Guest opinion: Old-fashioned July 4th fun returns to Glenwood
In less than two weeks we celebrate one of the most beloved of American traditions — the Fourth of July. For several years Glenwood Springs has sent residents and visitors packing to various surrounding communities to celebrate this holiday. No longer. Glenwood’s own Fourth of July Celebration is back. The community and visitors can come join in for this free comeback event at 4 p.m. July 4 at Two Rivers Park.
What started as a discussion among a few has evolved into what promises to be a wonderful, old-fashioned, patriotic community celebration complete with fireworks, games, music, food and loads of fantastic family fun.
This truly is a community event. A huge thank-you to FirstBank for stepping up to partner with the city of Glenwood Springs and become the presenting sponsor, making this celebration a reality. Thank you to our other sponsors including Swire Coca-Cola for providing free Coca-Cola floats for first arrivals. Antlers Best Western, Bighorn Toyota and Gould Construction, as well as several others, have joined together to bring this fun event back to Glenwood.
Given Glenwood’s history with wildfire, some have questioned whether having a fireworks display is a wise choice. This was a primary concern of mine as I started discussing the lack of any July Fourth celebration in Glenwood.
The decision to use low-proximity fireworks in the Two Rivers Park area came after extensive research by Fire Chief Gary Tillotson. The launch site provides a good, defensible clear zone while displaying a great show for those in the vicinity of the park. This approach will allow a safe, but fun commemoration of our country’s history.
However, because the fireworks display will be at low proximity, it will not be possible to sit in your backyard on Polo Drive or in West Glenwood and enjoy the show. This is why we are encouraging everyone to come to the park, listen to the music, visit with your neighbors, play some games and enjoy the fireworks.
We are thrilled to welcome the Symphony in the Valley back to Glenwood Springs. Dave Merritt and Rick Oakes were “instrumental” in making great music possible for this event. The Missing Links Band will provide rock, R&B, country (and Western!) and a little bit of the blues to keep things rocking and rolling.
The celebration starts with the Lions Club Firekracker 4K Run at 7 a.m. at Two Rivers Park.
Then residents and visitors can return to the park at 4 p.m., to continue the celebration. Be there by 4 p.m. to get your free Coke float. Parking is extremely limited, so walk, bike or take Ride Glenwood to the stop at Sixth Street and Devereux and walk from there. No pets or glass containers in the park, please.
The emphasis is on good, old-fashioned family fun. Thanks to the Glenwood Springs Council for the Arts, the Lions Club, Village Inn and the city of Glenwood Recreation Department a bounce house, a cornhole tournament, a pie-eating contest, family-oriented games, face painting and more will be featured.
Let’s all come to celebrate our nation’s heritage, to honor those who sacrificed so much for our freedom, and to give back to our community during a time of construction and transition.
I would especially like to thank Stacey Novak and FirstBank for recognizing the importance of this event to our community. With her help and support we are able to get this event off the ground. I also thank the community members who talked to me and shared their passion for honoring Independence Day in our community. We heard you and your voice does make a difference. I hope everyone will come and join the fun.
Kathryn Trauger is a Glenwood Springs City Council member.
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