Vail America Days is sticking with reverse parade |

Vail America Days is sticking with reverse parade

Much of the action will be in Lionshead

A reverse parade returns for the 2021 edition of Vail America Days.
Chris Dillmann/

The Fourth of July traditionally puts more people into the town of Vail than any other event. This year’s Vail America Days hopes to continue that tradition, in a safe way.

Town officials this year have taken over production of the annual event. Highline Sports and Entertainment, which has produced Vail America Days for a number of years, in early April informed the town it couldn’t organize this year’s event. Given the short time available, town officials decided to run the show instead of going through the usual processes for soliciting and choosing vendors.

Speaking Tuesday afternoon to the Vail Town Council, Vail Special Events Coordinator Jeremy Gross said the town will have a second “reverse parade,” with static displays instead of floats and exhibits rolling down a parade route.

The idea, Gross said, is to spread people out to better allow social distancing.

In addition to the static displays, there will be wandering entertainers including musicians, jugglers and “Stilted Uncle Sam.”

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Gross told council members that much of the activity will be centered in Lionshead. The reason is that the holiday this year is on a Sunday, and officials want to avoid conflicts with the Vail Farmers Market.

Vail Town Council member Jenn Bruno, co-owner of the Luca Bruno clothing stores in Vail Village, said she’d like to see some Fourth of July activities in the Village.

“My only concern is it’s just another Sunday in Vail Village,” Bruno said, adding that some sort of “patriotic flair” is needed in that part of town.

The theme of this year’s Vail America Days is “America’s Heroes” — specifically, heroes close to home including first responders, medical workers and others.

“That’s a very, very appropriate theme,” Vail Mayor Dave Chapin said.

What’s on tap?

• This year’s theme is “America’s Heroes,” recognizing “day to day heroes” including first responders, medical workers and others.

• The “static parade” introduced in 2020 will return.

• Much of the action will be in Lionshead, to avoid conflict with the Vail Farmers Market.

• Forest conditions permitting, there will be a fireworks show from a mid-mountain location.

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