Rifle to celebrate independence in style
Monday, July 3, the city of Rifle will be hosting its Independence Day celebration at Centennial Park, featuring Symphony in the Valley and fireworks to light up the night sky. The event has become a city-wide tradition in Rifle, with crowds estimated to have exceeded 2,500 people in the past.
This year’s event includes Mini Putt 2 Go, beginning at 4 p.m. and Jammin’ Jim the Juggler, face painting artists Noemi and Sheabrea, and food from Lucky Dog, available from 7-9 p.m.
Visitors are welcome to come early to check out Centennial Park’s new playground and some of the local businesses and restaurants in town.
Symphony in the Valley’s “Noodle Soup” ensemble will begin playing at 7:30 p.m. (which is a change from previous postings of 7 p.m.), followed by their patriotic repertoire beginning at around 8:30 p.m. After a break, the symphony will accompany the fireworks show.
The fireworks show will launch from the traditional Rifle Middle School site between approximately 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. after it gets dark enough to launch. Anyone walking to Centennial Park from the north will need to be in the park by 9:15 p.m. because the trail will be closed near the Middle School during the show.
This past winter the city conducted a test launch of fireworks from the Rifle High School soccer field. The site had pluses and minuses. The launch could be seen from many areas around town, but that is only part of the equation. The biggest challenge is that the site was closer to native areas, with more fire fuels, which would require many hours of mitigation work. Because the soccer field is a greater distance from core viewing areas, like Centennial Park, the city felt that larger firework devices would be more desirable and personnel licensed for that level of pyrotechnics are in high demand and usually booked for much larger shows.
After considering the move due to concerns about possible damage to the RMS roof, the city and Re-2 school district officials committed to the RMS roof with additional precautions, such as having a spotter, additional sprinklers and water access on the roof during the show.
Rifle officials suggest that residents bring folding chairs and advise that weather conditions have recently caused a spike in the nuisance mosquito population. Though mosquito control contractors have been working diligently, bring mosquito repellent to be sure.
The celebration is weather and fire danger dependent and may be canceled if adverse conditions exist. Stay informed through the city’s website, http://www.rifleco.org or the Parks and Recreation Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RifleParksandRecreation.
Updates may also be obtained through Rifle Police Department social media outlets including their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RiflePolice/, Twitter and Nextdoor.
This year’s event is sponsored by the Visitor Improvement Fund (Lodging Tax) and Rifle Parks and Recreation.