Fourth of July packed with activities
The drought will prevent Aspen from holding its annual pyrotechnics display in honor of Independence Day, but the city is preparing a day’s worth of activities to keep the town busy.From 8 a.m. to at least 10:30 p.m., Aspenites have a chance to run, eat and dance in celebration of July 4. Aspen Chamber Resort Association President Hana Pevny said the chamber planned an evening “Dancing in the Streets” event last week to make up for the canceled fireworks display.”People anywhere expect fireworks for the Fourth. It’s right up there with apple pie and baseball. But the reality is that the state government mandate bans fireworks and open fires, and there is absolutely nothing we can do about that,” she said. “It would be very irresponsible for us to produce a fireworks show even under these drought conditions [without the ban].”Beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, the Boogie’s Diner Buddy 5-mile race to benefit the Buddy Program will weave through Aspen. The race will be followed by a 10 a.m. Kids’ Bicycle Rodeo at Paepcke Park, where kids can decorate their bikes for the city’s noon parade. The second annual “America’s Birthday Carnival,” sponsored by the Early Learning Center, will run from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., including a sack race at 11:30 a.m. and a pie-eating contest at 1:30 p.m.The “Old Fashioned Fourth of July Parade” down Main Street starts with a U.S. Air Force flyby. At 1 p.m. the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club will hold its seventh annual community picnic in Koch Park.At 2 p.m. a free skating exhibition will be held at the Aspen Ice Garden, and from 2 to 6, the Aspen Highlands Community Picnic at Highlands Village will celebrate with a barbecue, live music featuring Bobby Mason & Smokin’ Joe Kelly and the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Rally.Free music by the Aspen Music Festival and School band starts at 7 p.m. at the Benedict Music Tent. And the “Dancing in the Streets” community street dance and concert featuring local band Network will be held at the edge of Wagner Park near the new bathrooms from 8:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.Pevny is new to ACRA, but said this will be her seventh Fourth of July in Aspen. She said she thinks the list of activities will keep visitors from missing the fireworks, at least too much.”I hope we’ll be able to give everyone in Aspen, whether families, young adults or visitors, a whole choice of activities to participate in,” she said. “And I hope they’ll stay in our commercial core and it will all benefit local businesses.”The Isis Theater may stay open late for a movie around 11 p.m., Pevny said.
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