and other entities may all have different rules. Remember: keep your pets inside! Pets go missing every year after getting frightened by the noise of fireworks.
5. Grill your own burgers
It’s the most American thing you’ll do all weekend! And there’s no better food when you come off the water at the end of the day. To achieve legendary status, try this recipe, or something equally epic.
6. Visit some of Parker’s iconic riverside establishments
There are many bars and restaurants right on the river’s edge, with some of them – like Roadrunner (pictured) – literally floating on the water. You can access them by boat or by car. Some are louder, some quieter, some better for live music, some better for DJ, some known for their food, some for their drinks. Roadrunner is family-friendly by day and a little wilder at night, with three bars including the floating one on the dock, a DJ and dance floor outside, another inside and its own beach. Don’t forget to have a designated driver: getting around without one is difficult in Parker, Uber doesn’t work and cops won’t hesitate to make arrests for DUI (on the road or on the water).
Have a safe and successful 4th of July weekend, Parker-style!