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Four nights of fireworks over Navajo Nation mark July 4

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SHIPROCK Dozens of spectators watched the fireworks display here on July 1 from the open spaces surrounding the Northern Navajo Nation Fairgrounds.

Some honked their vehicles enjoying the display, while others took photos of fireworks that lit up the night sky with the colors white, red, yellow, purple and green.

“Fireworks are always fun to watch,” said Shiprock resident Larry Jim Jr.

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While where people sat to watch the show varied between chairs, vehicle roofs and tailgates, one thing was certain, their attention was fixed on the sky.

Spectators watch July 1 fireworks light up the night sky in Shiprock.  This is the second year the Navajo Nation has marked the 4th of July with the Tribal Lands Fireworks Series.

“I think it brings a lot of morale, especially after the pandemic,” Toadlena resident Denise Corujo said of the show.

Shiprock resident Lloyd Smith was selling food and novelty items that light up from a facility near where the band, Rhythm Wild, played.

For him, the fireworks bring a mix of business and entertainment to the community.

Shiprock resident Lloyd Smith, center, helps a young customer choose an LED balloon before the fireworks display begins on July 1 in Shiprock.

“It brings entertainment for people and activities for the little ones,” Smith said.

The Navajo Nation celebrates the 4th of July with fireworks shows over the holiday weekend.

These events are held to encourage families to stay close to home during the holidays and because fire restrictions remain in effect on tribal lands.

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Spectators use their smartphones to film the July 1 fireworks display at Shiprock.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told the audience that the fireworks display at Shiprock kicked off the series.

“Those of you who are early risers, who are here, you have the best place for the fireworks tonight,” he said.

Spectators parked near the fairgrounds as access to the location was limited to the pyrotechnics team and firefighters from the Navajo Nation Fire Department.

This is the second year that the tribe has organized pyrotechnic shows. Additional exhibits are scheduled for July 2 in Chinle, Arizona, followed by July 3 in Tuba City, Arizona.

The series wraps up July 4 with shows in Window Rock, Arizona and Kayenta, Arizona.

Toadlena residents Denise Corujo, left, and her daughter, Cadence James, burn sparklers as they wait for the fireworks display to begin on July 1 in Shiprock.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for the Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at [email protected].

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