In 2015, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul lost a $60 million contract after injuring himself while setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July. Learn vicariously from him and leave the fireworks to professionals in the Durango area.
And there’s not only plenty of fireworks shows planned, but many other ways to celebrate America’s birthday this weekend.
The Durango Business Improvement District in conjuction with Alpine Bank and the city are sponsoring a host of events.
”We are planning everything in Durango from a pankcake breakfast early in the morning all the way to the last firework,” said Tim Walsworth, executive director of the improvement district.
Several organizations, nonprofits and charities will benefit from the proceeds, including Building Homes for Heroes, which builds and modifies houses for veterans, the Durango Lions Club, the Garden Project of Southwest Colorado, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Rotary Club of Durango, which is hosting the pancake breakfast that starts at 7:30 a.m. at Rotary Park.
Parks and Recreation will hold a 5K fun run along the Animas River starting at Rotary Park at 9 a.m. “It’s a good way to work off that pancake breakfast you just had or maybe build up your appetite for it,” Walsworth said.
Also included in the festivities is a family-friendly festival at Buckley Park featuring live music by local bands The Assortment and The Cannondolls, a barbecue hosted by the Elks Club, the yearly parade, a street dance between 10th Street and 12th Street ,and, of course, the fireworks display from Greenmount Cemetery at dusk, Walsworth said.
“We purchased $10,000 worth of fireworks, so you know, we’re not as big as Silverton, but this is gonna be a nice show,” he said.
Silverton eventsThe historic mining town will host a series of events to celebrate the Fourth of July, foremost of which is its annual fireworks display, said Blair Runion, events coordinator for the town.
”For a number of years, the Silverton volunteer fire department put on the fireworks display, and they did a fantastic job ensuring that it was the largest display on the Western Slope,” Runion said. This year, however, the city contracted its show to Pyrotechnics Display Inc. out of Clear Lake, Minn. and the $35,000 display is projected to last 35 minutes.
Silverton is collecting donations to help subsidize the cost and continue the tradition, she said.
BayfieldEvents in Bayfield include horseshoes, cornhole and volleyball tournaments and live music throughout the day at Joe Stephenson Park, according to the city’s website. Its parade begins at 10 a.m., and the fireworks, sponsored by the First National Bank of Durango, will take place at dusk on Monday.
And there’s moreVallecito is hosting its fireworks display Saturday night along with an arts and crafts festival that will span the weekend, said Raelynn Elkins, manager of Vallecito Lake Country Market. Additionally, the restaurants on the lake and the marina will be open to offer amenities to those who are on site to enjoy the show.
While most campsites and cabins are booked, visitors are encouraged to come for the day, Elkins said.
Fort Lewis College will hold its annual “4th at the Fort” event adjacent to the McPherson Chapel, which overlooks town, said Suzanne Connors, director of alumni engagement and annual giving.
This event is $5 per person and is open to FLC alumni, staff and faculty along with their family members, Connors said. “4th at the Fort” will feature live music by the Pete Giuliani band before the fireworks display, with snacks and refreshments provided by FLC, including beer donated by Ska Brewing. Proceeds from the event go to the alumni scholarship fund.
FLC is expecting between 100 and 250 people, depending on weather and the draw of other attractions in the Durango area, Connors said. “Everybody’s got their favorite thing to do on the Fourth of July.”
A complete listing of the events in Durango can be found at downtowndurango.org/july4.
Luke Perkins is a student at Fort Lewis College and an intern at The Durango Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.