For some folks, the Fourth of July is a chance to celebrate the birth of 'Murica and feel a swell of old-fashioned jingoistic pride. For others, it's merely an excuse to set off Roman candles and watch things go boom.
Needless to say, fuses are far from the only things that will be getting lit later this week, since the midsummer holiday will afford many in metro Phoenix the opportunity to go wild out without having to worry about reporting to work with a hangover the size of the Liberty Bell.
Although some will do their imbibing while chilling and grilling at backyard soirees or at big-time public events, many will hit up some of the multitude of Fourth of July fiestas and nightlife events happenings at local bars on Wednesday, July 3, or Thursday, July 4. Here's a rundown of a dozen such events in Tempe, Scottsdale, and elsewhere where you can let off some sparklers or simply let off some steam.
El Hefe Don't be surprised if songs from Team America: World Police are spun up by DJ Diesel between club bangers during El Hefe's Independence Day affair on Wednesday, July 3, since it boasts the subtitle of 'Merica, F*ck Yeah! The party will also feature $150 bottles of Ciroc for big spenders, as well as more economically priced specials like $50 Veuve Clicquot after midnight and $4 Pineapple Mind Erasers all evening. Oh, and probably a few patrons cracking "Hans Brix" jokes. The party starts at 9 p.m. and there's no cover.
Roxy Lounge Colorful and glittery airborne bursts from skyrockets in flight aren't the only sort of explosions that transpire over the Fourth of July holiday. DJ Sam Groove from Hades Entertainment and his cohorts are planning to unleash plenty of teeth-shaking, sub-harmonic blasts from the Roxy's speakers during a special #Independance edition of Bass Wednesdays on July 3. Kicking off at 9 p.m., the event will feature five straight hours of dancing to bass-heavy EDM genres, as well as $3 shots to help dull any eardrum pain. Free until 11 p.m. for those who get on the guest list (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org), $5 for everyone else.
Fat Tuesday The bartending staff at Fat Tuesday will be plenty busy during the Mill Avenue joint's Independence Day Eve festivities on Wednesday, July 3, pouring such $3 drink deals as Skyy cocktails, Fireball shots, and pints of Miller Lite for revelers who are eager to imbibe. Meanwhile, DJ Hazardous will keep the dance floor bumping with club hits, EDM tracks, and Top 40 tunes from 9 p.m. until close. Admission is free.
Smashboxx Nary a single holiday goes by without the party hearty crew at Smashboxx throwing some sort of themed affair in honor of the occasion, and Independence Day 2013 ain't an exception. Two straight nights of drinking and debauchery are planned, starting on Wednesday, July 3, when onetime MTV mixmaster DJ Skribble keeps the dance floor primed with hip-hop mashups and progressive house while mixologists serve specialty cocktails. Eventvibe will host its Fourth of July celebration on Thursday night, which will star Scottsdale club scene regular DJ Jon Amaral. Doors open at 9 p.m., and there's no cover for either night.
Tavern on Mill There's no cover at either of the daylong Fourth of July parties that will take place at this Hayden Square spot, which should allow you plenty of cash leftover to nab some of the food and drink specials that will be available. In addition to its usual happy hour prices from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Tavern will serve $5 Red Bull and vodka slushies, $5 chili cheese dogs, and $5 barbecue chicken sliders on Wednesday and Thursday. DJ Bazar will also spin from 10 p.m. until last call.
Mill Cue Club Pre-game for Independence Day the night before the holiday at this Tempe pool hall, which will have $4 Long Islands and SoCo Black Cherry shots until 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3. Or come back the next night for $4 large cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, $6 Mind Erasers, and party jams from DJ Groove Tech. Doors open at 4 p.m. both days. Admission is free.
Bobby Q's Concoctions both patriotic and alcoholic will be in abundance at the Red, White, & Blue Ciroc Party taking place on Thursday, July 4, inside the eatery's Q-Lounge. The staff will be slinging many drinks mixed with the berry, coconut, or regular versions of the specialty vodka (which respectively represent the aforementioned colors of Old Glory) in and selling bottles of the stuff for $75 a pop until 11 p.m. Other deals like $5 Hennessy cocktails until midnight, $4 Red Stripe and Guinness in the reggae room, and $3 Long Islands and AMFs from 9 p.m. until close. The DJ lineup includes Phlava 101.5 Jamz and Skoolboi. Cover charge varies, but ladies can get in free before 10 p.m.
Gringo Star It's unlikely that you'll get either thirsty or bored during Gringo Star's Fourth of July festivities on Thursday as it promises much in the way of drinks and distractions. A few pony kegs will be set up, happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and includes $2 Bud Light drafts. Two-for-one RumChata and Fireball can be had later in the night, and Freddy "Circle" Krems hits the DJ booth starting at 9 p.m. And there's also the bar's collection of arcade and skeeball games and the typically busy milieu of the outdoor patio. Admission is free.
Cadillac Ranch Anyone hoping to spend their holiday drinking on the cheap should consider hitting up Cadillac Ranch's Red, White, & Brew Independence Day Bash on Thursday, July 4. The Tempe Marketplace establishment will knock $1 off all pints of draft beer while also serving such specials as $3 frozen margaritas and Fireball shots, $5 Jack Daniels concoctions, and half-priced 22-ounce cocktails from 11 a.m. until last call. Happy Hour prices will also be offered from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. DJs will rock the party jams after the sun goes down. Admission is free.
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Vintage Bar If Tempe Beach Park or other locations along Mill Avenue prove to be too crowded during the Fourth of July block party, Vintage's proprietors are touting its balcony as the place to avoid the masses, view the fireworks, and get in some people-watching on Thursday, July 4. Need some more reasons to head to this upstairs spot? They'll have a number of drink specials throughout the evening and hot spins by four different DJs. Plus, there's no cover. Doors open at 11 a.m.
Kobalt The pour will be strong and the entertainment is certain to be lively at the Imperial Court's annual July Fourth Happy Hour on Thursday afternoon at Kobalt. Well drinks will be $3 and domestics go for $2.75 during the local LGBTQ social organization's gathering, which will include female illusionists performing, a 50/50 raffle for prizes, and more. The event starts at 4 p.m. Admission is $5 or free with a donation of unused school supplies.
Apollo's If you've still got both mojo and money left over after the Fourth -- not to mention a major sweet tooth -- the latest Tongue Tied party at Apollo's from DJ Roya and DJ Funkfinger on Saturday, July 6, will boast an IndepenDANCE Day theme. Jell-O shots and free popsicles are on the menu, sparklers will be handed out, and a photo booth will be available. Prizes and in the form of concert tickets, CDs, gift certificates, and other schwag will also be given away by the pair, who will spin indie and '80s music. There's a $5 cover after 9:30 p.m.