Fourth of July fun for everyone |

Fourth of July fun for everyone

Don Chaney
Rifle cultural and special events manager

In my hometown of Hood River, Oregon, the Fourth of July was my favorite holiday. My dad was a fireman, so in the parade we either got to ride the fire engine, or Johnn Schlosser’s amphibious “duck,” which would then proceed from the parade to the beach of the Columbia River and hit the water. We had a parade, smoke jumpers and festivities all day. And the best part about it? We got to see all of our friends that were so scarce during the busy summer.

This week in Rifle, there are some wonderful things to do to celebrate Independence Day. It starts Friday, July 3, at 10 a.m. with a parade. Children of all ages are welcome to decorate their bikes, big wheels, skateboards and scooters to join us for the parade. We will march from city hall to Heinze Park, where we will play games like shoe scramble, watermelon seed spitting, three-legged race and more. There’s fun for the whole family. Parents should walk along the street with the young children. Please no motorized bikes, mini cars, etc.

At Centennial Park at 6 p.m., join us for refreshments, Mini Putt Golf, Jammin Jim The Juggler and more, as folks stake their spot for the fireworks. And speaking of fireworks, the show begins at about 9:30 p.m. at Centennial Park, with Symphony In The Valley playing a patriotic concert at 8:30 p.m. Last year the park was packed, so come early and get your spot, giving you lots of time to visit with friends and family.

Saturday, July 4th, it doesn’t get any more American than Cash’d Out, who are literally the world’s premier Johnny Cash cover band. Beyond critics having anointed Cash’d Out (Douglas Benson on vocals, Kevin Manuel on guitar, Stephen Rey on bass and George Bernardo on drums) the “next best thing to Johnny Cash,” and the group having won six San Diego Music Awards for Best Tribute Band, the real proof lies in what members of Cash’s inner circle have said.

“Cindy Cash came to a show, we made her cry and she gave me a necklace with Johnny’s hair in a glass locket,” explains front man and Cash impersonator Douglas Benson. Benson added that Cash producer Lou Robin has also been to several Cash’d Out shows, and claimed that if he closed his eyes it was like “going back in time.”

These guys are the real deal. Get your friends together and have some fun at the Ute Theater this Fourth of July.

Also next week, up and coming Country artist Jason Eady drops in July 9 and local filmmaker David Quint’s documentary “Father Unknown” screens at the Ute July 10 and 12. Check out

Small town Independence Days are the best, and I am honored to be a part of this community’s Independence Day spirit. I hope to see everyone in Centennial Park Friday night, and happy Independence Day.

Don Chaney is the Rifle cultural and special events manager. You can reach him at

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