Just like many Colorado mountain towns, Fairplay is bringing back the Fourth of July tradition of a big fireworks display.
The fireworks will blast off from the middle of the South Platte River and light up the night sky as folks watch from Fairplay’s historic downtown.
At least, that’s the plan. The high fire danger facing Colorado’s forests and the rest of the West could yet get in the way.
Several vulnerable communities in the mountains and across the Western Slope have canceled their displays outright, including Vail, Rifle and Durango. Other spots, like Ouray, are still going ahead with their display but a scaled-down version — and there’s a chance even that could be canceled at the last minute.
“I think everyone is hopeful this will be a go,” said Julie Bullock, special events coordinator for the town.
Fairplay is in the same boat, but Bullock does sound optimistic.
“We’re hopeful, because we have been getting a lot of rain,” she said, adding the town is hoping to make the event as “normal as possible.”
Word has definitely gotten around, especially in places where fireworks are a no-go this year.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how many phone calls I’ve had,” Bullock said, describing inquiries she’s gotten from Conifer, Bailey and all over Summit County.
She’s a little worried that her tiny town — home to less than 1,000 people — might be overrun this weekend with visitors excited over a fireworks show they can’t see at home. But more than anything, she’s still holding her breath that it’ll happen at all.
“I don’t think I’m going to believe we get to do it until Sunday morning,” she said.
Fireworks displays happening in the mountains and Western Slope
We’ve compiled a list of Colorado mountain towns and Western Slope communities that are still planning on holding fireworks displays. Please note that these plans could change, so double-checking with each community is best.
- Aspen: Laser Show in Wagner Park (around 9:15-9:45 p.m.)
- Buena Vista: Fireworks will light off from Buena Vista Rodeo Grounds, after a daylong art festival, with live music and a beer garden.
- Cortez: Fireworks set off from the recreation center, with viewing from around Parque De Vida.
- Cripple Creek: The fireworks will be set off from the south side of town, south of Myers Ave., around 20 minutes after it gets dark.
- Creede: Fireworks will be set off after dark, the culmination of a several-day Fourth of July festival.
- Delta: Fireworks will be set off from Confluence Park, right by Confluence Lake, sometime after dark.
- Estes Park: Fireworks will be set off over Lake Estes, with good viewing spots in Stanley Park, along the Lake Estes Trail
- Fairplay: Fireworks will be launched from the South Platte River, with good viewing spots along Front Street
- Fruita: Fireworks will be set off on Saturday, July 3, from Snooks Bottom Recreation Area. That is not a viewing area, however, and town officials recommend viewing from the Fruita Visitors Center or Rotary Triangle Park.
- Granby: Flying Heels Arena immediately after the rodeo (at approximately 9:15 p.m.)
- Grand Junction: Fireworks will be launched from Suplizio Field at 9:45 p.m., after the Grand Junction Rockies game. They can be viewed around Lincoln Park.
- Grand Lake: Fireworks will be launched right over the lake.
- Gunnison: Fireworks can be seen from Jorgensen Park, after a day of festivities.
- Idaho Springs: Fireworks will be at Citizens Park. Independence Day activities start there at 1 p.m.
- Kremmling: Fireworks can be seen from Kremmling Town Square, after a daylong celebration.
- Lake City (July 3): Fireworks can be seen at around 9 p.m. from Lake City Town Park
- Leadville: Fireworks end a day of festivities, including a parade and fun run.
- Meeker: Fireworks can be seen from Circle Park, ending several days of celebrating, including a rodeo, parade, barn dance and 5K.
- Mt. Crested Butte (July 2): Fireworks close out a day of celebrating, including a parade.
- Montrose: Fireworks are launched off Sunset Mesa.
- Ouray: A scaled-down version of the fireworks display will cap off a day of celebrating, with a pancake breakfast, race and parade.
- Salida: Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m., after a bike light parade at Riverside Park, with other events earlier in the day, including a circus, chalk art and various musical performances.
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