Frisco July 4 firework plans canceled following a regional committee’s vote against reviving the tradition
Frisco won’t have fireworks on Independence Day. Instead, the town will return to to a smaller celebration like those held in 2021.
The Bikes and Barks Parade, music at the Historic Park Gazebo, a free fishing derby and a pancake breakfast will headline this year’s festivities on July 4. The town said it wanted to return to a “community oriented format.”
Fireworks spark gets snuffed out
This news comes after Frisco Town Council voted in August to budget and plan to revive the annual fireworks show over the Dillon Reservoir.
The decision to cancel fireworks came after a vote from the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee. It denied the Town of Frisco’s special event permit application.
“We respect their decision, and we’re moving forward,” Frisco spokesperson Vanessa Agee said.
A majority of the committee denied the permit, according to a statement issued by the town of Frisco Thursday, because of the impacts on traffic, watershed and wildlife, among other concerns. Other arguments included the expected fire risk, ongoing road construction in Summit County and on Interstate 70, and a lack of consensus among the Summit County towns and Summit County government.
Traffic congestion was the No. 1 issue discussed according to Agee. Summit Fire & EMS spokesperson Steve Lipsher agreed. Summit Fire & EMS was not part of the decision making process, but it did consult with the town.
“If we get all bottlenecked, that severely limits our response time,” he said.
More people lead to more calls, he added, and the volume combined with congestion could create problems.
In 2021, the town reported an average of 45-90 minutes to clear pedestrians and traffic from the marina and highway. That was with Breckenridge also hosting an event.
Wildfire risk was another concern.
“When you set off fireworks, you don’t know 100% where they’re going,” Lipsher said.
He said Summit Fire & EMS could support fireworks launched from a barge in the middle of the lake, but that would still require the support of Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee, and Agee pointed out such a method would still not alleviate the amount of traffic around the reservoir.
The Board of County Commissioners expressly prohibits fireworks within the borders of the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee’s jurisdiction without the committee’s approval, per the committee’s rules and regulations.
The day Summit lost its sparkle
The last fireworks display put on by a city in Summit County for July Fourth was in 2017.
In 2020, Frisco canceled its Fourth of July fireworks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2021 due to construction in downtown Frisco.
Breckenridge canceled all town fireworks since 2018, including New Years, citing environmental impact, PTSD triggers and not sending mixed signals to residents about the fire risk they create. Even before the all-out stop, the Buffalo Mountain wildfire in June 2018 pushed all towns in the county to cut July Fourth fireworks from their summer plans.
This year’s independent day of events
The Bikes and Barks Parade returns from last year’s itinerary. It came as part of Frisco’s pandemic-era Main Street Promenade. Participants can bike, skate, scoot and roll down Main Street with dogs in tow. Like years past, onlookers might see small terriers sitting in the front basket of a bike driven by a woman dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
“We live for bikes … and dressing up a dog is plain ol’ fabulous,” Agee said. “Unless you’re the dog, sometimes.”
The parade will start at 11 a.m. and travel from Madison to 7th avenues. A high school marching band from Lake Elmo, Minnesota will join in the parade. Motorized vehicles are prohibited from participating. Parade registration will open June 1 at Frisco4th.com. A dog is not required to participate.
The Saucy Bees, a funky four-piece band, will play at the Historic Park Gazebo at 120 Main St. from 4-6 p.m. Listeners should expect an eclectic blend of dance-inducing tunes and classic favorites.
Kids can participate for free in the fishing derby at Meadow Creek Park from 8-9:30 a.m. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will stock the Meadow Creek Pond before the event. Registration for the Derby opens June 1 at noon for the first 100 registrants under the age of 14.
A Team Summit Pancake Breakfast will take place in front of the Old Community Center Building at 110 3rd Ave. from 8-11 a.m. A plate will cost $5 for those 8 years old and younger and $10 for everyone else. The money will go towards Team Summit.
The most current information may be found at Frisco4th.com.
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