Should Coloradans get used to canceled fireworks shows for the 4th of July?

Posted at 9:09 PM, Jun 27, 2018

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. -- The list of Colorado cities and towns that have canceled their annual fireworks celebrations for this year’s 4th of July sits at over a dozen, with many looking at some kind of alternative to keep the spirit of patriotism alive.

Given recent weather trends, could this be the new normal in our state for Independence Day? Here's the latest list of canceled fireworks shows for 2018 (this list is not definitive and will likely be modified as more cities and towns cancel their firework shows out of a sense of precaution):

  • Aspen
  • Breckenridge
  • Buena Vista
  • Cañon City
  • Durango
  • Fruita
  • Georgetown
  • Glenwood Springs
  • Kiowa
  • Manitou Springs
  • Ouray
  • Pagosa Springs
  • Silverton
  • Steamboat Springs
  • Telluride
  • Woodland Park

The main reason behind most, if not all, is weather.

“It’s just dry. Really dry, low humidity, high fire danger,” Town of Breckenridge spokesperson Haley Littleton said.

Breckenridge has also banned all fireworks from July 3 to the 5 (they normally allowed the general public to have them under certain restrictions). 

With several Colorado counties under burn bans and Stage 1 fire restrictions, the idea of exploding pyrotechnics isn’t sitting well. So some of the above municipalities are finding alternatives.

Glenwood Springs has a laser show planned. Steamboat is going with a laser show. Aspen has opted for a drone light show.

“We were inspired by the relatively new technology option of a drone show and the idea of creating an innovative aerial drone performance for the Fourth,” Jennifer Carey, of the Aspen Chamber of Resorts, said.

This is the second straight year that Aspen has canceled their fireworks. It’s the first that they are going with drones as a replacement.

“It’s definitely a safer alternative,” Carey added.

Some towns are already looking at, or at least preparing for, the idea of moving away from fireworks.

"We should be looking forward/leading to the charge by lessening our dependence on fireworks and move in the direction of a light show for July 4th,” Breckenridge Town Council Member Gary Gallagher said during Tuesday night’s meeting.

“If we see our summers continuing to get hotter and drier that’s definitely going to be probably more of the future,” Breck spokesperson Haley Littleton added.

“It’s definitely a possibility. I mean we can’t predict the weather of the future but it has been trending this way,” Carney of the Aspen Chamber echoed.