City’s 4th of July celebration takes shape |

City’s 4th of July celebration takes shape

Mary Ellen Denomy plays with the Symphony in the Valley at a previous Glenwood Springs Fourth of July celebration at Two Rivers Park. This summer will mark the return of traditional celebration after a several-year hiatus.

Planning is well under way for what will be Glenwood Springs’ first significant 4th of July celebration in quite some time in honor of the nation’s birthday next month.

City Council earlier this spring established a $50,000 budget for the afternoon and evening event to be held at Two Rivers Park.

That includes $20,000 for a low-profile fireworks display, rather than the aerial display that had been part of prior-year celebrations, in an effort to reduce the risk of brush fires during the typically dry time of year.

The day will start at 7 a.m. with the Lions Club Firecracker 4K Run. From 4 p.m. on is when the big community celebration will take place, including competitive lawn games, DJ music and a community picnic.

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

Throughout the evening there will be free face painting and kids crafts sponsored by the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, as well as free popcorn and Coca-Cola floats as long as they last.

With the 4th falling on a Monday this year, the Center for the Arts is also working on plans to extend the festivities into the adjoining weekend with a downtown beer brewer’s festival, running July 1-3.

“We’re calling it a comeback event, because it has been several years since Glenwood Springs has had anything in the way of a 4th of July celebration,” Kathleen Wanatowicz of PR Studio, who was hired by the city to plan the celebration, said on Thursday.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to come out and camp by the river and have fun with some family activities and to be patriotic,” she said.

There will be food vendors on site, but people are also invited to bring a picnic if they choose. No alcohol will be served at the event, she said.

Wanatowicz added that the goal is to make it a “choice” event in future years where local residents and visitors alike can plan to spend their holiday.

Another of the city’s goals in agreeing to financially support the 4th of July celebration was to line up private business sponsorships to offset the cost.

Wanatowicz said she was able to secure $10,000 in sponsorships, which will reduce the cost to taxpayers. First Bank signed up as the presenting sponsor of the event, with key support also coming from Bighorn Toyota and Antlers Best Western.

The event will be held rain or shine, she said. Parking is limited at Two Rivers Park, so people are encourage to walk or ride their bikes if possible, or to park in the downtown area and walk to the park. The Boy Scouts will also be offering paid parking across the street from the park.

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