Glenwood ready for red, white & blue weekend |

Glenwood ready for red, white & blue weekend

Symphony in the Valley performed free Fourth of July concerts at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs for several years until 2011. The tradition returns this summer, along with a fireworks display.
Post Independent file |

Other Independence Events

Check out tomorrow’s paper for a roundup of celebrations around the county.

After several years without a significant July 4 celebration, Glenwood Springs is bringing back the red, white and blue.

“The push came after last year’s Fourth of July,” explained City Councilwoman Kathryn Trauger. “I got lots of comments from people asking why Glenwood didn’t have an event.”

“We’re really excited,” she added. “We really needed to get back in the act and have something community focused that honors our heritage. To me, it’s new and improved — even better than before.”

The event is a partnership between the city and a host of organizations, and includes a low-profile fireworks display.

“The city just really wanted to create a comeback event,” explained Kathleen Wanatowicz of PR Studio, who was hired by the city to plan the celebration. “We’re planning a lot of activities leading up to the live music and fireworks. There’s a little bit of something for everybody.”

The day’s action will start at 7 a.m. with the Lions Club Firekracker 4K Run, while the main event kicks into gear at 4 p.m. with lawn games including a watermelon-eating contest, sack races and selfie booth with costumes at Two Rivers Park.

At 6 p.m. the Missing Link band will play, followed by patriotic music from the Symphony in the Valley at 8 and the fireworks at 9.

Throughout the evening free face painting and kids crafts will be offered by the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, as well as free popcorn and Coca-Cola floats as long as they last. There’s also a patriotic singalong with Sue Schnitzer and a presentation of colors by Glenwood Springs High School Air Force ROTC.

Food vendors will be in the park, but people are also invited to bring a picnic if they choose. No alcohol will be served at the event, and neither glass containers nor dogs are permitted in the park.

“It’s kind of a picnic atmosphere,” Wanatowicz said.

The event will be held rain or shine, she added. predicts that Monday will be the driest day of the holiday weekend, with a 20 percent change of thundershowers.

Parking is limited at Two Rivers Park, so people are encouraged to walk or ride their bikes if possible, or to park in the downtown area and walk to the park. Access will be open from both sides of the river, although the area directly behind the bandshell will be closed. The Boy Scouts will also be offering paid parking across the street from the park. Union Pacific, however, has a zero tolerance policy for parking up against the railroad.

Organizers emphasized that the low-profile fireworks display won’t be visible from everywhere.

“It should be a very enjoyable show, but you’re not going to be able to be across town watching it in the sky,” said Glenwood Fire Chief Gary Tillotson. “You’re going to have to be a little closer, ideally at the park itself.”

He urged caution for those planning to light some fireworks of their own.

“Anything in the state of Colorado that leaves the ground, shot by anyone other than a professional pyrotechnic company, is illegal,” he noted. “This is not a season to be messing around with sources of ignition.”

As for the main show, Tillotson anticipates a success despite the lower profile.

“They’ll be a little larger than what we see at the Hotel Colorado every fall, but not as big as what we’ve shot in the wintertime,” he said. “I think that people just want to have some sort of celebration, and they’re willing to compromise to have fireworks.”

The family friendly Monday event dovetails nicely with the 21-plus Fermentation Fest downtown earlier in the weekend.

“We wanted to promote something cool to the visitors in town and it seemed like a great time to do it,” said event co-organizer Damon Arredondo. “There’s going to be a lot to do.”

In addition to an array of local adult beverages, the inaugural event also includes food vendors an array of live music at the cost of $20 and runs 5-10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“I think the combination of the two events is going to make Glenwood the place to be on the Western Slope for the Fourth of July weekend,” Trauger said.

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