Briefs (New start for Aspen’s July 4 parade?; Wagner Park closed for upgrades) |

Briefs (New start for Aspen’s July 4 parade?; Wagner Park closed for upgrades)

City considers changing Fourth of July parade start time

The city is considering moving Aspen’s Fourth of July parade from noon to 11 a.m. this year.

The organizing committee for the parade came up with the idea as a way of maximizing attendance at other events throughout town. But most significantly, according to a survey sent to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, the earlier time would prevent crowds and parade participants from standing in the sun during the hottest part of the day. The committee is expected to have a decision in the next week or two, after feedback is gathered from the survey, as well as the city’s Facebook page.

Hundreds of people attend Aspen’s Fourth of July parade each year, with 80 to 100 participating floats. Parade staging begins around 10 a.m., but locals begin claiming spots along Main Street earlier in the morning.

Piping work to begin in Wagner Park

Following Wagner Park’s annual spring closure, the city will begin installing piping for a new irrigation system.

Installation of the irrigation system is part of a $1 million renovation project, which will include a $337,000 purchase of 32,000 square feet of flooring technology designed to protect the field during events like June’s Food & Wine Classic.

This year, the city spread humates, an organic soil designed to expedite the snow-melting process, across Wagner Park. The month-long piping installation — which will begin as soon as the field is dry — will not affect this year’s Food & Wine Classic, scheduled for June 20 through 22. Tom Rubel, of the Parks Department, said there is a possibility for the park to reopen prior to the event. The park will then be closed indefinitely on Aug. 4, when the resurfacing of the field begins.

Rubel said it’s too early to tell if December’s snow polo event and January’s Winter X Games concerts had a lasting effect on the field’s surface.

“It’s just the compaction really,” he said. “The horses don’t cause much damage. It’s just the fact that it gets groomed early, so you get a hard layer and with the concert, between the two, we did get a layer of ice. And that can cause serious damage, but it’s hard to tell until it’s dried out. Sometimes it looks green when it first pops and within a week it’s gone. I’m hoping for the best because the better turf we have when we go into this renovation, the quicker and the better the renovation will go.”

— Compiled by staff writer Karl Herchenroeder

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