Go forth and enjoy the Fourth Glenwood
Local communities, including Glenwood Springs, New Castle and Carbondale, offer a special Independence Day holiday treat today in the form of free musical entertainment, parades and fireworks.
In Glenwood Springs, Symphony in the Valley presents a free one-hour concert of Americana and patriotic favorites to celebrate the Fourth of July, from 8 to 9 p.m. at Two Rivers Park. Immediately after the concert, the city of Glenwood Springs will present its annual 4th of July fireworks show.
Conductor Carlos Elias will lead the orchestra in “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” “The Washington Post March,” “America, the Beautiful,” “Shenandoah” and other favorites. Soprano Bridget Baker of Glenwood Springs will sing “God Bless America.”
Two guest conductors will also lead the orchestra in John Philip Sousa marches. Barbara Chaplin of Silt will conduct “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and Monique Merritt of Glenwood Springs, who plays bassoon with the orchestra, will conduct “El Capitan March.” They were the successful bidders for the opportunity to conduct the orchestra offered in an auction at the orchestra’s Symphony Swing concerts in March.
The two winning entries in the orchestra’s “America the Beautiful” poetry and essay contest will also be read. Caleigh Smith of Rifle will read her poem, “America,” and Bill Clancey will read the poem composed by Jan Hadwen Hubbell of Snowmass, “Oh Beautiful, America.”
In New Castle, the Apple Tree Park community events open with a flag raising at noon, followed by a fire truck ride in a vintage 1941 fire engine. Then, a water park will open, complete with giant slip-n-slide and the Old Faceful, both back by popular demand. Activities for kids 12 and under also include a bump-n-jump, watermelon woof contests, treasure hunts, and golfball plunges. The Garden School will provide hamburgers, drinks, and snow cones.
Grace Bible Church’s Everlasting Arms Puppet Team will be presenting puppet shows all afternoon. Musical entertainment begins at 5:30 p.m. with the church’s “Rodz-4-God,” followed by the New Hope Praise Band and the Western Slope Stompers.
The event’s featured entertainer is Sandra Dee, who will perform from 8-9:30 p.m. Dee is an award-winning Christian country singer.
A free fireworks show will follow Dee’s performance.
Redstone and Carbondale also offer a variety of free festivities, beginning with an Air Force fly-by and a traditional parade on Redstone Boulevard beginning at noon today.
That will be followed by kids games in Redstone Park, a fire hose competition for the kids hosted by the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District volunteers and the Ducky Derby fundraiser.
The Redstone Art Center features visiting artist Richard Fitzgerald from 2-4 p.m. both July 4 and 5 for demonstrations and an exhibit of his latest wood turnings.
The Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities and the town of Carbondale then team up to present the Boogie in Bonedale July 4th celebration.
Carbondale’s festivities start at 4 p.m. with the kids and animals parade down Main Street. Bikes, trikes, wagons and walkers welcome. Participants should meet in front of KDNK on 2nd Street by 3:45 p.m.
After the parade will be free watermelon, kids games and a reading of the Declaration of Independence in Sopris Park.
Slightly White, a group of rocking teenagers from Aspen, takes the stage to begin the musical entertainment at 5 p.m. This trio has been playing together since they were in middle school.
They will be followed by the horn-laden, polyrhythmic sound of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Aphrodesia at 7 p.m.
Birthed in 2003 in the backyard shack of bassist Ezra Gale, Aphrodesia soon recorded “Shackrobeat Vol. 1,” a disc heavily influenced by singer Lara Maykovich’s experience living in Ghana and Zimbabwe which was picked as a top record of 2003 by the East Bay Express.
The following year the politically outspoken group launched the “Just Vote Tour,” a cross-country swing-state voter registration tour undertaken in the group’s vegetable oil-powered bus that landed in New York City during the Republican National Convention.
Aphrodesia’s music carries with it a strong sense of social justice, and the band’s commitment to social change extends offstage as well. The band was a favorite at the 2006 Carbondale Mountain Fair, and returned to town to play last year’s CCAH Summer of Music series.
Carbondale’s festivities also conclude with a fireworks display after dark on the south end of town (best viewing is near the football field at Carbondale Middle School on Snowmass Drive).
Smoke, A Modern Barbeque will be in the park serving food, and Stone Brewery will be on hand with the cold beer and nonalcoholic beverages.
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Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras lamented his department’s inability to maintain a constant presence downtown during a virtual public forum Monday night.