Back in the city of Scottsdale’s pre-tourist-mecca days, on the same afternoon that a group of very important gentlemen signed a very important document on the other side of the continent, a weary explorer descended Camelback Mountain, ate a small but powerful cactus and dreamed of a fantastically lush “gaming course” watered by spitting mechanical “gophers.”

The players concentrated hard, he said. They hit a small white ball around, and then the silence would give way to raucous cheering. In his vision he tasted food, heard music and swam in pools. He enjoyed luxurious but temporary housing. The people said he was crazy, but back in 1776 there was no hint that the desert would one day bloom in this way or that life in Scottsdale was a postcard waiting to happen. There was no hint that, one day, people would come for all of this – and for the fireworks too.

Fourth of July Freedom Fest – The Fourth of July Freedom Fest wraps up on the night of the third with one final concert. Zowie Bowie ditches Vegas and heads back home to play the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess just for the lucky locals. The pre-show starts at 7:00, the show itself at 7:45, and if the fireworks are what you’re after, they begin at 8:30.

4th of Zoo-ly. The Fourth is a great night to stop by the Phoenix Zoo and see how the animals enjoy life in Scottsdale. The catered BBQ dinner starts at 7 p.m. The kids (or the adults) can have their faces painted and drain some energy in the bouncy houses, and VIP seating for the 9 p.m. Tempe fireworks show is included. Adults pay $40, children 12 and under get in for $35.

A Star-Spangled Shoot Out! Cowboys and gunfights should pair nicely with fireworks this Independence Day, and a strolling balloon artist to complement the food and live music can only help. Rawhide is here to answer the call. Festivities on the Fourth take place between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Kids five and under get in free, and everyone else gets in for $10.

These are just a handful of events happening on Independence weekend in the city of Scottsdale. It’s simply the view from the foothills, so climb that mountain and have a look around. When you do, you’ll discover that life in Scottsdale is everything what’s-his-face said, and a whole lot more.