Our View: The show must go on


Editorial Board, February to May 2012

  • Scott Stanford, general manager
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Karen Massey, community representative
  • Jeff Swoyer, community representative

Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

We can’t blame the city and local fire officials for their consideration of canceling this year’s July Fourth fireworks display in downtown Steamboat Springs, but we hope any such move would be accompanied by an aggressive effort to replace the fireworks display with another community-minded celebration that holiday evening.

Steamboat Springs Fire Chief Mel Stewart told the Steamboat Springs City Council this week that he’ll make his decision about the fate of the fireworks display within the next week or so. He acknowledged he is leaning toward canceling it. He would have good reason: Fire conditions throughout Northwest Colorado are extreme and appear to only be getting worse. Steamboat’s impressive annual Fourth of July fireworks show is the envy of cities 10 times our size, but it also poses a serious risk of wildfire on Howelsen Hill and Emerald Mountain, where the show is based.

There’s bound to be some disappointed residents and visitors if the fireworks display is called off, but the fact that Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year might mean there are fewer guests in town to begin with. The 105th annual Cowboys’ Round-Up Days Ranch Rodeo will be held the evening of July 4 at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, providing a good family-friendly option for folks in search of holiday entertainment.

But the rodeo alone isn’t enough, and that’s why the city immediately should get to work on a backup plan for evening entertainment. We have a suggestion: a community celebration at the Howelsen Hill amphitheater featuring local bands, food vendors and kids games and activities. A broad collaboration utilizing the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs, the city, the county, Routt County Riders, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council and other interested groups, businesses and individuals actually might be able to pull off a last-minute, fireworks-free celebration.

Such an event might not drive destination tourism, but it could bring the community together to celebrate that patriotic intent of the holiday. And it probably could be pulled off without a significant financial investment.


Brian Kotowski 4 years, 10 months ago

It would be interesting to know what the city was planning to spend on the fireworks display so we'd have some idea of the available budget.


John St Pierre 4 years, 10 months ago

Maybe Catamount Lake could step up and offer the lake..... much Like Summit County where they shoot them out over the lake ..... no fire danger.........


rhys jones 4 years, 10 months ago

Sep -- I'd bet that money is already spent, fireworks in a warehouse somewhere. Some word from the city on this subject might be appreciated at this point.

John -- Nice thought, but I would guess the show requires much setup and planning, in this case including prevailing winds at the time of the show, due to the fire danger. That was one of the nice things about Howelsen, in a normal year, besides the facts that it kept the money downtown where the merchants could benefit, and more mobility-challenged locals could attend.

Tom -- Itchy trigger fingers == itchy keyboard fingers? Medication might help.


rhys jones 4 years, 10 months ago

Jerry et al -- While y'all (Texas creeping in) pity me suffering during our muggy days (maybe) the nights are FANTASTIC. 80 degrees feels durn good right now -- shorts, sandals, and no shirt.

Besides that, we have fireworks every Friday night at 9:30, every show as good as Steamboat's 4th of July show, if not better. I watch them from my pier.

Don't feel too sorry for me, my friends. I'm enjoying the change of scene, and I'll be back soon enough. Sometimes I wish I could clone myself, just to spread the joy better.


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