Laser light show suggested as Fourth of July option in Glenwood Springs |

Laser light show suggested as Fourth of July option in Glenwood Springs

Matthew Bennett
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Fireworks, as of now, will not light up the sky this summer in Glenwood Springs for the Fourth of July celebration, due to mounting fire concerns.

Instead, residents and tourists alike may get treated to a laser light show, which would illuminate Red Mountain to a choreographed mash up of classic rock, country, pop and electronic music.

After Glenwood Fire Chief Gary Tillotson strongly advised against a pyrotechnic show, City Manager Debra Figueroa heeded the warning and told City Council earlier this month that she had indeed canceled fireworks this year. Some council members attempted a motion overriding Figueroa’s decision, but ultimately it failed.

Not alone, a couple of neighboring communities will also break from tradition by trading in the miniature explosives for alternative forms of red, white and blue entertainment.

Snowmass Village and New Castle, at this point, will proceed with fireworks. However, Carbondale and Aspen will not.

Tasked with still entertaining residents and tourists on Independence Day, Glenwood Springs’ Parks and Recreation Director Brian Smith thought of a laser light show as a safe, entertaining alternative, which, from a financial perspective, also looks better than fireworks.

According to a staff report, last year’s 10-minute firework display cost $20,000. The proposal from Nexus Audio/Visual for a 15-minute laser light show would carry an estimated price of $14,619.

Certainly not the first time Glenwood has had Fourth of July fire concerns, in previous years the city decided to scale back and utilize smaller-scale, or low-profile, fireworks. However, this year, even they seemed too risky, Tillotson advised.

At its regular meeting tonight, City Council will either approve staff’s recommendation and move forward with Nexus’ laser light show. Or, it could revisit the fireworks question.