This is my annual pre-July 4 column to remind folks about Independence Day activities in Durango. Bear with me, and Ill explain the reference to Yogi and Boo Boo.
First, our second-most-asked question: On what day will the Fourth of July activities occur?
Answer, Monday, the Fourth of July.
The first-most-frequently-asked question is: What is there to do around here on the Fourth of July, except for the fireworks? That question was what prompted me to accept this job eight years ago.
In 2003, the answer was the question. Durango had fireworks, great fireworks, but only fireworks. In 2004, the city expanded its role as lead organizer of what is now known as Durangos annual Salute to America, a daylong series of family-friendly events.
I admit discouragement now when I hear the same question asked: Whats there to do around here on July 4? The July 4 event schedule is highlighted by eight back-to-back activities starting with early-morning pancakes and ending with nighttime fireworks.
Credit a lot of peoples selfless volunteer efforts and a hefty city promotional budget, yet some remain under-informed and are missing out on a really good time.
So heres the Scooby-Doo. The day will start at 7:30 a.m. at Rotary Park with Rotarys All-American Gourmet Breakfast and a come-one come-all Freedom 5K run/walk hosted by parks and recreation at 9 a.m. Then move to Buckley Park, and at 11 a.m. hear the Fort Lewis College-sponsored reading of the Declaration of Independence. At noon, a series of three live bands (jazz, bluegrass and country) will play until 5 p.m. Also starting at noon, the Kids Flea Market hosted by Wells Fargo Bank will be open to all children who want to sell their treasures along with daylong childrens activities in the park. Refreshments will be sold from the Coca-Cola trailer and a small beer garden on 12th Street and Main Avenue.
This year for food, we return to the tradition of the family picnic basket because there will be no food vendors at the park. All who attend should plan to bring their own blankets, order a box lunch from a downtown restaurant or pack a picnic basket with goodies of their choice. Be aware that Buckley Park is a Durango School District 9-R property and by state law prohibits alcohol and tobacco from the picnic basket list of goodies. Park Ranger Yogi and Boo Boo will be present to confiscate picnic baskets in violation of park rules.
Finally, follow the crowd south on Main for the Stars and Stripes Parade always held at 6 p.m. In order to have a parade, we need people to be in the parade. The event is free; the theme is Red, White and Blue. Just call 375-5067 to sign up.
Before and after the parade, enjoy three hours of the Street Dance on the 800 block featuring popular county rock band the High Rollers.
Then about 9:15 p.m., the traditional fireworks Salute to America will be held over downtown. Enjoy the day.
email@example.com Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.