Fireworks set to flare over mountains
Don’t blink. Another Eagle County summer is blowing by, and the Fourth of July is right around the corner.After a mild winter and a very dry spring, town officials countywide were beginning to sweat the possibility of canceled fireworks displays, a virtual disaster to local economies which rely on those celebrations to kick-off the summer-tourist season.However, the return this summer of the afternoon Colorado rain shower means that all four of the valley’s popular Fourth of July celebrations will go off without a hitch … fireworks and all.Here is a rundown of the weekend’s activities.Minturn kicks offThe town of Minturn will get the Fourth of July party going with a Friday night celebration that will double as a toast to our nation’s independence and a 100th-birthday party for the town.The festivities begin at 6 p.m., today with a parade down Main Street. Fittingly, Smoky the Bear will be the grand marhsal of the parade. He will lead a procession of fire trucks, Battle Mountain High School sports’ teams, classic cars and decorated children’s bicycles down Minturn’s main thoroughfare.From 7 to 10 p.m., the Gallegos family picnic will take place. Food will be available from Moe’s BBQ, while Coors and Shop-n-Hop will be on hand to provide liquid refreshment. The Pena Brothers will entertain throughout the evening.Fund-raising bingo and old-fashioned contests – ice cream eating and sunflower spitting – will take place during the course of the picnic.At 9:30, the fireworks display will begin from under Lionshead rock. KZYR, 97.7 FM, will broadcast patriotic music while the fireworks are going off.Happy 100th, Minturn.
Saturday in AvonThose looking to keep the weekend-long party going on Saturday should head to Avon’s annual Salute to the U.S.A. Celebration. Nottingham Lake will be buzzing all day, as Fourth of July revelers cook-out, play volleyball and frolic in the sun.The evening’s activities begin at 5 p.m., with the opening of the beer garden. A variety of local vendors will be on hand and a Kids Zone will be set up for children attending the festivities.Taking the stage at 5 p.m. is 16-year old Aubrey Collins, whose sounds of “heartfelt tenderness and rock-n-roll toughness” will set the table for the evening’s main event, C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band. Chenier has been playing his brand of “contemporary Creole, Cajun and zydeco” for close to two decades, and is one of the brightest stars in the world of zydeco music.At 9:45, the main event will begin. Avon’s computerized fireworks display, accompanied by a synchronized soundtrack from 97.7, the Zephyr, will light up the skies over town. If you’ve never seen Avon’s Salute to the U.S.A. fireworks, they are not to be missed.Parking is available at the Beaver Creek east and west day lots. No parking will be allowed on any streets in the town of Avon. Vail, Eagle wrap up weekendFourth of July festivities continue on both the east and west ends of the Eagle Valley Sunday. The Teva Vail Hill Climb will begin the day in Vail at 8 a.m. with a race up the mountain.Vail America Days continues at 10 a.m. with a parade from Vail Village to Lionshead. Street entertainers ranging from C.J. Burton to Brendan McKinney to Chuck Grossman will provide music at various spots throughout town from 12:30 p.m. until three. At three, the Rochester Philharmonic will take the stage at the Ford Amphitheater for a patriotic concert. Lawn seating will be free of charge and done on a first-come, first-serve basis. Pavilion tickets are $10, and can only be bought at the box office.The fireworks display is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. at the traditional site at Golden Peak.
Fourth at the FairgroundsThe Eagle County Fairgrounds will also be rocking on the Fourth, with a joint celebration for the towns of Eagle and Gypsum. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., with a fly-by from the National Guard Helicopters and an Honor Guard Presentation of the Colors, the evening will include activities for the entire family.Performances by the Denver Pipe Band, a bluegrass-band, All Strung Out, and a country-rock band, Chute Nine, will provide the musical backdrop for the evening. The Rotary Club will set up game stations throughout the field allowing kids of all ages to do 3-legged races, tug-of-war, hula-hoop contests, sack races and much more.The fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m.Affordable food and beverage will be provided by local vendors. Those attending are asked to not bring any of their own beer and wine as it isn’t allowed to be brought onto the premises.For more information, please call 328-5220.Bike paradeMark your calendars for the fourth-annual July 4th Bike Parade in Eagle.Kids are encouraged to decorate their bikes in patriotic colors and report to the Brush Creek Park at 8:15 a.m., Sunday. The parade starts at 8:30 a.m. Parade participants will ride their bikes along the bike path to the Bull Pasture, then on to the Eagle Town Park, where there will be games, treats, and prizes. The event is sponsored by the town of Eagle.
Questions can be directed to Mary Boyd at 328-9455.Fireworks, when and whereMinturn: Today at 9:30 p.m.Avon: Saturday at 9:30 p.m.Vail: Sunday at 9:45 p.m.Eagle: Sunday 4 at 9:30 p.m.Avon’s flag to flyThe most famous flagpole in the valley will be officially inaugurated Saturday during a ceremony from noon to 2 p.m. in front of the Home Depot and Wal-Mart in Avon. The celebration will take place in the Village Park between the two stores and will include a tribute to U.S. military veterans, a speech by Avon Mayor Buz Reynolds, a free barbecue and a performance of the national anthem by the St. Claire of Assisi choir. The flagpole is 150 feet tall and the flag measures 20 feet by 38 feet.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.