VAIL — Vail America Days organizers are ready to welcome guests and area residents this week for the Fourth of July holiday, which includes Vail’s popular parade on Thursday, plus a full weekend of activities. Those who gather in Vail and throughout the county are being asked to be mindful that there are no fire restrictions presently, but they could be enacted at any time for Vail, Eagle County and the surrounding public lands. As such, all personal fireworks have been banned in Vail in recognition of the extremely dry conditions. For a safe and enjoyable experience while in Vail, use the following tips:
Public parking and event access
Arrive early on Thursday, July 4 to enjoy free parking in the Vail Village and Lionshead parking garages. The 2,500 parking spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and typically reach capacity prior to the 10 a.m. start of the parade. Once the two structures fill, additional free parking will be available on the north side of the South Frontage Road (next to the interstate) until 11 p.m. Close-in parking at Ford Park and the soccer field will be available for $10 on a first-come, first-served basis from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Paid parking is also available at Solaris; rates vary. Vail and ECO Transit will offer increased bus service throughout the holiday week. On July 1-7, Vail express buses will provide free six- to eight-minute Frontage Road service between Ford Park, Vail Village and Lionshead from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Call 970-477-3456 for Vail bus information or 970-328-3520 for ECO schedule details. Visit www.vaileventparking.com for expanded and extended transit routes and parking information.
Vail America Days Parade
The region’s largest parade begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 and winds its way from Golden Peak on Vail Valley Drive, then west to Hanson Ranch Road, north on Bridge Street, west on Gore Creek Drive, north across the International Bridge, west along Meadow Drive and finally through the Lionshead Mall to finish at approximately noon. The Vail 50th Anniversary-themed parade will honor the spirit of Vail and its founding in 1962. For a good view of the parade, arrive by 9:30 a.m. and pick a location along the parade route. No water fights, please. Also, consider leaving your dog at home where it will be safe from the crowds and loud noises, which could startle your pet. To help reduce congestion, spectators are encouraged to ride their bikes or take the bus to the parade.
Increased bus service in Vail will be provided throughout the day and into the evening on July 4 with six-to-eight-minute frequency on the in-town shuttle serving Lionshead, Vail Village and Golden Peak, with 40-minute to one-hour service on most outlying routes during peak times and one-to-two hour outlying service during non-peak times. No in-town shuttles will run during the parade, 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ECO regional transit will provide service as follows: For the Vail America Days parade, catch the ECO bus at Riverwalk in Edwards at 9:07 a.m., Avon Station at 9:17 a.m. or the Forest Service parking lot at Dowd Junction at 9:32 a.m. Fares are $4 for adults; $1 for children and seniors with proof of age. Call 970-477-3456 for Vail bus schedule information. For more information on ECO routes, go online at www.eaglecounty.us or call 970-328-3520.
Vail’s Fourth of July fireworks display on Thursday will be staged from a new location at the west end of the Vail Village parking structure to address potential dangers associated with the dry conditions. Vail America Days organizers will be using low-profile fireworks which are often used in stadiums and arenas. Arranged by Zembelli Fireworks, the show will begin at dusk. Recommended viewing areas will be along Meadow Drive from Slifer Square to Vail Road.
Fireworks and open burning
The use of all personal fireworks, including sparklers, smoke bombs or any effect that requires ignition with a flame is prohibited in Vail. If you live in or are visiting other areas of Eagle County, check with your local fire department for regulations. Outdoor fires are prohibited except those appliances which are commercially manufactured and listed for outdoor use. Please make sure all screens and safeguards are in place. The use of fire pits that are supplied with natural gas or propane are allowed. To date, the use of charcoal grills is allowed. Please make sure grills are used on a solid, non-combustible surface with a safe clearance distance for combustible materials including overhanging decks, tree branches, shrubs and grasses and ground fuels. Please be vigilant and call 911 if you see smoke or something out of the ordinary. For additional details, visit vailgov.com.
As a safety precaution, a townwide curfew for those 17 and younger will take place between 10:30 p.m. on July 4 to 5 a.m. the next day. Previous checkpoints in Vail Village have been rescinded as these public safety measures are no longer needed, at least for now, due to Vail’s previous success in establishing an enduring family-friendly atmosphere. Thank you for your cooperation.