If you’ve lived around here for the last 10 years, the Fourth of July lineup of events and activities in downtown Durango hasn’t changed much – and that’s exactly the way it should be.
Prior to 2004, the Durango list of July Fourth events consisted of only one great fireworks show, but not much else.
A casual coffee-shop survey was then conducted asking folks what kinds of activities they would expect to be held in a small town on the Fourth of July.
Topping the list was of course was fireworks. Then came a parade and a dance. Some thought a pancake breakfast would be a good start to the day, and an afternoon barbecue would be a terrific option to those not planning a backyard family reunion.
Of course, those with children suggested plenty of fun and games for their supercharged kids including jugglers, clowns, snow cones, face-painters and magicians.
One mother with four kids younger than 10 years old thought a kid’s flea market would be great. She described a place where, once-a-year, her kids could sell their piles of old toys. After the first year, she learned she brought home as much as she sold.
Active families thought the day was perfect for a fun run that was actually fun. To them, that meant a come-one, come-all free event for serious runners, casual joggers, walkers, families, strollers, kids and even the family pooch. And how about doing that on our wonderful Animas River Trail?
When first asked, “What kinds of July Fourth activities make it a great day?” the immediate responses from most folks was about fun, food, family, a day off from work and beer … cold beer.
Some people were much more reflective and stressed the meaning of the day; our flag, our freedoms, our veterans and our Founding Fathers. To them, this is what July Fourth is all about.
Over the last decade, residents, businesses owners, organizations and the city of Durango have participated in planning, organizing, hosting, sponsoring and volunteering to bring our community all of the above events and activities.
Durango’s Salute to America has become a full day of family-friendly activities starting with the fun run and the pancake breakfast and going until the fireworks finale.
Don’t miss the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence at 11 a.m. in Buckley Park. I guarantee that hot dog and cold beer will taste much better knowing why it’s called Independence Day.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.