Laser light show suggested for Glenwood Springs’ July 4th option

The city of Glenwood Springs' Grand New Year's Celebration will take place on Seventh Street this year and will include a fireworks display shot at Two Rivers Park.
Steve Vanderleest / Post Independent file |

Fireworks, as of now, will not light up the sky this summer in Glenwood Springs for the Fourth of July celebration, due to mounting fire concerns.

Instead, residents and tourists alike may get treated to a laser light show, which would illuminate Red Mountain to a choreographed mash up of classic rock, country, pop and electronic music.

After Glenwood Fire Chief Gary Tillotson strongly advised against a pyrotechnic show, City Manager Debra Figueroa heeded the warning and told City Council earlier this month that she had indeed canceled fireworks this year. Some council members attempted a motion overriding Figueroa’s decision, but ultimately it failed.

Not alone, a couple of neighboring communities will also break from tradition by trading in the miniature explosives for alternative forms of red, white and blue entertainment.

Snowmass Village and New Castle, at this point, will proceed with fireworks. However, Carbondale and Aspen will not.

Tasked with still entertaining residents and tourists on Independence Day, Glenwood Springs’ Parks and Recreation Director Brian Smith thought of a laser light show as a safe, entertaining alternative, which, from a financial perspective, also looks better than fireworks.

According to a staff report, last year’s 10-minute firework display cost $20,000. The proposal from Nexus Audio/Visual for a 15-minute laser light show would carry an estimated price of $14,619.

Certainly not the first time Glenwood has had Fourth of July fire concerns, in previous years the city decided to scale back and utilize smaller-scale, or low-profile, fireworks. However, this year, even they seemed too risky, Tillotson advised.

At its regular meeting tonight, City Council will either approve staff’s recommendation and move forward with Nexus’ laser light show. Or, it could revisit the fireworks question.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.