Mountain Mayhem: An old-fashioned Fourth of July |

Mountain Mayhem: An old-fashioned Fourth of July

May Selby
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
May SelbyWhen the gun went off for the Buddy 5 Mile start, shirtless running rivals Jon Severy, left, and Rickey Gates were ready to sprint the full distance.

Ever since 1776, the Fourth of July has been a day full of out­door celebrations, with parades, picnics, barbecues, concerts, fireworks and various other events across the U.S. celebrating the history and traditions of this great country.

In Aspen, the Fourth kicked off at dawn with a bang, thanks to the Smug­gler Mine cannon blasts reverberating around the mountains. At 8 a.m. sharp, following the national anthem sung by Jeannie Walla, the annual Buddy 5 Mile Race set off from Boogie’s Diner, with several hundred runners lapping town on the challenging course. The Buddy 5 rivalry between All-American run­ners Jon Severy and Rickey Gates remained alive and well this year. Sev­ery and Gates finished in first and sec­ond places, respectively, then ran up the Ute Trail afterward, per tradition.

Post-race, Rob Ittner, of east Aspen, hosted his semi-annual Fourth of July champagne brunch for friends and neighbors, many of whom arrived by bike.

At noon, the parade began its march through town, with spec­tators lining both sides of the street. The Aspen Art Museum and Jazz Aspen Snowmass partnered this year for the grand event, as well as a post-parade party on the museum grounds with kids’ art activities and complimentary food from the Hickory House. Their float, Aspen Silver Lining, designed by Dan Wood and Amale Andraos, also featured the New Orleans Treme Brass Band.

Barbecues ensued throughout the afternoon and into the evening, which ended with an impressive and festive fireworks display over Aspen Mountain.

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