Concerns about the pandemic shut down most Fourth of July activities, but a few went on with prevention measures.
Dove Creek hosted a parade and fireworks display. Along the parade route, participants practiced social distancing and stayed within their family groups. Places were marked where people could stand.
Fireworks were launched by the Dove Creek Volunteer Fire Department near the Frazier grain elevator north of town, and no gatherings were held in the parks or ballfields.
Hundreds of people gathered in cars, on streets, in parking lots and in vacant lots to view the fireworks.
Country music floated through the warm summer night. Young people sat on top of pickup trucks, and families gathered on tailgates with dinner served from coolers. Big rig truckers on U.S. Highway 491 pulled over to enjoy the unexpected show.
According to the Dove Creek Fire Department, this year’s show was the “largest ever” thanks to the large number of donated fireworks. Around 500 individual shells were fired during the main show. The finale included 100 individual shells that ranged in altitude from 200 feet to 1,200 feet in the sky.
The fireworks in Durango were canceled. So the Durango Fire Protection District donated two boxes of fireworks and a huge variety of launching tubes and other launching equipment to the Dove Creek show, said Dove Creek Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jake Kline.
“It was a very generous donation and greatly appreciated,” he said.
Dolores County Office of Emergency Management advised attendees that “Wearing a mask does protect our neighbors and keeps our local businesses open. Consider it.”
Families social distanced in the rodeo stands, and picnicked along the rail fence in front of the bandstand.
Attendance was light, about 60 people.
“It’s a new music event, and they always start off small,” said one man.
Organizer Jim McClain said they will consider holding it again next year.