Not-so-big bang

Not-so-big bang

If you were around Durango Tuesday night and saw an impromptu, short firework show, you may have been wondering, were we welcoming Russell Wilson to the Broncos? Had someone thought of a solution to the housing crisis? Did a new law pass that mandated sweatpants in the work place? Was Lauren Boebert able to pull off an intelligible comment?

Turns out, no such luck on any of the above.

Instead, the City of Durango was conducting a test run of new fireworks that hold less risk of sparking a wildfire, which will likely be a necessity if we want any sort of show in the sky for future Fourth of July celebrations.

Because of drought, compounded by the fact that June tends to be the driest month, Durango has had to cancel four of its past six July 4th firework shows. And, understandably, people get bummed, although if you weigh burning down the town vs. 15 minutes of oohs and aahs, the answer is pretty obvious. We hope.

However, the show may go on – even in drought years. City officials are looking at alternative “close-proximity” fireworks, which are  what you saw in the sky March 8.

Regular fireworks, which shoot up to 400 feet high and spread as wide as 200 feet, carry with them ash and sparks that could start a fire. Close-proximity fireworks, on the other hand, shoot only 200-300 feet and spread about 50 feet, and don’t carry associated burn material. As a result, they’re typically used inside stadiums like at Rockies games and Olympic ceremonies.

Ellen Babers, community events administrator for the city, said the test run went well, though there are some pros and cons with the close-proximity shots. For one, they are more expensive, and, because they are smaller, more are needed to match a regular fireworks show, or shows will need to be shorter. And, because it’s “close-proximity,” viewers typically need to be within 1,200 feet to get the full effect.

Still, Babers said the shots were impressive and well-received by observers. The city launched the new pyrotechnics from Greenmount Cemetery, the Transit Center and the fairgrounds, and it seemed the more central locations were better received. “I think we’ll go back and evaluate where the best location would be,” she said.

And hey, the biggest pro of all – we won’t burn ourselves down.

“We are going to celebrate the Fourth of July, and do it well,” Babers said. “We just want to look at all our options.”

Top Stories

We met at The Ranch
02/22/2024
We met at The Ranch
By Missy Votel

Finding true love at El Rancho does happen ... a lot

Read More
A trail to somewhere
02/15/2024
A trail to somewhere
By Jonathan Romeo

Grassroots effort launched to build Durango-to-Hermosa trail
 

Read More
Living to tell
02/15/2024
Living to tell
By Stina Sieg / Colorado Public Radio

As avi deaths mount, revisiting one survivor's harrowing tale

Read More
Keeping watch on Kane Creek
02/08/2024
Keeping watch on Kane Creek
By Jennaye Derge

Beloved Moab area slated for luxury resort and condos
 

Read More
Read All in Top Stories

The Pole

Numb nuts?
02/22/2024

Tired of saddle sores and chamois chafe? Well, settle in, because we’re about to have a really uncomfortable conversation. About bike seats.

The long haul
02/15/2024

Clocking in at 1.45 miles and 30 minutes of ducking and weaving through wall-to-wall people, shlepping from one end of DIA’s B Concourse to the other is no cake walk. But now, DIA travelers have someone to commiserate with. Apparently, Salt Lake City International Airport also has a B concourse with a death march from hell.

Sun's out, buns out
02/08/2024

For an upcoming girls ski weekend at Sunlight Mountain Resort, you can leave your boots on – but not much else. On March 29-30, the small, privately owned resort near Glenwood Springs will host the all-female “Boot Tan Fest,” complete with an end-of-day naked ski lap.

Kum & Gone
02/01/2024

It’s a sad day for frequent road-trippers to Denver. The endearingly risqué gas station/convenience store chain Kum & Go is changing its name.

If you need to take a moment to cry into your Kum & Go koozie or sweatshirt, it’s OK.

Read All Stories in the Pole