Three days of Fourth fun |

Three days of Fourth fun

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado
NWS Avon Fireworks SM 7-3-06

Minturn’s Fourth of July celebration is the kind Andy Griffith would like.

“It’s not bells and whistles, glitz and glamour,” said Ashley King, the town’s event coordinator. “It’s old fashion.”

Just like the quirky town itself, Minturn celebrates the Fourth of July on Monday (leaving Tuesday and Wednesday for more valley fireworks.) Its party is filled with everything a small-town Fourth should have: Barbecue, a parade, rock ‘n’ roll, beer, ice cream eating contest, kids’ petting zoo, a potato race and of course, fireworks.

This year’s parade theme is Honoring the Troops, and the local VFW post ” including special guests Bill Brunette, Grand Marshall Candalorio Cordoba, Ehigino Romero and Amadeo Gonzalez ” will lead the march in their honor guard.

Sarah Vaughan ” who’s son John Shaw was killed in Iraq ” will drive Shaw’s jeep down Main Street, the vehicle which he was working to restore before he was called in to duty.

For the first time, the parade will have an announcer, Bill Dorf, who will tell the vets’ stories as they roll through the parade.

And because there is no parade without a high school marching band, Litchfield High School from Minnesota is flying in to play.

“Every summer the band tours, and they like performing in small towns,” King said.

With a cake walk, sunflower seed eating contest and a bean-bag toss, it’s safe to say these young musicians have found what they’re looking for.

More than 10,000 shells will explode in the sky above Nottingham Park in Avon during the Colorado Rockies largest fireworks display Tuesday. KZYR will simultaneously cast music to go along with the show.

But it’s tough to say whether it will be the sparkles or Edwin McCain that attracts the revelers to Avon. The former Vail local is known to sell out Vilar, and he plays a free show starting around 8 p.m. Local band The Ride will open at around 6 p.m.

For the kids, there is a large tent featuring balloon sculptors, face painter and carnival games. Food, beverage and craft vendors will also be set on the park lawn. People can expect everything from Thai food to designer purses.

No dogs or alcohol allowed, but picnic baskets are OK. There will plenty of parking, but West Benchmark Road will be closed the entire Tuesday for set up.

For Fourth of July, Beaver Creek drops the luxe tuxedos and cocktail dresses for a family-friendly series of live concerts, parties, rodeos and food to celebrate our nation’s independence in style. Of course, if you’re looking for bow ties and oysters Rockefeller, you can find that too.

Swing band revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy play the outdoor stage near the Centennial lift, across from The Chophouse, on Sunday from 6-7:30 p.m. Known for swing hits “Go Daddy-O” and “You And Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight,” the band helped kick off the mid-’90s swing revival after an appearance in the now-iconic film “Swingers.” Picnic foods and drinks will be available for purchase on the lawn, but the concert is free of charge.

On Wednesday, legendary big-band The Glenn Miller Orchestra will play classic big-band hits from ’30s, ’40s and beyond on the outdoor stage on the Beaver Creek Lawn near the Centennial lift. Opening act Ambrosia starts the concert at 6 p.m.

Picnic food and drink will be available for purchase, and the concert is free. A 9 p.m. fireworks display will follow the Glenn Miller Orchestra, lighting up the mountains in celebration.

Seafood fans can warm up for the fireworks and dancing to the Glenn Miller Orchestra by loading up on Independence-Day shellfish. The 14th annual Beano’s Cabin Fourth of July Clam Bake runs from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on July 4. Beano’s will offer a buffet featuring steamed clams and mussels, East Coast oysters on the half shell, poached shrimp and snow crab legs, and New York strip, barbecue chicken, bratwurst, hamburgers and a variety of salads and desserts for landlubbers. Lawn games (lawn darts, anyone?) and live music will also delight kids and adults. Tickets are $55 for adults and $30 for children, and admission includes two complimentary drink tickets for beer or wine. Reservations are required, so call 949-9090 to save space next to some half shells.

Weather your Fourth of July hangover by watching some poor cowboys get pummeled at the Beaver Creek Rodeo series. Events include bull riding, a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting and the ever-popular mutton busting. Western barbecue, beers, wines and decidedly un-western but always-welcome sushi will be on offer. Adults admission is $15, youth admission is $5 and kids under 13 are admitted free.

WIth 23 years of Vail Fourth of July parades under her belt, JoAnn Moore has a few memories that stand out from the crowd. Like the year officials stopped the parade so two participants could get engaged in the middle of the street. A year later the couple were back, but this time when the parade came to a halt, Judge Buck Allen stepped out into the street to marry them.

“I remember the bridesmaid’s dresses were bright blue sequined dresses,” Moore said, chuckling.

This year, while there are no plans for quickie proposals or weddings, there’s plenty of entertainment on tap for Wednesday’s party. The theme of this year’s parade is Out Of This World and astronaut Scott Carpenter, a part-time Vail resident will serve as the parade grand marshal. The state champion 90-piece marching band from Pueblo High School will be marching in the parade, along with the Denver Pipe Band and the All Star Jazz Band, also from Denver. Old parade reliables like Jerry Sibley and his steam engine, the 10th Mountain Division veterans and the Vail Precision Lawn Chair Team will all be out for the trek. The parade is scheduled to start at the Marriott, wind its way through the mall, out onto East Lionshead Circle and Meadow Drive and then head east to Golden Peak, event organizer Laurie Asmussen said.

After the parade, from noon-3 p.m. there will be children’s activities in both Vail Village and Lionshead, including caricature artists, face painters, giant puppets, games and stilt walkers, Asmussen and Moore said.

“It’s a great day to be in town ” there are lots of free, fun things going on,” Asmussen said.

Most years there are between 55 and 70 parade entries, Asmussen said, and most of the organizations building floats are already hard at work.

Richelle Curran is the head float coordinator for the Vail Valley Medical Center entry. For the past few months 13 hospital departments have been recycling cans that will be used to make the float, Curran said. Production on the float started two weeks ago.

“We’re making a statue of liberty out of all the green cans and flowers out of all the other colored cans.”

The goal, she said, is to promote recycling and in the end the whole float, down to the plastic frame, will be recycled.

Adeline Andre, the summer intern at the EAgle County Sheriff’s office is heading up their float committee. Sticking with the Out of This World theme, Star Wars will be the float’s focus, with everyone dressed up as Star Wars characers.

“We’ll have our stealth car, the brand new Stealth Charger in it. We’ll have a jail cell built on the back of our float and we’ll have Darth Vader in there.”

Downvalley’s Fourth begins Wednesday with the annual 4th of July bike parade, taking off from Brush Creek Park and winding its way to Eagle Town Park for a morning of fun. The parade line up and judging will begin at 8:15 a.m.

“Kids should decorate their bikes and then come. Don’t plan on being able to decorate at the park,” Mary Boyd, event organizer said.

The parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. and wind its way up the Eagle Ranch bike path, through the Bull Pasture and on to the eventual destination ” Eagle Town Park where prizes, refreshments and games await.

Everyone is welcome to participate. Contact Mary Boyd at 328-9455 for information.

Town of Eagle, Gypsum and Eagle County pull their resources and set off free fireworks Wednesday over the Eagle Country Fair Grounds. Show is visible at locations throughout town including Brush Creek Park, Bull Pasture Park, Eagle Town Park and at both elementary school campuses. Bring a picnic and blanket and relax, organizers said.

Before the fireworks, people can head to Lundgren Outdoor Theater in Gypsum for a Christian concert, featuring The Ride, Foolish Things, Dave LeMieux and Jeff Rolwing.

Fundraisers from Edwards’ Gracious Savior Luthern Church Group, Youth for Christ and Relay for Life will be on hand accepting donations.

For more information on the music, visit

Cassie Pence, Ted Alvarez and Caramie Schnell all contributed to this story.

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