CLARKDALE, AZ and SEDONA, AZ and JEROME, AZ--(Marketwired - May 19, 2014) - From Sedona to Jerome it's a well-known fact that the historic small town of Clarkdale is the best place to celebrate Independence Day. Families come from miles around to enjoy the town's old-fashion festivities and ride the Verde Canyon Railroad's Firecracker Express. With a great selection of "Room and Ride" hotel package options, passengers can make a weekend of it and enjoy the many Verde Valley holiday events and activities.
On Friday, July 4th, the celebration begins with the 7:00 a.m. pancake breakfast in the charming Clarkdale Park. Fire department volunteers flip flap jacks until the children's parade debuts at 9:00 a.m. Observers cheer curbside as costumed children strut their bicycles, pets and charming homemade floats down Main Street, all decked in stars and stripes. One highlight of the parade is the town's restored vintage fire truck which lingers afterwards for rides around the park. From fire engine to vintage train engine, next stop on the holiday itinerary is a rail adventure at Verde Canyon Railroad. A festive All-American barbecue luncheon at the Verde Canyon Railroad's shaded depot patio prior to the train's departure features a summer menu of grilled burgers and hot dogs, baked beans, special recipe potato salad, cupcakes and ice-cold lemonade, and rousing patriotic anthems.
At 1:00 p.m. the Firecracker Express pulls out of the Clarkdale depot for the four-hour journey through the incomparable wilderness of the Verde Canyon. The stars and stripes wave in the breeze as red, white and blue flags decorate this heritage railroad. After the ride, linger in the Verde Valley to witness the only fireworks display for miles, an impressive and rousing production hosted by the City of Cottonwood just after nightfall. With its milder high desert climate, abundance of dining and overnight lodging options and its great wealth of activities, Arizona's Verde Valley is the ideal place to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend.
Postcard-perfect scenery is only part of the magic of Verde Canyon Railroad. The train provides a comfortable, yet exciting journey through this historic setting as it travels a leisurely four hours from the charming Clarkdale depot to the ghost ranch at Perkinsville and back. Awe-inspiring rock formations, historic trestles, ancient cliff dwellings and soaring raptors are just a few of the trip's many highlights. First-class cars boast plush seating, complimentary appetizers and a full-service bar. Coach offers vintage Pullman-style seating, panoramic windows and snack bars. Everyone has access to open-air viewing cars offering 360-degree views and spectacular photographic opportunities.
Just 25 minutes from scenic Sedona and 10 minutes from historic Jerome, Verde Canyon Railroad is located in the heart of Arizona's Verde Valley, named one of Lonely Planet's top 10 destinations.
Only two hours from Phoenix, Verde Canyon Railroad is the perfect Arizona day-trip, or if you plan to stay over, ask about our Room, Ride and Meal packages. Other than Saturday Starlight Tours, trains depart at 1 p.m. daily. Reservations are accepted at 800.293.7245 or online at VerdeCanyonRR.com.
It's not the destination, it's the journey