VAIL - Drought be damned, the valley will have July 4th fireworks.
Avon's and Vail's annual fireworks displays are still scheduled to fire, Avon's on July 3rd and Vail's on July 4th.
Avon's, as always, will go in Nottingham Park over the lake to mitigate fire danger.
Vail America Days will feature close-proximity fireworks, designed and built by the Zambelli fireworks.
"We did lots of research, and they came up with a product specially designed for Vail," said Kelli McDonald, Vail's economic development manager.
They tested it two weeks ago and it worked out surprisingly well, McDonald said.
"Everyone who saw it loved it," McDonald said.
We're in a drought, so the fireworks will be fired from the top of the Vail Village parking structure, McDonald said.
You'll be able to see everything from almost every view corridor in Vail Village, McDonald said.
Two things are true, said Tony Landon with Human Movement, the Louisville, Colorado-based firm coordinating this year's Vail America Days.
First, you won't see the huge burning blossoms high in the sky, which means they won't be setting fire to the tinder dry landscape.
Second, you can be much closer. These fireworks can go off about 30 feet over your head and you'll be fine.
"During the test, one of the fire fighters picked up a spent shell seconds after it was fired, and it was already cool to the touch," McDonald said.
The close proximity fireworks remove the angst over whether the drought conditions will cancel Vail's fireworks, McDonald said. The display is usually fired over Golden Peak.
The 20-minute display will be coordinated to music, possibly a live band, Landon said.
The signature event is sponsored by the town of Vail, Volvo and the Gallegos Corporation. Sam Adams is handling the beer garden.
Human Movement promotes events across the state, including Denver's Oktoberfest, now the nation's largest.
The Vail America Days parade runs for about two hours, 10 a.m.-noon, from Golden Peak to Lionshead. This year's theme is Team America.
"It's a nod to America's Olympic athletes competing in the Summer Games later in the summer, as well as a tribute to America's Independence Day," Landon said.
Four bands will perform during the day on the central stage at the Solaris plaza.
"For that day, we're considering the Solaris Plaza the center of the universe," Landon said.
Vail's two big spring events attracted crowds and cash during a dismal snow year, the town's special events commission was told last Wednesday morning.
The taste of Vail attracted more than 8,000 people to town on a weekend when there wasn't a lot of snow, said Angela Mueller. More than two dozen restaurants participated, and most of the items were compostable.
The town's income from the event was up 22 percent, Mueller said.
Those who bought full-event passes spent more than $654,000 in town. Single event sales and other income streams pushed revenue much higher, Mueller said.
It wasn't without its snafus. The Mountaintop Picnic was postponed about an hour and a half when high winds closed the
Weather being as unpredictable as it is, they're working to come up with a backup plan for the Mountaintop Picnic. But because everything has to be hauled up by snowcat, breaking everything down and moving it to a new location could be logistically difficult.
Spring Back to Vail also helped the town's merchants sing the cash register song.
The lineup ran the final week of the ski season, April 9-15. The events brought in an estimated 50,000 people during the week, said Jeff Brausch, of Highline Sports and Entertainment.
Of those, 52 percent were from out of state, up 18 percent from 2011, and many said Spring Back was the reason they were visiting, with two-thirds saying they knew about it before they got here, Brausch said.
Highline spent $700,000 on the event, of which $615,000 came from sponsorships. The town of Vail kicked in $34,000.
The Spring Back crowd averaged 34 years old with a household income of $150,000, Brausch said.
Vail's top three events are Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Teva Mountain Games and Vail America Days on July 4, according to the results of Vail's community survey.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.