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Fireworks-free Fourth fails to foul festivities for families

Donna Daniels

Undeterred by the lack of fireworks on the Fourth of July, about 600 folks showed up for a free meal and entertainment at the Glenwood Springs Community Center Thursday.

The free feed and games for the kids was hosted by the city of Glenwood Springs.

Organizer and recreation department events coordinator Kathleen Milbrath said she had three days notice to plan the shindig.

“We ordered food for 400 but had to bring in another 200 hot dogs,” she said.

On the menu Thursday evening were barbecued hot dogs, baked beans, cole slaw, brownies, chips, and lemonade. Local dentist turned caterer Karl Kunstadter supplied the delicious beans and slaw.

Girls dressed in flag skirts purveyed cotton candy on a stick.

The center was brimful with parents, kids and older folk out for a fun evening. Kids tested their skill on the climbing wall and shot baskets in the gym.

They flung themselves, dressed in Velcro suits, against an inflated backstop. They bounced inside a blown-up castle called the Moon Walk and knocked each other down in puffy sumo wrestler suits complete with black wigs.

A goodly number of kids also gathered around the big screen TV to watch a Sponge Bob Square Pants cartoon.

Outside, kids and parents fought the whippy winds to fly color-splashed kites. Others zoomed around the outdoor rink on in-line skates.

Also on tap were pie-eating and watermelon-seed-spitting contests.

In a room off the main lobby the Dags were belting out some good old rock and roll to a small audience.

Milbrath gave credit to the hordes of volunteers who turned out to help at the last minute.

“I have the senior class serving food,” she said.

She also explained why the city decided to hold the celebration inside the community center rather than at an outdoor setting such as Two Rivers Park.

“It’s more contained” in the community center, she said. “It’s easier to coordinate.”

In all, there was something for everyone and everyone appeared to be enjoying the fun.


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