Vail, Eagle and Beaver Creek cancel fireworks as Avon holds out for rain
Eagle County moves into Stage 2 fire restrictions Friday
As the Sylvan Fire continues to burn just south of Eagle and Eagle County moves to Stage 2 restrictions Friday, most local communities made the decision to cancel their fireworks shows ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.
On Wednesday afternoon, Beaver Creek, Vail and Eagle/Gyspum all canceled their annual fireworks displays.
These communities join other communities — including Breckenridge, Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Telluride, Winter Park, Denver and Boulder — in canceling professional fireworks displays as fire danger mounts.
Even without fireworks, Vail and Beaver Creek will still host their own Independence Day celebrations.
Beaver Creek’s celebration will kick off at 11 a.m. and run until 9 p.m. with performances by Burnsville Blues Band, Shari Puorto and Jackie Green. The event will also have kids’ programming, food and alpine activities.
Vail — which has canceled July 4 fireworks shows in 2018, 2012, 2006, 2002 and 1998 due to extreme wildfire conditions — will still host its America Days, complete with a patriotic concert and silent disco.
Avon holds out for rain
The town of Avon is still considering whether or not to cancel its annual Salute to the USA fireworks show July 3.
At Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, council member RJ Andrade urged the town not to host the fireworks.
“I want to urge the town to err on side of caution and not have the fireworks,” Andrade said. “There’s not much benefit to it.”
Town Manager Eric Heil responded that the town was still weighing the options but did say there was a 90% chance the town would cancel. He also noted that the move to Stage 2 restrictions is typically what triggers a cancellation.
“In the past, when we’ve been at Stage 2, and others have canceled, we’ve followed suit,” Heil said.
The town, however, is still holding out hope that the annual celebration will be able to have a fireworks display. And this hope hinges entirely on the promise of rain.
“The only reason we’re holding off is forecasts show we may have rain Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” he said. “With the possibility of some rain in the forecast, we’d rather wait.”
Heil also noted that Avon is in a different situation as it shoots its fireworks over a lake in an urban area and not into National Forest as other local shows do. He said the town will consult closely with Karl Bauer, the Eagle River Fire Protection District fire chief, on its decision.
Regardless of if there’s a firework show or not, the Third of July celebration is expected to be a big one. The town recently announced that Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will headline the event, with an opening performance by Tab Benoit. In addition to live music, the event will feature a variety of festival-style foods as well as a family fun zone with face painters, magicians, balloon sculptors and more.
And in the seemingly likely event that the town decides not to have fireworks July 3, it will look for future opportunities to use the fireworks in a display, likely sometime in the winter.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at email@example.com.