Chapin: A note from the mayor of Vail on the Fourth of July (column) | VailDaily.com

Chapin: A note from the mayor of Vail on the Fourth of July (column)

Dave Chapin
Valley Voices

Dave Chapin

Friends: Welcome to Vail America Days, as we celebrate a wonderful tradition of fun and patriotism beneath the backdrop of our spectacular mountain surroundings. Our thanks to parade marshals Elaine and Art Kelton, who are being recognized for their many years of community service in Vail. Together, they're inspiring a new generation of leaders and fun-seekers.

Because our natural environment is our greatest asset, we're taking great care to celebrate safely and responsibly, and we invite you to do the same. Our traditional public fireworks show has been dependent on a variety of site-specific safety conditions assessed by local fire officials. Due to the current conditions and the prediction for more of the same, we have canceled our professional fireworks display. We hope you'll incorporate your own precautions during your time here and alert us immediately if you see smoke or have other concerns.

As a fitting tribute to our parade theme this year, America's Great Outdoors, we're introducing some new sustainability practices to help support our zero waste events and carbon emissions goals. We hope you've seen the announcements to BYOB (bring your own reusable water bottle) and to fill up at our new water stations in lieu of disposable bottles. Also, as you enjoy the parade, you'll see more human-powered, electric-powered and hybrid-powered entries as we've worked to cut emissions by 20 percent. Now for what you won't see in the parade this year — balloons. These are no longer permitted due to their negative impact on our ecosystems, leaving behind waste material that doesn't break down in the environment and can be mistaken for food by wildlife.

As a globally certified sustainable destination, we're proud to share our community stewardship practices, and we hope you'll join us in our efforts by using our convenient recycling containers, riding the bus or a bike and viewing wildlife from a distance while hiking on the surrounding trails.

Thank you for joining us in Vail today to celebrate America's great outdoors and to enjoy our many offerings.

Have a wonderful time, and we invite you to return again soon for our other outstanding events, including the Colorado Classic on Thursday, Aug. 16, and Friday, Aug. 17, when pro cycling comes to Vail for Stages 1 and 2.

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Warm regards.

Dave Chapin is the mayor of Vail.