Independence weekend around our valleys
From Rifle to Carbondale, and several points in between, patriotic celebrations on Sunday and Monday will provide Garfield County residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy some family fun, take in live music and, in several locations, watch some fireworks.
Here is a roundup of area events in addition to Monday’s celebration in Glenwood Springs:
For the 40th year, the Apple Tree community, south of New Castle, will host its annual July Fourth Freedom Celebration — a long-running, family-oriented event offering games, music and a free fireworks display.
The event starts with a flag raising and opening ceremony at noon.
Games and special events, such as the “watermelon woof” and “sand treasure hunt,” will continue throughout the day up until 5 p.m. The events are geared toward children 12 and younger, and prizes will be awarded to the winners.
Water park fun, including a water slide and a slip-n-slide, will offer an enjoyable way to cool down. Last year, the mix of games, carnival attractions and other activities saw more than 500 children, a number that does not include parents, according to organizers.
Cost for the activities from noon to 5 p.m. is $5 per child. Parents are advised to bring a towel and dry set of clothes for their children.
Food will be provided by Liberty Classical Academy, a classical Christian school in New Castle.
Live entertainment gets underway with the Smuggler Mountain Boys, a local bluegrass group, at 5:30 p.m. Destinee Reed, a Palisade native, will follow with a blend of bluegrass, “newgrass” and folk. Faith-based group Eternal Vision takes the stage for some southern gospel music leading up to the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
The live music and fireworks display are free.
Sopris Park will be buzzing with live music and activities for the whole family during the town’s Fourth of July festivities.
The day gets underway with a parade, geared toward children, at 10:30 a.m. Staging for the event starts at 10 a.m. on the corner of Second and Main streets. Children are encouraged to dress up, decorate their bicycle, play an instrument or do a routine, according to the town.
The parade ends in Sopris Park, where there will be food, carnival games, a bounce house, free watermelon and ice cream sandwiches, as well as food and drink for purchase. The annual Mount Sopris Music Fest continues in Sopris Park from noon to 9 p.m.
With temperatures expected to climb back into the mid-80s, the John M. Fleet Community Pool will offer the $5 locals rate to everyone from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.
In what’s become somewhat of a tradition, Rifle will host its annual fireworks display in Centennial Park one day before the Fourth of July.
The evening’s festivities start around 7 p.m. Sunday in Centennial Park with mini golf, food vendors and Jammin’ Jim the Juggler, a local performer who was especially popular at last year’s event, providing fun and food for the whole family.
Symphony in the Valley takes the stage for a set of patriotic songs around 8 p.m. The last song will officially start the fireworks display, which promises to bigger than last year’s show, said Don Chaney, special events manager for the city of Rifle.
Although it’s uncertain if the display will be longer than the 2015 show, which clocked in around 14 minutes, there will be more fireworks and the city retained the same pyrotechnic professionals used the last three years.
As a precaution, hopeful viewers of the fireworks display should plan on being in place by 9 p.m.
The following morning, Rifle will host its annual parade for area children. The event starts at 10 a.m. and runs down Railroad Avenue from Second Street to Heinze Park — where there will be games and other activities.
Participants are asked to assemble at the Second Street lot by 9:30 a.m. The parade is closed to motorized vehicles, but free and open to all ages.
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Christian Harra of Miner’s Claim for the third year in a row took home the Locals’ Choice title of Best Bartender