In lieu of the traditional fireworks show, the City of Montrose will be hosting a number of events and contests to celebrate the Fourth of July. Events that have been announced so far include a poetry contest, photo contest, distribution of free popsicles and a “porch parade.” Voting is currently open for the community to decide on a new date for the fireworks show.
The City of Montrose postponed its annual Independence Day fireworks show due to COVID-19 concerns on May 26, following Ouray, Telluride and Grand Junction. Delta and Gunnison are moving forward with their fireworks shows, with social distancing measures in place.
Voting is currently open online on the City of Montrose website and social media to decide on a new date for the fireworks show. Voters can choose between Labor Day, New Year’s Eve and an undetermined date in the fall for the fireworks show, all subject to public health and fire restrictions.
“We understand the heartbreak a lot of people in the community are feeling that we aren’t having our fireworks display,” said Alexis Foran, Montrose community events coordinator. “We made it through a difficult time as a community. ...This may even find a better, more captive audience at a later date where we can congregate en masse the way that we would like to.”
The Poetic Patriots Poetry Contest is one of the entirely virtual events planned for Independence Day, and focuses on the community’s students.
The poetry contest will be open to 3rd to 8th grade students (last completed grade) and the winner will receive $100 in Montrose Bucks, in addition to having their poem published in the Montrose Daily Press, Montrose Mirror and on the city’s social media platforms.
The America the Beautiful Photo Contest will be open to everyone of all ages, and aims to highlight the community and nature of Montrose.
Entries for the photo contest must be of Montrose or its surrounding area, and the contest is open to everyone in the community of all skill levels. The winner will receive $100 in Montrose Bucks, and acknowledges that the City of Montrose may use their photo in the future.
The city is also encouraging community members to decorate their front porches (either homes or businesses) for a “porch parade” event. Photos of the fashioned porches can be posted on social media, using the hashtag #montroseco or submitted to be featured.
Submissions for the contests and the porch parade should be sent to email@example.com by July 1.
“These events are meant to be self-driven and not encouraging any kind of congregation,” Foran said. “We are highlighting that although we aren’t having organized events on a larger scale, the spirit of America is still alive.”
The city will also be offering free red, white and blue popsicles on July 3. The popsicles can be found at Las Playitas Pupusa, DliciousFoodCo, Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Que, Loncheria Koritas and A Taste of New Orleans Sno-Balls. The Polar Express ice cream truck will also be driving throughout Montrose to distribute popsicles.
Foran said that the new format of the events also opened the door to creating more events similar to them in the future for those in the community who may be unable to participate in in-person events, even under normal circumstances.
“One of the benefits we need to look at is that it has forced us to reevaluate and look outside of the box. We love our traditions and they’re that way for a reason, but there’s always room for branching out into other avenues to celebrate,” Foran said. “It’s a good way for people who may not want to venture out but want to still somehow participate, and that will be returning again in the future.”
Other organizations will also be hosting Fourth of July celebrations outside of the city-operated events, such as the Montrose Community Band performing a free “Patriotic Concert” on July 4 at 5 p.m. The performance will take place at the Greystone at 21565 North Road in Eckert. The band will be performing “marches and patriotic songs” and selections from their spring concert show tunes.
“I’m very proud of this community, we’ve done a great job and celebrating the Fourth of July is different this year, but we’re still celebrating,” Foran said. “We’ve been through the wringer, but we are still rallying to have a good time. It’s going to be a very successful Fourth of July in spite of the circumstances.”
More information on the City of Montrose’s virtual Independence Day celebration can be found at cityofmontrose.org/fourth.