Vail’s Fourth of July Parade Route
VAIL – Get ready for a fun-filled 2006 Fourth of July, complete with activities for all ages. Vail America Days organizers are expecting large crowds this year to celebrate the July 4th holiday, including Vail’s popular parade at 10 a.m.
Arrive early to enjoy free parking in the Vail Village and LionsHead parking structures. The 2,500 parking spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and typically reach capacity prior to the 10 a.m. start of the parade. Once the two structures fill, free parking will be available on the Frontage Road until 11 p.m. Close-in parking for events at Ford Park will be available for $5 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tuesday and a full day of events scheduled throughout the celebration, including a fireworks display later in the evening. As you make plans for your holiday in Vail, use the information here to help you have a fun, safe and memorable Fourth of July.
The region’s largest parade begins at 10 a.m. July 4 and will wind its way from Golden Peak along Vail Valley Drive, left on Hanson Ranch Road, through Vail Village down Bridge Street, left on Gore Creek Drive, right on Willow Bridge Road, left on Meadow Drive and will end at approximately noon at LionsHead Village.
This year’s theme is “Historical Events in American History.” For a good view of the parade, arrive by 9:30 a.m. and pick a location along the parade route.
EAGLE COUNTY ” A rain dance might be necessary if valley residents expect to see fireworks bursting in the valley’s skies next week.
Hot, dry weather that has driven up the risk of wildfires also means town officials and local fire chiefs are watching for rain and wind before allowing any fireworks to go off. Avon is the only town with solid plans to shoot fireworks because its display takes place over Nottingham Lake.
Vail officials plan to make a final decision Monday, the day before their fireworks display over Golden Peak.
“It will be based on whether we get significant rain over the next (six to seven) days,” Vail fire Chief John Gulick said. “The forecast doesn’t look good. It doesn’t look like it’s going to rain.”
Indeed, the coming week seems devoid of the precipitation needed to moisten parched grass and brush.
“The outlook for significant wetting rains doesn’t look all that great,” said Norv Larson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “In terms of a widespread, moist event over a large area, it’s a stretch.”
Minturn’s display is scheduled for Sunday. Fire and town officials plan to make a decision today whether to go ahead with fireworks at Lionshead rock, said Charlie Moore, chief of the Eagle River Fire Protection District.
“Embers in forested land can lead to fires that can get out of control,” Moore said.
Minturn resident Kristi Bloodworth said she’ll understand if the fireworks have to be canceled.
“My backyard overlooks them so we usually have people over, but if it’s going to burn down the town I don’t mind,” Bloodworth said. “The fireworks are fun in Minturn, but that hillside is covered in brush and it’d be very easy to go up.”
Beaver Creek blasts off Tuesday. Moore said he also plans to make a go or no go decision along with the resort today. The resort could soak the ground below the fireworks with snow-making guns, Moore said.
Eagle and Gypsum put on a show jointly at the Eagle County Fairgrounds on Tuesday. Jon Asper, chief of Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, said he plans to mow grass and saturate the grounds to avoid a fire.
But Asper said he is concerned wind might push fireworks into dry land and start a fire, so he’ll make a decision on Friday or Saturday.
“I prefer no wind,” Asper said, adding he didn’t know how little wind is needed to shoot off fireworks safely.
Although prevailing winds don’t look strong in the coming week, expected thunderstorms could create gusty winds, Larson said.
For fireworks displays to get the go ahead, a bit of supernatural help might be in order.
“Ask your readers to pray for rain,” Moore said.
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.