Jul 04 2014

Small Town Traditions: Independence Day in Telluride

Telluride celebrates the Fourth of July in the true small-town tradition.

Local homes are decorated with flags and banners. Hanging baskets adorn the streets, and the local hardware store and souvenir shops are boasting tiny American flags and red, white and blue pinwheels.

The Fourth in Telluride is, in fact, so special, so quaint, that second home owners and tourists make it a point to be in the box canyon for the holiday.

Many were happy that Independence Day fell on a Friday this year, making for a long three-day weekend.

The festivities will kick off with the annual firing of the cannon, bright and early — a call to alert everyone to rise and get ready to honor America’s birthday. If you’re not used to hearing the loud explosion, it can be quite jarring. For those accustomed, it’s a warm welcome to don your patriotic clothing and fly your flag. It’s a Telluride symbol of American freedom.

Locals and visitors alike will be out early, saving spots on Colorado Avenue, the main street, for the Fourth of July parade. The early bird gets the worm, and finding a place to squeeze in closer to parade time can be difficult. Nobody wants to miss the festive, and often times comic, floats that will make their way through Telluride.

In the same way, bikes, horses, kids, pets, classic cars, big trucks and motorcycles — including Glider Bob with his freshly shaved and painted head — will excite the crowds, throw candy and wave proudly.

Many Telluride businesses and organization will also participate in the annual parade.

Most will dress in patriotic colors, wearing the stars and stripes proudly.

At around 1 p.m. the Telluride Fire Department hosts their annual barbecue in Telluride Town Park. Having sold tee-shirts and collected donations all week, they’ll continue to accept donations in the park.

Corn on the cob, potato salad, burgers and more will be served up in the community meal. The lines are sometimes long, but worth the wait.

Afterward, many will post up on blankets and in chairs to enjoy the sunshine and watch the kids play the games.

A bouncy house for little ones will be on site.

And, potato sack races, three-legged races, water games and more will take place with free popsicles and music.

While monsoon season has begun, Telluriders are hoping for a bluebird day. In other matters, however, the rain has been a blessing.

After several years of severe drought, the Telluride Fire Department is looking forward to presenting the town with the much-missed annual fireworks show. Needless to say, the area children are overjoyed.

The Telluride Fourth of July fireworks show is an excellent display of American pride, lasting close to an hour and featuring large-scale professional fireworks.

They will be set off on Firecracker Hill, with the support of many local firefighters, with many relaxing in Town Park.

For others, many families can see the fireworks show from their own homes.

Young and old, the time is here. All are invited to enjoy Independence Day in Telluride.

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Bob Hart Author

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