Getting to the heart of the matter on the Fourth |

Getting to the heart of the matter on the Fourth

Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Lucky for us, the Fourth of July falls on a Friday in 2003, providing a three-day weekend for many Americans to enjoy family, friends and freedom.

Colorado will host hundreds of community celebrations and fireworks displays. In Garfield County, the towns of Rifle, Carbondale and Parachute will set off fireworks. Glenwood Springs, concerned over drought and dry conditions, made a decision months ago to cancel its traditional Fourth of July show and set off the fireworks in December.

Hopefully, Glenwood will have its own fireworks extravaganza on the Fourth next year.

Revelers should recognize that dry conditions remain. Garfield County has imposed a temporary fireworks ban for all county and private land below 7,500 feet. Violating the county’s order could cost you $300. Fireworks are also prohibited on federal lands.

Within city limits, legal fireworks are allowed. Those include sparklers, fountains, ground spinners and novelties, such as party poppers. Officials urge caution. Fireworks should be kept far away from young children.

Warnings aside, the Fourth of July is a time for fun and the opportunities are abundant. The Glenwood Springs Community Center is hosting a free public party on Friday, beginning at 6 p.m. in Two Rivers Park. There will be old fashioned games, a barbecue, music and – we’ll venture to guess – plenty of red, white and blue.

There are special events in Carbondale, Redstone, Basalt, New Castle, Rifle and Parachute.

Independence Day has become a day to reflect. The American flag is a symbol of democracy, diversity and freedom. Our flag is also a reminder of Sept. 11, 2001, and of the brave men and women of the military who have served or are currently serving their country.

Strike up the band. Ooh and aah at the fireworks. Hug your family and friends. Laugh. This is what it’s all about.

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