Downvalley fireworks close to home this July Fourth
The Fourth of July in western reaches of the Eagle Valley has historically been a fairly quiet holiday compared to the holiday hoopla upvalley. That’s going to change this year.
For the first time in at least two years, the towns of Eagle and Gypsum will hold a fireworks show on the evening of July 4, and this year’s show promises to be something special. The towns have had money in the bank for a couple of years now, but due to both drought conditions and the lack of a site, plans for a fireworks display were put on hold.
This year, the towns and local fire districts have accumulated more than $10,000 in the bank for a show. Eagle County has kicked in another $6,000. The Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce has pledged some money, as have other possible sponsors. In all, around $20,000 in rockets and colorful displays may be shot into the sky.
The show will be nearly a half-hour long, and the entire display will be aerial.
“We won’t have any ground displays, so everyone can see it,” says Jon Asper, chief of the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District.
While the fireworks show is the centerpiece of the day’s activities, a kids’ bike parade will be staged in Eagle in the morning. In addition, Eagle County officials have put together a small festival for the evening of the Fourth.
From 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., the pasture just below the 4-H barn at the Eagle County Fairgrounds will host vendors and a couple of bands. The Denver Pipe Band, a bagpipes-and-drums ensemble, will start the evening’s entertainment. Walker Williams, a country-rock band, will play into the night.
Laurie Asmussen of Eagle Valley Events has been hired to put the event together, and the Eagle resident is still seeking vendors.
“We would welcome nonprofit groups, artists, and people to sell food,” she says, adding that vendor space is free for this event. “It’s a really good opportunity for nonprofit groups to get their message out.”
While there will be vendors and a fenced beer garden, Asmussen says residents are encouraged to bring a picnic. Folks can enjoy their own food and beverages, and are also invited for free watermelon at 7 p.m.
“Good ol’ Western family celebration’
“We want to keep this a good ol’ Western family celebration,” says Gypsum Mayor Steve Carver.
Carver, well-known locally for his own barbecue business, is planning on taking his barbecue truck to the celebration.
While the towns and the county have pooled resources for the fireworks, Eagle Mayor Roxie Deane makes it clear the pre-fireworks festival is an Eagle County production – especially the beer garden, which will raise money for the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo. Carver says he hopes the festival might become an annual event.
“We really want to see if we can make it a yearly thing, so people don’t have to leave town to have a good time,” says Carver.
Deane says the festival is a good end-to-the-day in Eagle.
“I think it’s a great use of the fairgrounds. We’ve got it right there, so let’s use it,” she says.
For more information, call Asmussen at 328-1182.
This story first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.