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Dillon’s Fourth of July fireworks show shot down

by Summit Daily

Dillon’s Fourth of July fireworks show shot down

The county will be a little quieter this Fourth of July with no fireworks over Lake Dillon as community officials continue to consider the impacts of large crowds in the area.

The town of Dillon officially pulled the plug on their planned fireworks show over the reservoir this Independence Day, or rather the plug was pulled for them at the monthly Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC) meeting last week.

Dillon’s marketing and communications director Kerstin Anderson said the town had every intention of moving forward with a fireworks display going into the DRReC meeting last Tuesday — a committee made up of representatives from Dillon, Frisco, Summit County, the U.S. Forest Service and Denver Water. But after questions arose about public safety and the community’s desire to collaborate on big projects of this nature, the town’s permit was denied.

Denver Water, which operates the reservoir, is a required ‘yes’ for any events to take place on the reservoir. Denver Water’s manager of recreation Brandon Ransom, who serves on the committee, was among those who opposed the show.

According to Todd Hartman, a spokesman for Denver Water, the decision was largely influenced by health and safety concerns of the community, citing input from law enforcement and emergency services worried about their ability to navigate potentially extreme congestion around the reservoir, including on U.S. Highway 6 and CO Highway 9.

“Denver Water is proud to support many recreational activities and events around Dillon Reservoir through the DRReC partnership, which allows all stakeholders an opportunity to weigh in so we can carefully evaluate the activity with regard to public safety and resource requirements,” said Ransom in a statement provided to the Summit Daily.

The county’s fireworks shows began making news in January after Breckenridge decided to cancel their show, citing concerns regarding wildfire safety after back-to-back seasons with major fires: the Peak 2 Fire and the Buffalo Mountain Fire.

In response to Breckenridge’s cancellation, Frisco decided to cancel their annual show over the reservoir, though the decision was much more heavily influenced by safety concerns surrounding crowds and traffic than fires. On a particularly busy day in late January, emergency services from around the county complained that prolific traffic and crowds had become a legitimate factor in inhibiting emergency operations throughout the county, and Frisco feared that an even bigger turnout to their fireworks show in the wake of Breckenridge’s cancellation could create major public safety concerns.

“The big issues had to do with life safety, and concerns in emergency response and the volume of guests,” said Diane McBride, Frisco’s director of recreation and assistant town manager. “All of that came into play when we made that decision, and a lot of those same concerns were raised when Dillon proposed having the fireworks.”

In early April, Dillon began discussions to step in and fill the void. Despite some concerns from staff — including Dillon Police Chief Mark Heminghous — that the town may not have sufficient time to plan the event, nor the resources to effectively police the event, the town was still pushing forward with the show until the rejection at the DRReC meeting last week.

In addition to any fireworks over the reservoir getting axed, Keystone Resort also decided not to incorporate a fireworks display as part of their Fourth of July celebrations this year.

“After consideration of a number of factors, we are confident Keystone will continue to serve as an ideal location for an Independence Day celebration,” said Geoff Buchheister, vice president and general manager for Keystone Resort. “Keystone is proud to offer families and guests a variety of activities and events to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday.”

Regardless of the lack of fireworks in the county this year, officials are optimistic that there’s still plenty of programming to draw visitors to the area and give locals a fun holiday. Among the most notable Fourth of July events this year are a performance from the National Repertory Orchestra at Rainbow Park in Silverthorne in the morning, live music and parades throughout the day in Frisco and Breckenridge, and a performance by The Air Force Academy Band at Dillon Amphitheater to close out the night.

Anderson said that while the town won’t be doing fireworks this Fourth of July, that doesn’t necessarily mean fireworks won’t be returning sometime in the future.

“In general the community is reevaluating how we manage big events collectively, and that’s going to be a process that each entity is going to need to come together to find where those parameters are and what works,” said Anderson. “The council needs to have a discussion and consider whether fireworks for Labor Day is a direction they’d want to go, knowing it’s a tough fire time of year, or looking at doing something at another time of year like the Lighting of Dillon. But fireworks are not off the table in Dillon.”

Need something to do in Summit County this mud season? Start here...

by Summit Daily Heather Jarvis

Mud season. The name says it all. While the sloppy trails keep some tourists away, the spring off-season is actually a time to break out and try some new adventures. After most of the resorts stop spinning their lifts in April, there’s a quietness around Summit County where residents have a chance to recharge and enjoy the season before summer hits.

While we call it the off-season, there are still plenty of activities and things to do around the county. In fact, it’s one of the best times of the year to find deals at local eateries and businesses. It’s also one of the best times to get outside and revel in the solitude.


Hike along Lake Dillon (free)

While most of the trails are a muddy mess, the Summit County recpath system is a great option to stretch the legs. The recpath has plenty of routes to choose from with a variety of difficulty levels. For pathway locations, rules, regulations, etiquette guidelines and ADA accessibility information, go to:

Road biking (free with your own bike)

Bring your bike and cruise along the recpath system or on the roads. For a challenge, ride the 18-mile, 1,100-foot climb around Lake Dillon. The route has one significant climb and descent over Swan Mountain Road on the south side of the lake. A round trip from Breckenridge will extend the ride even further, for 31 miles with 1,600 feet of climb.

Bike and ski (free/$)

Bike and ski all in the same day by packing your gear and riding eastbound up Highway 6 to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, the resort in Summit County that stays open the longest. Expect A-Basin to be open through at least May, but depending on snow conditions it sometimes stays open through the month of June. In a really good snow year, you might even be able to ski into June or July, making a ski-in-the-morning, golf-in-the-afternoon day possible.

Guided bike tours ($)

Discover Breckenridge on a bike with a guided tour from Breck Bike Guides ( or Colorado Adventure Guides ( Kick it up a notch and take a guided fat bike beer and distillery tour with Ridden Breckenridge (

Ski and music (free/$)

Ski during the day or just come for the free music on Saturdays at Arapahoe Basin. The ski area’s Shakin’ at the Basin Spring Concert series begins April 27 with music from 1–4 p.m. in the Mountain Goat Plaza base area. For more information, go to

Take the Summit Stage from Keystone or town, visit for route information and times.

Guided fly-fishing on the Blue ($)

While the spring runoff can make the temperatures in the Blue River downright chilly, those willing to suit up and brave the water will be rewarded. Water temperature fluctuates from February through March or April, and the bugs begin to hatch, according to the crew at Cutthroat Anglers. Fish such as rainbow trout and cutthroat trout are very active this time of year feeding on the bugs before they start to spawn.

“You definitely want to wear waders, that’s the main difference,” a Cutthroat Anglers manager said about fly-fishing in the spring compared to the summer. “Don’t hesitate to get out and give it a try.”

Don’t have your own gear or just want to find the best fishing holes? Check out these local shops for guided trips:

Cutthroat Anglers: 400 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne. 970-262-2878

The Colorado Angler: 249 Summit Place, Silverthorne. 970-513-8055

Mountain Angler: 311 S. Main St., Breckenridge. 800-453-4669

Trouts Fly Fishing: 309 Main St., Frisco. 970-668-2583

Breckenridge Outfitters: 101 N. Main St. B, Breckenridge. 970-453-4135

Early season rafting ($)

May can be a fantastic time to go rafting: river flow is high, there are less people on the water and some outfitters offer early season discounts. Weather does play a part in early season rafting and May in Colorado is unpredictable, said Lauren Swanson, marketing and relations manager for Performance Tours Rafting.

“Weather in Colorado varies minute-by-minute and sometimes mile-by-mile,” she said. “We recommend getting the gear to prepare for colder water and changing conditions. Opt for the wetsuit, splash jacket and bootie rentals. You can also bring additional layers made from quick-dry outdoor materials like wool, fleece, micro-fleece, polyester and waterproof layers.”

While bigger spring flows equal more excitement, they aren’t always for beginners. Check with your local rafting company on river flows, which can vary from day to day in May. Swanson said sometimes they will raise the minimum age on specific trips or pull off some of the class 4+ sections during peak flows for safety.

“We will always communicate these changes with our guests and offer alternative options customized to their experience and expectations,” she said. “Because we are able to make these decisions for the safety of our guests, we are confident that early season rafting is a great experience for all skill levels and abilities.”


Escape rooms ($)

The weather in the spring can be variable, with warm temperatures and sunny skies one day and dumping snow the next. For those looking to stay indoors but still be entertained, check out Summit County’s escape rooms. The game involves getting a group of players together to solve puzzles and riddles using clues hidden around a room in order to “escape” within the allowed time.

“Escape Rooms are such a unique experience for all ages — everybody can have fun,” said Nicolette Cusick, owner of Escape Room Breckenridge. “They are a great way for family, friends or co-workers to work together and bond. It is also great during mud season because it is indoors so weather is not a factor.”

Voted “best indoor activity” in the Summit Daily’s annual Best of Summit contest, Escape Room Breckenridge was the first escape room to open in the county.

Brewery tour ($)

There are an abundance of breweries in Summit County, requiring a designated driver and multiple days to try them all. Here’s the list by town:


Broken Compass Brewing: 68 Continental Court Unit B-12

Breckernridge Brewery & Pub: 600 S. Main St.


HighSide Brewing: 720 Main St.

Outer Range Brewing Company: 182 Lusher Court, Frisco


The Bakers’ Brewery: 531 Silverthorne Lane

Angry James Brewing Company: 421 Adams Ave.


Pug Ryan’s Brewery: 104 Village Place

Dillon Dam Brewery: 100 Little Dam St.

Recreation Center ($)

Get a day pass at either the Breckenridge or Silverthorne recreation centers and let the kids run loose. The recently remodeled Breckenridge Recreation Center offers all the traditional workout spaces plus a gymnasium, racquetball court, indoor rock-climbing wall and aerobic/dance studios. The aquatics area features lap and leisure pools, the Summit Plummit water slide, coed sauna, and indoor and outdoor hot tubs. 880 Airport Road. 970-453-1734.

The Silverthorne Recreation Center has a large aquatics area, gymnasium, indoor track, fitness equipment and offers classes for all levels. The rec center also offers on-site child care for parents using the facility. 430 Rainbow Drive, Silverthorne. 970-272-7370.


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Dillon Considers Fireworks display

by Summit Daily

July Fourth, Frisco, Colorado
Todd Powell

The door isn’t completely closed on a fireworks show in the county on the Fourth of July.

Following the cancellations of fireworks displays in Frisco and Breckenridge — citing public safety concerns about both wildfires and large-scale issues surrounding traffic and crowds — the town of Dillon is considering stepping in to fill the void.

The subject was brought up at the Dillon Town Council workshop on Tuesday evening, as officials discussed several topics related to safety, crowding, funding, the community’s desires and potential impacts on other towns like Frisco.

No decision was made at the meeting, and the town is expected to revisit the topic in an upcoming council workshop on April 16.

“It’s a big question, and a big topic and it’s worth some discussion,” said Councilman Mark Nickel. “I think we have to keep an open mind, look at the environment and the span of the county, and if we feel we can accommodate all of these people around the lake.”


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