The City of North Las Vegas’ Independence Day Jubilee is changing locations, its date and increasing entertainment for its 15th annual celebration.
After being at Seastrand Park for 14 years, the event is moving to a much larger venue at Craig Ranch Regional Park, 628 W. Craig Road. The bigger space will allow for more entertainment and will include a full-size carnival, according to North Las Vegas spokesman Mitch Fox.
“The Independence Day Jubilee is really one of the biggest Fourth of July celebrations in Southern Nevada,” he said. “It’s been around for a long time, and people really love it, so we are making it the best possible for this year.”
Organizers moved the event so as to attract more people and be able to host them in an open space with better views.
“Each year, the event is more successful and more popular,” said North Las Vegas Director of Neighborhood and Leisure Services Mary Ellen Donner. “The new location will allow us to welcome the increase of people. We are actually hoping to get approximately 15,000 people to attend this year.”
Rachel Stephens, who has attended the Independence Day Jubilee for the past five years, said she thinks it is a good idea to hold the event in a bigger and newer place because it puts a fresh face on it and encourages more people to go.
“It felt really cramped las year,” she said. “I went with my sister and little brother and sister, and we really didn’t have much space. The fireworks were cool, but I felt that the kids really needed more room. We felt a little constricted.”
While not a North Las Vegas resident, Stephens said she likes to attend the event because it is family-oriented and has an entertainment factor that other Independence Day celebrations don’t have.
“Each year, we do have bands, and we also have a large number of various entertainers,” Donner said. “We want people to enjoy the event, so we really try and get good talent that people recognize to come.”
For this year’s Independence Day Jubilee, the city booked Michael Grimm, winner of “America’s Got Talent,” to perform. Additionally, for the first time, the Independence Day Jubilee will have a full-size carnival.
“We are really excited about it,” Donner said. “It really is something different and new that we are adding and think people will really like.”
Stephens said she was excited about the carnival because her youngest siblings, 8 and 10, are harder to entertain and keep active, so the carnival will be an opportunity for all of them to have fun together.
“It sounds like they really got it together this year,” she said. “That carnival sounds like it’s going to be really fun, not just for the kids but for everyone else who doesn’t just want to sit around and listen to music.”
The Independence Day Jubilee will continue its tradition of a fireworks show, with the launch area cornered off for safety reasons.
“The fireworks are going to shoot off of Commerce Street, sort of in the middle of the park,” Donner said. “It will be in the big, grassy area that kind of goes from west of Craig back halfway into the park.”
The fireworks will shoot high in the sky, so they will be visible from anywhere in the park and even surrounding areas, she added.
“That’s one of the main reasons we go to the Jubilee; it’s for the fireworks,” Stephens said. “I mean, what would Fourth of July be without them?”
In addition to the entertainment, fireworks and the carnival, the event will feature a kid’s corner and a new teen zone.
“We are offering a lot more amenities at this event that we previously have not,” Donner said. “That’s greatly the reason admission prices increased from last year.”
Admission for the event will cost $8 per person at the gate and $5 in advance. Children younger than 3 are admitted free. There will also be a parking charge of $5 per vehicle, although there will be a free shuttle service from the Cannery, 2121 E. Craig Road, for those who wish to park at the hotel free.
“Even though it is a little more expensive, presale tickets are not that much more expensive than they were last year,” Donner said. “We are really encouraging people to buy the presale tickets for $5 because if they have a family, that price is much more convenient.”
In a different twist, the event will not only change venues and add amenities but will take place on July 3 instead of July 4.
Donner said that since July 3 will be on a Thursday, and many people will get Friday off, city organizers thought it would be convenient to have the event then so it can attract more people who might have other plans for July 4.
“The fireworks won’t go off until 9:30 p.m., so even if people are working until 5 or 6 p.m., it gives them a chance to get off from work and come join us at the park,” Donner said.
Gates will open at 3 p.m. so people can listen to music and hang out in the afternoon. Nobody may enter earlier, as Craig Ranch Regional Park will be closed from the morning of July 2 to prepare for the event.
“I am glad they are having it a day early,” Stephens said. “We are traveling on the fourth, and it would be a shame to have missed it.”
“We are really looking forward to it,” Donner said. “The Independence Day Jubilee is very significant for us because we are a very diverse city, and this is a date that is celebrated by everyone. With it, we get to show that we are very involved and very patriotic.”
Contact reporter Maria Agreda at email@example.com or on Twitter at @mjfagre.