Parking Garage Party: Tucsonans snag the best seats in the city for Fourth of July fireworks

"A" Mountain fireworks show, thousands pack downtown on Independence Day

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Red, White and Rooftop Blues.

“We have hot dogs, chips, apple pie, ice cream even,” said David Nicholas, Thursday afternoon on the top level of one of downtown Tucson’s parking garages.

Nicholas knew what he was doing. He said he has been celebrating the Fourth of July holiday several stories up for the last ten years or so.

His group parked in their spots hours before the "A" Mountain fireworks show.

“The fireworks are spectacular," said Nicholas. "You’re not fighting for, to look because there is nobody above you and stuff like that.”

From the cement to the pavement, Ruth Jokic snagged her front seat in the Mercado District early Thursday afternoon.

“This is my fire time I’ve been right here," Jokic said.

Jokic set up shop more than five hours before the show was set to begin. It was important to her to be early after spending last year with a view that didn’t live up to the fireworks she loves.

“Something inside of my heart just makes it feel so good and so exciting," said Jokic.

While it was well worth the wait for Jokic, one group decided to celebrate Independence Day by paying it forward.

“A bunch of people and families up here, we decided just give them away," said Leroy Ryrie. "If people were up here and wanted something, we’re not asking for money. AS long as we have it, it’s yours come enjoy.”

Ryrie and his group bought about 100 hot dogs, chips, watermelon slices and the Southern Arizona tradition of eegee’s to the top level of the garage off I-10 and Congress Street.

“It’s the Fourth of July," said Ryrie. "It’s everybody just getting together and having a good time, whether you know each other or not.”

A night, for Ryrie, to share a celebration with strangers or friends. Being able to do that is what meant more.

“For us, the fact that we have the ability to do this. If it weren’t for the vets and the people out there who put their life on the line, I wouldn’t be up here giving away stuff, anyway," said Ryrie.

For those waiting or watching, the sights and sounds of fun and freedom in Southern Arizona served a larger purpose.

“With everything going on in the world right now, this is exactly what brings people and family together," said Jokic. "Even if it’s just for one day, at least it’s just for one day and maybe they’ll remember what it’s all about.”

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