Frisco plans big bang for Fourth |

Frisco plans big bang for Fourth

FRISCO – Fireworks fans need not fear – Frisco is bringing back its Fourth of July fireworks this year.

Frisco, along with numerous other towns across the state, canceled its annual fireworks show last year because of extreme drought conditions and wildland fire concerns. It replaced the colorful show in the sky with the music of Muddy Waters, performed by a band featuring Waters’ son Big Bill Morganfield and Waters’ former sidemen.

Anticipating another dry summer this year, Frisco officials have been preparing to hire a band again for its Fourth of July celebration. But continued precipitation this spring has eased fire concerns, making fireworks possible.

“We’re not going to look very good if someone comes up (to Summit County), the lake is full and we’re not having fireworks,” said Frisco mayor pro-tem Dede Dighero-Tuso.

Frisco council members agreed Tuesday they would like to bring back the fireworks – and the tourists – this year. Town staff is already close to finalizing a contract with a band for the Fourth, said Community Relations Director Linda Lichtendahl.

“Maybe we should consider doing both this year and making the Fourth of July a real screamer,” said Theresa Casey, Frisco assistant town manager.

Frisco officials agreed to go for the big bang – fireworks and a band.

And to ensure that potential visitors know Frisco is hosting both, town officials are budgeting about $5,000 to market events to the Front Range. Lichtendahl said she intends to meet with officials around the county to see if they would be willing to market countywide Fourth of July events as a group – in a full page spread in the Denver Post, for example.

Frisco lost many of its Independence Day visitors last year as a result of the sagging economy, the low reservoir levels and forest fires across the state, Casey said. Town officials want to make sure the tourists come back this year.

While it’s a little early to know how dry the county will be by July, conditions look promising, said Jeff Berino, assistant fire chief at Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue.

Not only is Dillon Reservoir (otherwise known as Lake Dillon) one of the safest fireworks sites in Colorado, Berino said, but the lake’s ice has yet to melt and mountain runoff to begin – an indication the county likely will be moist into June.

Five certified pyrotechnic specialists from Lake Dillon Fire Rescue – with more than 120 hours of fireworks experience combined – will run the fireworks show and can shoot the shells directly above the lake (or mud), he said.

“So we are looking forward to having a safe Fourth,” he said. “If we get some extreme weather, we can certainly pull the plug.”

Should the weather turn dry between now and Independence Day and Frisco cancel the show, the town can choose to either pay a 30 percent cancellation fee (about $7,500) or stage the fireworks show for a different event anytime before mid-February.

Breckenridge is hoping to host a fireworks show this year as well, but town officials are in a “wait and see” mode, said Kim DiLallo, events and communications manager for the town.

As always, illegal fireworks will remain illegal, Berino said. Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles and anything that flies or blows up. Drought conditions might lessen this summer, but that doesn’t mean illegal fireworks couldn’t start a fire.

“So people need to exercise caution and enjoy the professional shows that are done safely,” Berino said.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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