Coronavirus Pandemic Forcing a More Toned-Down Independence Day Celebration

Fireworks Shows Still Planned For Cripple Creek and Woodland Park

~ by Trevor Phipps ~

With the coronavirus pandemic scare continuing, causing spikes in confirmed cases in certain parts of the country, the Fourth of July will take on a vastly different look than past years.

The Independence Day festive celebrations that occur every year in Woodland Park and Cripple Creek, including live music and games in the parks, have been canceled due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

But both cities are planning on continuing a familiar tradition, with grand fireworks shows as scheduled.

 However, the pyrotechnical Independence-day shows will change slightly as people are encouraged to stay in their vehicles to enjoy the displays. According to Cripple Creek’s Marketing and Special Events Director Jeff Mosher, the city is planning on having their fireworks show in the same spot they have before on the southeast side of town.

“The way we are doing fireworks is that it is a drive-in event and we aren’t really marketing it anywhere except southern Teller County,” Mosher said. “There are absolutely zero ancillary events so no beer gardens, no music stages, no food trucks; it’s just a fireworks display. We are just telling people to find a good spot to park where they can see it and then stay with your car for the show.”

This fireworks show in Cripple Creek is regarded as one of the best in the southern Colorado region. Another big attribute is the district’s open area, providing an ideal setting for the Independence  Day display.

The casinos have already  opened for slot machine play, and adult beverages will  be served inside their facilities on a 24/7 basis. Many other attractions in the city will also be operating, including the Cripple Creek Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Heritage Center, the District Museum the Jail Museum and the Old Homestead House.

According to Karen Casey the Public Information Officer/Community Engagement Manager for the city of Woodland Park, even though the town’s well-known “Old-Fashioned” July 4th celebration had to be canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, businesses in the city are still open. “We want to let our local people know that they can come and dine and shop local and then stay for the fireworks,” Casey said.

The city of Woodland Park still plans on having its fireworks presentation as long as fire conditions do not get worse. Currently Teller County has a Stage One fire ban enacted, which still allows for commercial fireworks displays. If the conditions get drier in the area and the wildfire risk increases, then the fire restrictions could get elevated.  This could cancel all fireworks celebrations.

But based on weather reports, this doesn’t appear likely.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center that provides predictive services for fire departments across the country, the chances of wildfires in the Teller County region are currently not higher than normal and they are not expected to increase during the month of July.

The weather this week could make or break the chances of any fireworks taking place. Luckily the National Weather Service is calling for at least a 20 percent chance of rain every day of the week before the Fourth of July. This could keep the area moist enough so the fire dangers won’t get raised to a dangerous level.

In other parts of the region, fireworks displays were canceled, such as the city of Manitou Springs. However, there are still other fireworks celebrations scheduled in other places besides Teller County including Colorado Springs.