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Southwest Colorado shows its patriotism with family events on Independence Day

Cortez, Towaoc, Mancos and Dove Creek will host fireworks; tentative fireworks planned in Rico
Fireworks fill the sky during the Fourth of July celebration.

The Fourth of July brings exciting events to town each year. These events display patriotism in Cortez and the surrounding areas, bringing everyone closer to enjoy a beautiful fireworks spectacle each year.

Cortez to offer family fun at Parque de Vida

Cortez will host fun events in Parque De Vida on the Fourth ahead of the fireworks display.

  • From 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m., Four Corners Community Band will hold a concert in Centennial Park.
  • At 7 p.m., live band Flashback will play in Parque De Vida until the fireworks begin about 9 p.m.

Cortez Fire Protection District will be in charge of the fireworks display again this year.

Capt. Staton Jeter spoke with The Journal 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, Jeter said.

There are a little over 1,000 fireworks lined up for this year’s show. Three-inch, four-inch, and 5-inch aerial shells will set off, as well as aerial cakes, which are prepackaged multi-shot 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 told a Journal reporter.

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.

“I’m currently in the process of getting mine,” Jeter stated. “To obtain the certifications, you have to light off a certain amount of shows with another PGI operator witnessing them,” he added.

The fireworks staging area will be the area between the pavilion in Parque de Vida and the Recreation Center. Last year, they tried a new staging area closer to the playground, but decided to stick to the original location that has been used for years, Jeter said.

Towaoc holds fun events for the family ahead of the holiday

Ute Mountain Casino & Hotel puts on their own fireworks show every year on July 3. This year, the fun includes various food vendors and Carnival rides in the rodeo area, according to the Ute Mountain Casino & Hotel website. The event has free parking and entry, and is open to all ages.

  • At 4 p.m., food vendors and carnival rides open.
  • From 4 p.m.-7 p.m., live band Fenders II will play.
  • From 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m., live band The King of Queens will play.
  • The fireworks show begins at dusk.
Rico gets busy for the fourth

The town of Rico will hold multiple events for the whole community on Tuesday.

  • At 10 a.m., Rico Women’s Club bake sale will be located in a tent next to Rico Fire Department.
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Rico Women’s Club will have a craft fair and art show, located at the school.
  • At 11 a.m., the parade will start. Entries are welcome, the lineup starts at 10 a.m. at the church.
  • At noon, Pat Fallon’s Philly cheesesteak and hot dogs will be served at the fire station. Rico’s Tacos will be next door to the bike shop.
  • From noon-3 p.m., Street Dance on Mantz will be located at Town Hall. Reggae band Niceness will be playing.
  • At 3 p.m., the duck race will start at the fire department.
  • From 4 p.m.-7 p.m., Rico Blues Project will be at the Enterprise.
  • Fireworks will start at dusk, or about 9 p.m.
Mancos Fire Department hosts fireworks

According to a Facebook post from the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mancos will hold a fireworks show in Boyle Park on Tuesday, thanks to the Mancos Fire Department.

Dove Creek gets dirty to celebrate independence

In Dove Creek, the 67th Pick ’n’ Hoe event will be held. This event regularly includes live music, games for all ages, a pig chase, rock drilling contest, and delicious barbecued meats to celebrate, according to the Town of Dove Creek’s website.

  • At 9 a.m., the parade will begin.
  • After 10 a.m., games will begin.
  • At 6 p.m., a concert will be held.
  • At about 9:30 p.m., fireworks will start.