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Summit County features a full lineup of parades, fireworks

CAITLIN ROW
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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FRISCO – For many, the Independence Day simply couldn’t be celebrated without an old-fashioned, small-town parade.

Visitors and locals falling into this category won’t be disappointed with Summit County’s selection – this mountain community boasts four separate celebrations, including Sunday parades in Frisco, Dillon and Breckenridge all starting at different times. Parade enthusiasts could theoretically even attend just about all of them, if properly motivated.

White parades in Breckenridge and Frisco feature float-building, local officials and, of course, candy, Dillon will host a boat parade on the Dillon Reservoir – in which local vessels are decorated and displayed for prizes – and a kids’ bike parade.

“I think what’s fun about our parade is that it really is a small-town parade,” said Frisco’s marketing and events director Suzanne Lifgren. “Everyone gets involved. All the local organizations come out.”

Cash prizes and trophies are given for several categories of Frisco’s parade floats, and lots of community groups get involved.

According to Summit Independent Business Alliance (SIBA) director Katie Robert, building a float for the Frisco parade is both fun and a great way to get the organization’s “Buy Local” message out to the masses.

“If we can get that out in front of tens of thousands of people, and make a big splash doing that with a really fun “Buy Local” float, then it’s an awesome opportunity for us to market that message,” she said.

Roberts said S.O.S. kids will be building a bee as this year’s SIBA float, and then staffing it with candy tossers.

There are prizes for best floats, and at least one judge has some advice on how to win:

“If people are really wanting to win a category in the Frisco parade, what they need more than anything is to show a great deal of enthusiasm as they pass the judges’ review stand,” said Summit Daily Editor Alex Miller, who’s judged floats in the Frisco parade at least 10 times. “Get lots of people, throw candy, look at the judges and wave, dance around – act lively, be fun. An original idea helps a lot as well. Don’t tie a balloon on your old car and expect to win anything. You’ve got to put some time into it.”

Dillon’s Stars and Stripes boat parade, which has been running for almost two decades, will feature decorated vessels, with themes such as pirate ships, patriotic decor and island fun.

“It’s an annual event to support the town, have fun and promote safe boating on the lake,” said event organizer Jeff O’Neill. “You pick your own theme. It’s part of the enjoyment of this.”

O’Neill said spectators will be asked to help out with judging too. Prizes will most likely be gift certificates.

A Children’s Bike Parade will also be held in Dillon at Town Park, starting at noon. All the decorations are supplied, or participants can bring their own, and then ride in the parade. All kids will receive awards, plus there will be awards for best decorating.

Frisco’s Main Street Fourth of July parade will begin Sunday at 12:30 p.m. with a flyover from Air Force jets out of Colorado Springs. Fireworks can be viewed from Frisco’s Marina, starting at 9:30 p.m. Kids in Frisco will also have a chance to catch a fish during the Kids Fishing Derby at Meadow Creek Park (behind Walmart), starting at 9 a.m. The event is open to children up to 12 years old. Participants supply their own poles and bait, and Frisco stocks the pond and provides everyone with a ribbon. Parental supervision must be provided. Music in Frisco will include the Randall McKinnon Band at the Historic Park Gazebo from 1:30-3:30 p.m., and Hazel Miller at the Frisco Bay Marina from 7-9 p.m.

The Firecracker 50, a long-distance bike race featuring 700 participants, will kick of Breckenridge’s parade at 10 a.m. on Main Street. Though floats aren’t judged, Breckenridge’s parade will feature many displays created by both locals and visitors. Kids with decorated bikes are also invited to ride in the parade.

“It’s a bike-friendly event,” said Breckenridge Resort Chamber’s spokeswoman Carly Grimes.

A huge water fight will go on between kids and the Red, White and Blue Fire Department right after Breck’s parade. Other activities in Breckenridge include a 10K run at 7 a.m., and a free concert at 2 p.m. featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Town fireworks are set to go off at 9:30 p.m., depending on weather, and it can easily be viewed around the downtown area.

Dillon’s Stars and Stripes boat parade starts at 3 p.m. Staging will be on the water outside the gas docks at 3 p.m., and boats can be viewed at the Dillon Yacht Club. Prizes will be awarded to the top three boats. A fireworks display is being put on Friday as part of the town’s “Never Forget: An Evening of Tribute” military celebration, starting at 9:40 p.m.

Other Fourth of July activities in Dillon’s Town Park include a Bocce Tournament (registration starts at 11 a.m.), a watermelon-eating contest, a pie eating contest, crafts and turtle races.

The Walker Williams Band will play at the Dillon Amphitheatre starting at 7 p.m.

SDN reporter Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.


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