Navajo Nation fireworks show series kicks off in Shiprock

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

SHIPROCK — Dozens of spectators watched the fireworks show here on July 1 from open spaces that surround the Northern Navajo Nation Fairgrounds.

Some honked their vehicle horns in appreciation of the display, while others snapped photos of fireworks that lit up the night sky with the colors of white, red, yellow, purple and green.

"Fireworks are always fun to watch," Shiprock resident Larry Jim Jr. said.

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While the places where people sat to watch the show varied from chairs, vehicle roofs and tailgates, one thing was certain, their attention was fixed on the sky.

Spectators watch on July 1 fireworks light up the night sky in Shiprock. This is the second year the Navajo Nation marked the Fourth of July with the fireworks show series on the tribal land.

"I think it brings a lot of morale, especially after the pandemic," Toadlena resident Denise Corujo said about the show.

Shiprock resident Lloyd Smith was selling food and novelty items that light up from a setup near where the band, Rhythm Wild, was playing.

For him, the fireworks show brings a mixture of business and entertainment to the community.

Shiprock resident Lloyd Smith, center, helps a young customer select an LED balloon before the fireworks show starts on July 1 in Shiprock.

"It brings entertainment for the people and activities for the little ones," Smith said.

The Navajo Nation is marking the Fourth of July with fireworks shows over the holiday weekend.

These events are being held to encourage families to stay close to home for the holiday and because fire restrictions remain in effect on the tribal land.

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Spectators use their smartphones to film the fireworks show on July 1 in Shiprock.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told the audience that the fireworks display in Shiprock kicks off the series.

"Those of you that are early birds, that are here, you got the best spot for tonight's fireworks," he said.

Spectators parked near the fairgrounds because access to the location was restricted to the pyrotechnics team and firefighters from the Navajo Nation Fire Department.

This is the second year the tribe has organized the fireworks shows. Additional displays are scheduled on July 2 in Chinle, Arizona then July 3 in Tuba City, Arizona.

The series wraps up on July 4 with shows in Window Rock, Arizona and in Kayenta, Arizona.

Toadlena residents Denise Corujo, left, and her daughter, Cadence James, burn sparklers while waiting for the fireworks show to start on July 1 in Shiprock.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at

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