Everything you need to know about the Fourth of July fireworks
July 3, 2014
Steamboat Springs — With a festival-like atmosphere, Steamboat Springs is full of locals and visitors alike soaking in all there is to see and take part in for the Fourth of July weekend.
"Fourth of July is a true Steamboat Springs summer celebration," said Brent Romick, the rodeo arena's namesake and Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series board chairman.
The multifarious events full of entertainment and activity range from the First Friday Artwalk to the 111th annual Cowboys’ Round Up Days, and then Saturday's Big Head Todd & The Monsters free concert at Howelsen Hill.
"The Fourth of July events reiterate what a great community we have and how much pride there is in our town," said Summer Johnston, the morning show host from KIDN radio station. "Even if you are not from this community, we really include everyone. There is a great energy all weekend."
Johnston’s tips for getting around downtown:
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• Bike if at all possible. There will be a lot of traffic and the best way to get around and find parking would be to bike.
• Park somewhere near a free bus stop. The free bus is running all weekend and is a great way to get around town.
• Bring lots of bug spray.
• Wear plenty of sunscreen, even in the late afternoon.
For many, there is something extraordinarily memorable about the weekend's plethora of events.
"I can say that having moved away from Steamboat for about six summers, the Fourth of July celebration is one of things I'm looking forward to most," said Scott Parker, executive director for the Chief Theater in downtown Steamboat. "The fireworks show is always an amazing show."
According to Billy Peterson, one of the main organizers for this year’s show, the 10- to 15-minute show will have fireworks launched from five locations, compared to four last year. Those locations include near the rodeo grounds site, top of the chairlift at Howelsen Hill, the top of the judges tower (the tallest brown structure at the complex), base of the HS127 jump and Mile Run trail. More than 40 volunteers have dedicated their time and energy on this national holiday to make the show happen.
In Steamboat, the fireworks really are unlike anywhere else because each is made here in town. Tim Borden — deemed by Peterson as the "Santa Claus" of the Fourth of July celebrations — has an ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) manufacturers license to produce the fireworks here. In addition, he also acquired permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to announce a notice to pilots that they cannot fly over Howelsen Hill anytime from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. because the fireworks are shot off at such great heights.
As a last-minute change to the show, the county fire department announced that the large fireworks cannot be shot off because of the potential fire danger. However, Borden said that in place of the larger 24-inch firework, there will be two other unique fireworks. There will be one that will go off at the beginning and at the end of the show at surprise locations.
"I love fireworks and am always curious with anticipation for what will truly happen when they actually get shot off," Borden said.
"The grand finale is hard to beat," Romick said. "I've been blessed to see lots of fireworks, but Steamboat is by far the biggest and best in Colorado."
Incomparable to any other firework show, this year surely will be one not to miss.
For the most visceral experience of colors exploding across the sky, this compiled list of locations will give you a few of the best views in town.
List of locations to watch the fireworks:
• Howelsen Hill: Bring blankets and chairs there are many places to sit near Howelsen or even by the baseball fields and volleyball courts
• The Brent Romick Rodeo Arena
• Little Toots Park near the Bud Werner Memorial Library
• Colorado Mountain College parking lot
• Anywhere along the Yampa River including the plethora of restaurants there. Most of which have outdoor seating.
"Everyone should be ready for a great show, it's going to be a lot of fun this year," Peterson said.
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