Astute residents may have noticed something missing from this year’s Fourth of July festivities in Durango. No, not just the annual parade and fireworks show, which were canceled because of COVID-19 and wildfire concerns. But the American flags that usually line Main Avenue.
The flags are put out every year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4301 to mark national holidays that honor veterans and America, including Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day. But the VFW decided not to do it this Fourth of July because of the bump-outs on Main Avenue, said Meg Vanasse, post quartermaster.
She said volunteers normally use a pickup truck to put up and take down the flags in the morning and evening, but they were concerned this year there would be too much foot traffic and too many obstacles to navigate because of the bump-outs.
“They were concerned that they couldn’t do it safely with all the bump-outs and all the people on Main street this year, so they just decided it was better not to do it,” she said.
While the flags didn’t happen, Vanasse said the VFW was successful at getting Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora to do a flyover July 4 of Durango with F-16 Fighting Falcons. Vanasse said it took some convincing because the Air Force typically does flyovers only in conjunction with parades and major celebrations that get people outside to see them. The planes passed overhead about 10:15 a.m.
“We were thrilled about that,” she said. “... It certainly wasn’t an official thing.”