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Celebrate USA’s birthday more than once

Charlie OwenVail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailySpectators watch the Salute to the USA fireworks show at Nottingham Park in Avon last year.
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EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado As a valley we get to celebrate Independence Day more than once. The town of Avon honors the holiday on Thursday while Vail, Beaver Creek, Minturn and Eagle host their celebrations on the fourth.Avon hosts Salute to the USA in Nottingham Park for the 23rd year in a row. This family-friendly day at the park includes food and craft vendors, a beer garden and live music from Derringer and Blackhawk.The event is country, if you will. Both bands are country-western music, said Danita Chirichillo, Avons special events coordinator.Another feature of Avons celebration is the Family Fun Zone. Carnival games, inflatable jumping toys, face painting and clowns are sure to keep the little ones entertained. Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival will also be there to present a childrens drumming circle.Because the Beaver Creek Rodeo takes place the same night, free shuttle service will be provided to Nottingham Park from the rodeo, but no return shuttle service, according to Chirichillo.The main event is obviously the fireworks, which will begin promptly at 9:45 p.m.The firework technician that we work with said theres a lot of pastels again this year, a lot of purples, silvers, those sorts of things, Chirichillo said.

The Beavs Fourth of July celebration is a little bit different than many of the others throughout the valley, but it offers things you wont find anywhere else. I think one of the most unique things that Beaver Creek does … is the clambake at Beanos, and it sounds insane, but it is the coolest thing, said Emily McCormack, spokeswoman for Beaver Creek Resort.Reservations are required for the annual event.McCormack said that families can stay busy by hiking on the many Beaver Creek trails, playing lawngames and listening to live music on the mountain.You technically could start at the clambake at 11 and stay until the fireworks are over at 10 and have a full day of Fourth of July at Beaver Creek, McCormack said.

This year Vail has adopted a beach party theme for their Fourth of July celebration, and while it may not be a surfin safari, there will still be lots to do and see.A steel drum band will be performing in Arrabelle Square and there will be a parade through town featuring many local marching bands as well as some from out of state.Vail is the place to go for the parade and its a very patriotic atmosphere, said Laurie Asmussen, event coordinator for Vails Fourth of July event.Speaking of patriotism, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will perform their annual patriotic concert at Ford Amphitheater. While seat tickets are sold out for the event, lawn seats are free and available on a first come, first served basis. Gates open at 12:30 p.m. for the 2 p.m. concert. The lawn will fill up quickly, and admission will be closed once the Amphitheaters legal capacity limit has been reached so we encourage people to come early and stake their claim to ensure admission and the best seat., said Sarah Dixon, marketing and public relations manager for the Vail Valley Foundation. To avoid late-night revelry and unwarranted trips to the hospital, the Vail Police Department enforces a town-wide curfew for anybody 17 years old and younger and access to Vails four-block special event district will be prohibited to those under 21 unless accompanied by a parent of guardian after 10:30 p.m.It used to be kind of a gathering place for outdoor underage drinking … people were getting hurt in the crowd because it was such a dense crowd and firefighters couldnt even get in to help people who were getting smashed in the crowd, said Kris Friel of TOV Community Information Office.Since the precautions have been in place for nearly eight years Friel said that its become the most family-friendly event you can imagine.

Eagle may not have a lot going on this Fourth of July, but they still have fireworks. Residents of the town can watch the fireworks comfortably from their houses as the Eagle and Gypsum fire departments team up.

ary Suiter isnt taking any chances. As Minturns town administrator, hes aware of the drought and dry conditions in the valley and for that reason he decided there would be no fireworks once again at this years Independence Day Celebration.I look at a dry, West-facing hillside with billions of dollars of homes on the other side, it just doesnt seem real smart, Suiter said.But what is a Fourth of July without fireworks?According to Suiter, people will still have a good time.Minturns Independence Day begins mid-afternoon with a childrens parade led by the VFW Color Guard. As usual there will be a BBQ and live music to keep the party moving. Face painting and animal balloon sculptures should keep the kids entertained.Suiter said the town has tried to scale back the size of the event to give it more of an old-fashioned feel, but of course nobody will be excluded.It seemed to make sense for us to have a more community oriented picnic, so thats what were doing, Suiter said.Minturns show ends at 7 p.m. giving attendees plenty of time to scurry over to Vail or Beaver Creeks firework displays.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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