HomeNews Weather puts damper on area fireworks for second year
Weather puts damper on area fireworks for second year
Written by Seth Mensing
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
But celebration continues
In light of the recently enacted Stage I fire restrictions, the town of Mt. Crested Butte is calling off its Fourth of July fireworks display this year. Unless conditions change dramatically, this will be the second consecutive year wildfire potential has put a stop to the show in the upper East River Valley.
Mt. Crested Butte town manager Joe Fitzpatrick says the town has a cancellation clause in its agreement with Oklahoma-based pyrotechnics company Western Enterprises that would bring last year’s cancelled show to town this Independence Day for little or nothing. The town has already invested $14,000 in the event and that money, minus a penalty, will remain in place until the show goes on. “We have them planned, but with the fire ban right now they’re not going to take place unless the fire restriction is lifted. Even if this fire ban didn’t prohibit a fireworks show, given the place we launch from on the edge of the forest, with the prevailing winds going toward the forest, I would not allow them anyhow,” Fitzpatrick says. “They don’t launch them real high, but you’ve still got winds that can carry embers and we don’t want that.” The town has launched its show from Nevada Ridge since taking over the fireworks for the north end of the valley a couple of years ago. Crested Butte Mayor Aaron Huckstep said, “Joe [Fitzpatrick] and I talked about moving them downtown to Crested Butte away from the forest, but we thought it would be sending the wrong message in light of what is going on in South Fork and Creede. If the circumstances were different, it would be a possibility.” Additionally, the town of Crested Butte didn’t budget for fireworks this year. “I think they’re making the right choice,” Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce executive director Dan Marshall said. Even without the fireworks, there’s no shortage of Fourth of July events at the north end of the valley this year, starting with a 6:30 a.m. departure for the Gothic 1/3 marathon, to the evening of concerts starting at 4 p.m. at the Center for the Arts. In lieu of fireworks for the festivities this year, event organizers bought 600 glow sticks to hand out to patrons of the Amber Leigh concert, set to take the Red Lady Stage at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort Base Area at 6 p.m. For a full list of events visit cbchamber.com or pick up a copy of next week’s Crested Butte News. Fireworks will still fly this Fourth of July from Gunnison’s Jorgensen Park, near the wetlands along Tomichi Creek and far from any forests.