The Cortez area is in for a burst of patriotic celebrations for the Fourth of July weekend.
Monday evening, get ready for the “ooh and aah” Cortez fireworks display, put on the past 20 years by Montezuma County Commissioner Keenan Ertel.
“I’ll be testing out a new firing system this year,” Ertel said. “The show will last about a half-hour and use 420 aerial shells, 25 ground cakes and six gas mines.”
Centennial Park and Parque de Vida are the best locations to view the Cortez fireworks display. The show will begin at dusk, about 9 p.m.
The Cortez Burst Triathlon will take place on Monday. A pre-race orientation will be at 6 p.m. Sunday at the pool, and the races will begin Monday morning. North Park Street (and the water dock) will be closed between Main Street and Montezuma Avenue from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Race-day registration for the triathlon is available, but there is an increased fee.
In Mancos, the fireworks will begin about 8 p.m. at Boyle Park.
In Rico, the Fourth of July parade will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at the Rico Community Church. At noon, there will be a barbecue at the Rico firehouse and a performance by the Four Corners Community Band. Rico’s fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m.
The Rico Women’s Club Craft Sale will be held Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the elementary school. Also on Saturday, there was to be a bake sale at 10 a.m. at the Rico firehouse, and an ice cream social and hymn sing at the Rico Community Church. On Sunday at noon, the annual community old-timers potluck and fundraiser for the fire department will be held in a meadow 2 miles south of Rico. A softball game will take place as well.
The Ute Mountain Casino will have a free concert and fireworks show on Sunday. True Willie will perform a tribute concert to country great Willie Nelson.
At Groundhog Lake, Fourth of July festivities will include a Navajo taco sale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a bonfire and dance party from 7 to 11 p.m., with music provided by DJ Aiko Sound.
The weather forecast for the Fourth of July weekend includes scattered rain showers with a high of 78 degrees on Saturday in Cortez. Isolated showers with mostly sunny skies and a high of 83 is forecast for Sunday; and isolated showers with sunny skies and a high of 84 on Monday.