DILLON — The Fourth of July is going to look a bit different this year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but organizations and towns around the county are working to provide a bit of festivity for locals.
While typical Breckenridge Fourth of July events, such as the Independence Day parade, have been canceled, Breckenridge Creative Arts is putting together several home-based, family-friendly activities for the holiday.
Melany Beck, marketing manager for Breckenridge Creative Arts, said the organization knows creativity is important for mental health.
“Just because it’s not our traditional Fourth of July parade on Main Street, we thought it was still important to have creative offerings for our community,” Beck said. “So we just created a way to have offerings but in a socially distanced or at-home way.”
The organization will host the BreckCreate Chalk Art Competition. Participants of all ages can enter artwork by uploading a photo to Facebook or Instagram, tagging @breckcreate and using the hashtag #breckcreatestreetarts along with their name, age and title of the artwork, which should be 2 by 2 feet or smaller.
The organization will provide free “creativity kits” that will include four colors of sidewalk chalk, a craft kit to make a pinwheel, glow-in-the-dark bracelets and candy. While the kits are free, reservations are required and can be made at BreckCreate.org/festivals/street-arts-festival.
There also will be a craft activity station July 4 at the Arts District Campus on Washington Avenue in Breckenridge between Main and Ridge streets. Local DJ Crisp will perform from 8:30-10:30 p.m. for a virtual Breckenridge dance party. The performance will be posted on Breck Create’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
On Saturday in Dillon, the Nacho Men will perform on a PonTune, a pontoon boat that will float along the shoreline of Dillon Reservoir from the Tiki Bar to the beach behind the Dillon Amphitheater. The amphitheater will be open for concessions from 3-6 p.m.
“Folks can bring takeout and/or grab a beer while enjoying the view of the Gore Range and Ten(mile),” Kerstin Anderson, marketing and events director for the town of Dillon, wrote in an email.
Anderson added that physical distancing, masks and frequent hand-washing are required for participants.
Vanessa Agee, marketing and communications director for the town of Frisco, said the town does not have any planned events for the Fourth of July due to group size limits, but she said the town has prepared a list of things people can do to celebrate the holiday, which includes ideas like picnics, biking, kite flying and hiking.
“I think this year is all going to be about celebrating in a really different way,” Agee said. “I feel so … responsible for really being smart about not attracting people in numbers that our health can’t support. … We certainly want to support businesses, and I think our council has done an exceptional job of doing that, including with the promenade.”
Agee said she knows Frisco’s pedestrian promenade will be festive on the Fourth of July, but she doesn’t want it to be “crazy.” She asked that people adjust their habits and that if people have a favorite place to recreate, to do so at a time when it is likely to be less crowded. The Frisco Historic Park & Museum will host a Founder’s Day celebration from July 5-11, which will feature historic stories, kid’s crafts, a scavenger hunt and cleanup day.
In Silverthorne, a drive-in movie night is July 3 for First Friday. The event in partnership with Breck Film Fest will feature the movie “Cars.” The drive-in movie sold out June 25, shortly after the town announced the event. The town noted on its social media announcement that those who were not able to reserve tickets can tune in to radio station KSMT The Mountain to listen to the live performance of The Beau Thomas Band from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
“In looking forward to this weekend and what it will look like for locals and guests, obviously there have been plenty of events that have been canceled around the county, but we’re just excited that all of the (offerings) that we have other than events are available,” said Kim Jardim, spokesperson for the town of Silverthorne.
Jardim noted that restaurants, parks and retail shops are open for business with some restrictions. She said the area is a great place to spend the weekend because of the outdoor-oriented community, which allows for physical distancing. Jardim added that visitors should try to travel to Silverthorne during a lower traffic time as the weekend likely will be busy.
The Breckenridge Tourism Office’s recent occupancy forecast reported the amount of reservations on the books for the holiday weekend.
“Saturday, July 4th is at 671 room nights on the books vs. the 1,029 on the books last year that hit 2,122 when the sun rose on July 5, 2019,” Breckenridge Tourism Office Director of Operations Bill Wishowski said in the report. “My money is on 1,800 nights in 2020.”
In anticipation of a busy summer ahead, the tourism office put together a webpage with information for visitors, including local public health orders like the facial covering requirement, openings and restrictions as well as advice. For example, the page explains that availability of activities and tours are continuously changing and suggests that visitors reach out to their activity provider for up-to-date information on availability and safety regulations.