Arts & Culture Bars & Nightlife Deal Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Music & Events Sports Fara Illich June 28, 2010

A pool party, baseball games, art walks and drink specials: the Founding Fathers would be proud. At the very least, Ben Franklin, who had a thing for beer and the ladies, would have approved.
So, without further delay, here are some ways to make your Fourth of July weekend take off without a hitch in Downtown Phoenix:
HarenHot dogs and baseball
The D-Backs are battling the Dodgers Friday-Sunday, July 2-4, at Chase Field. Be there Saturday night to catch the fireworks display; it’s a major wow. If you have family or friends in the service, Sunday afternoon is Military Appreciation Day.
First Friday events
By now, our readers are more than familiar with the signature event, Artlink First Fridays, which takes place July 2 from 6-10 p.m. in and around Downtown. [Editor’s note: It was recently published that the street closure that has become synonymous with First Friday will go on hiatus for the months of July and August.]
While you’re there, check out First Fridays Latino Style at the Arizona Latino Arts and Culture Center. The event will showcase more than 40 Latino artists in Arizona plus the music of Latin jazz artist Ruth Lara Vichules. The Phoenix Fridas, the Valley’s most popular Latina art collective, invites fans to come by and celebrate the world’s most renowned Latina painter, Frida Kahlo.
Since that’s bound to build up a thirst, head for First Fridays Party on the Patio at Steve’s Greenhouse Grill. Knock back $2 Miller Lite drafts and $3 Stellas while you refuel at the complimentary appetizer bar, open from 6-7 p.m. (Steve’s is open till 1 a.m.)
Get this party started
On Saturday, July 3, Solstice Saturdays, now in its 2nd year, heats up at Bar Smith. Dance till you drop to hip hop or head upstairs for house music until 3 a.m.  No cover before 10 p.m.
On Sunday, July 4, you can cool down at the Hotel San Carlos Adult Swim Party, a rooftop pool party featuring local deejays. Open to anyone 18 and older, the party is from 2-10 p.m. $5 cover charge.
Best place to watch the fireworks
When it comes to views, I’m pretty sure the Compass Arizona Grill is the unchallenged winner. This revolving restaurant, located on the 24th floor of the Hyatt Regency, is the perfect place to see an astonishing, 360-degree view of all the Valley’s fireworks shows.  Special 4th of July seating is from 7-10 p.m., so call 602-440-3166 to make reservations now.
(Editor’s Note: Look for Part II of this post next week!)