SOURCE: Verde Canyon Railroad

railroad, sedona train, jerome train, arizona train, nature show, canyon railway

June 09, 2010 11:00 ET

Firecracker Express Ignites Fourth of July Fun

CLARKDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - June 9, 2010) -  When it comes to the Fourth of July, there's only one place in Arizona to be, and that's the Verde Valley. It's a chance to revisit the kind of small-town America that was once captured on canvas by Norman Rockwell. Of course, the centerpiece of the day is a family-friendly ride aboard Verde Canyon Railroad's Firecracker Express.

Inspiring images of the American Bald Eagle adorn the sides of the vintage FP7 engines not just for Independence Day, but year-round -- just as several of those magnificent birds have chosen to reside in the Verde Canyon year-round. During the ride, passengers will spill out onto the open-air cars for the chance to witness these symbols of the nation soaring overhead against the backdrop of dramatic red-rock cliffs. 

The Verde Canyon Railroad is an excursion into unspoiled scenery and also into the very heart of a pioneer past. The train traverses track laid by hand nearly a century ago through hard work and ingenuity. Ponder the scope of the project while rolling through a 680-foot tunnel, carved inside of a mountain by men and mules. Despite the rugged terrain, early settlers flocked to the area seeking jobs in the mines or at the smelter, or to claim a bit of farmland in the valley. Along the way, the train's narrator tells their heroic stories.

The Fourth of July festivities begin with a lip-smacking all-American barbecue at the train station's shaded depot, beginning at 11:00 a.m.. Enjoy patriotic tunes while sampling an array of melt-in-your-mouth entrees with assorted side dishes and a sweet treat for only $7.50. 

You can extend your Verde Canyon Railroad experience by arriving in Clarkdale early. The picturesque town goes all out for their old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration. It kicks off at 9:00 a.m. with a Children's Parade down Main Street. Just don't be late for the Verde Canyon Railroad barbecue. 

The Firecracker Express departs the depot at 1:00 p.m. and returns at 5:00 p.m.. To make reservations call 800-293-7245 or visit

The Verde Canyon Railroad depot is located in Clarkdale, Arizona, 25 minutes from Sedona and two hours north of Phoenix.

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