Minturn pulls plug on Fourth fireworks |

Minturn pulls plug on Fourth fireworks

Geraldine Haldner

“It wasn’t even open for discussion,” said Minturn Police Chief Lorenzo Martinez of the Minturn Town Council’s unanimous decision Wednesday to cancel its fireworks display, previously scheduled for July 5.

“It’s just one of those things, we knew it was the right thing to do,” Martinez said, adding that the council determined the risk of firing off fireworks on the hillside of Lionshead Mountain too great in view of persistent dry conditions that have primed Colorado’s wilderness for fires with as little as a spark.

Given Minturn’s history of clumsily starting fires while staging fireworks, Martinez said the town is better served canceling now than turning a funny town tradition into an embarrassment or worse even, a disaster.

“It used to be the joke here in Minturn that people didn’t come for the three-minute fireworks but for the 30 minutes it took the volunteers to put out the little fires the fireworks caused,” Lorenzo said. “This year that wouldn’t be funny at all.”

While fireworks are a no-go – private possession has been banned statewide – old-fashion fun can be found at Minturn’s Independence Day Celebration, scheduled for July 5 in the Minturn Town Park.

“We’ll still have plenty of fun,” Martinez promised.

The community celebration will include fire-engine rides, horseshoe competitions, face-painting, a beer tent and a baked goods contest, starting at 5:30 p.m. A cake walk will take place 7 p.m., and a watermelon seed-spitting contest starts at 7:30 p.m.

Minturn is the last of the Vail Valley’s five municipalities to cancel planned fireworks displays in connection with the heightened fear of fires.

Vail, Eagle and Gypsum, canceled their pyrotechnical plans two weeks ago while Avon pulled the plug on its famed fireworks over Nottingham Lake, Tuesday.

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