Rico is still having a July Fourth celebration, but the fireworks show has been canceled because of fire danger.
“We’re still planning a big party and have events for the whole family,” said Erin Johnson, one of the organizers. “Instead of fireworks, we are going to have a light parade in the evening organized by the local kids.”
Town officials emphasized that the Burro Fire in Bear Creek has not had a negative impact on Rico, she said. And, even though the San Juan National Forest was closed because of the fire danger, the town is open for business.
“The fire is a long ways from us,” Johnson said. “It is a good time to come to the mountains.”
Festivities this year will be centered around town park instead of the softball fields. Instead of the traditional barbecue pit, which involves a fire, the fire station will grill up traditional cuisine.
“We’re taking more of a community fair approach,” Johnson said.
As of Tuesday, organizers of the Cortez fireworks show hadn’t decided whether they would host a fireworks show.
Rico’s July Fourth weekend is legendary, and many Dolores residents make the drive up Colorado Highway 145 to escape the heat and meet with old friends.
Festivities begin June 30 with a craft fair at the Rico Elementary School and a bake sale at the Rico Firehouse.
On July 1, the Rico Community Church will host a revival service at 10:30 a.m., and the park will host the Old-Timer’s Community Picnic, followed by some volleyball and horseshoes.
On July 4, the annual parade will take place down Glasgow Avenue, with floats lining up at 10 a.m. at Town Hall.
The grand marshal is Rico native Allene Eula Winkfield Pera, who turns 103 this year. Firefighters will grill up burgers and bratwurst at the firehouse, and the Burley Building will offer Navajo tacos.
From noon to 3 p.m., the park will feature arts and crafts, music and a farmers market, plus more volleyball and horseshoes. The Enterprise Bar and Grill will host log-splitting and watermelon-eating contests beginning at 1 p.m.
The Rico Light Parade will begin at 8:30 p.m. at Soda and Silver streets. Decorate your bikes and cars, and dress up your pets for the parade. Bring glow sticks and wear glow paint to light up the evening.
Don’t forget to check out the Rico Historical Museum and the Artists of Rico Pop-up show.
For more information, go to the town of Rico’s website at ricocolorado.gov