July Fourth celebrations
Festivals, fireworks and parades, oh my!
It must be the Fourth of July.
While the extreme fire danger has put a damper on the use of fireworks across the state, there’s no shortage of celebrations.
■ Fruita’s annual fireworks display was canceled, but celebrations will carry on. The community is invited to attend the third annual Fruita FREEdom Festival from 5–7 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, at the Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave. There will be free food, fun and games, pony rides, a watermelon eating contest, crafts and more. Nashville Christian country recording artist Nicole Hope will perform.
■ Following the FREEdom Festival, local favorite Ralph Dinosaur and the Fabulous Volcanoes will perform and family-friendly show beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center Pavilion. Take blankets and folding chairs.
■ Colorado National Monument will commemorate Independence Day with an American flag raising on the top of Independence Monument, the tallest free-standing rock formation in the monument. Mesa County’s Technical Search and Rescue Team will climb Independence Monument and raise a U.S. flag, sometime between 10 and 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 4. The public can view the ceremony from Independence Monument View Overlook and Otto’s Trail.
A ranger will be at Independence Monument View Overlook from 8:30–11 a.m. presenting programs on climbing history in the monument and early pioneer John Otto. Patriotic songs will be provided by the Independence Brass Band.
■ “The Legendary John Otto” ranger-led hike will be from 9:30–10:30 a.m. along Otto’s Trail, exploring the unique history of the legendary “booster” John Otto. Meet at Otto’s Trailhead, 1 mile east of the visitor center. Take water and sunscreen.
■ “Celebrating Our Independence” is the theme of the 2012 Independence Day Parade in Grand Junction. It will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, traveling east on Main Street from Eighth Street to First Street. The fee to enter the parade is $25 and applications can be found at http://www.downtownGJ.org or 245-9697.
■ The Independence Day entertainment and fireworks spectacular, hosted by the city of Grand Junction, is canceled.
More Fourth of July events can be found in the Calendar of this Out & About.