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Photos: Hundreds celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and music in Cortez

A purple spectacular fires off to please the crowd at the fireworks show at Parque de Vida in Cortez on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. Sam Green/Special to The Journal
Parque de Vida fills with families and friends to watch bands, fireworks

Cortez hosted two bands for the Fourth of July Tuesday in Parque de Vida, before the Cortez Fire Protection District capped the celebration with a dazzling display of more than 1,000 rockets that lit the sky and boomed through town

The Four Corners Community Band got things going about 4:30 p.m. with a concert in Centennial Park. Flashback then took the stage about 7 p.m. in Parque de Vida until the fireworks began about 9 p.m.

Capt. Staton Jeter spoke with The Journal earlier in the week about the fireworks display this year.

“We now have a StarFire Controller. Each (firework) gets wired up individually to the cue board that goes to this controller that we’re able to wire up to with speaker wire and then run it from a safe distance,” Jeter said.

A cool feature of this type of controller is the ability to run a scripted show that syncs the fireworks to music. They hope to work up to doing shows like these in future years, he said.

Three-inch, 4-inch, and 5-inch aerial shells were set off, as well as aerial cakes, which are prepackaged multishot fireworks. This year’s show cost about $30,000 total, including the product and the labor. The city of Cortez partnered with Cortez Fire Protection District and donated $20,000 for the fireworks, Jeter said.

Keenan Ertel, who has run fireworks shows in previous years, is still involved. Ertel holds a display operator's license. Jeter and two other members of the fire department are working toward licensing.

An article will be published online Wednesday.

Fireworks light up Parque de Vida in Cortez Tuesday, July 4, 2023, for the Fourth of July.Sam Green/Special to The Journal
Dressed in red, white and blue, members of the crowd dance to the band playing before the fireworks at Cortez’s Parque de Vida on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.
The crowd sets up and waits for the fireworks to begin at Parque de Vida in Cortez on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. Sam Green/Special to The Journal
A band entertains the crowd while waiting for the fireworks in Cortez’s Parque de Vida on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. Sam Green/Special to The Journal
A gas bomb warms the crowd as the fireworks light up Parque de Vida for the Fourth of July. Sam Green/Special to The Journal
Fireworks light up Parque de Vida in Cortez Tuesday, July 4, 2023, for the Fourth of July.Sam Green/Special to The Journal
A finale of fireworks burst over the park for the Fourth of July celebration Tuesday in Cortez’s Parque de Vida. Sam Green/Special to The Journal