Colorado Daily

Fire flowers fizzled

Boulder Fourth of July celebratio­n expected to return in 2022

- By Henry Larson For the Daily Jeremy Papasso /

The Western Slope is already on fire in a half-dozen areas, so perhaps it’s good news that Folsom Field will not play host to fireworks on July 4. Citing pandemic unknowns, the show will return in 2022.

Folsom Field will not be filled with the booms and glow of fireworks this year, as Ralphie’s Independen­ce Day Blast again has been canceled because of concerns about COVID-19.

For almost 80 years, the University of Colorado Boulder’s stadium has been home to the city’s Four th of July celebratio­n.

The local tradition, which began in 1941, normally features music and a grand firework show over the football field, encouragin­g residents of all ages to come and watch the festivitie­s. Last year, the closely packed environmen­t presented a problem for organizers as they tried to reconcile public safety and having a safe event.

Even as business capacities increase and vaccinatio­n rates rise, the event had to be canceled earlier this year amid the need to plan it and keep residents safe. However, organizers expect to launch fireworks from Folsom again in 2022.

Dan Kingdom, owner of WK Real Estate, the event’s primar y sponsor for the past 20 years, said that the decision to cancel happened before gathering orders in Boulder County star ted to lift.

“At that time, there were a lot of restrictio­ns and people couldn’t gather and there were so many unknowns,” Kingdom said.

Events like Ralphie’s Independen­ce Day Blast take a lot of time to plan, far longer than one might expect, he said. Typically, organizers are planning this show throughout

the year. That’s par t of the reason why the choice to cancel it happened so early.

Looking back, he said the decision they made might have looked a little dif ferent if they had more time.

“In hindsight now, it would seem like we could have a show and have a great event,” he said.

Kingdom said that he is disappoint­ed that the fireworks show won’t go for ward. Since his childhood, he said that he’s had plenty of nostalgia for the event.

“I have ver y fond memories from being a kid myself and sitting in the stadium and having singalongs and the music and then the fireworks show. It’s a Boulder tradition,” he said.

Still, city of ficials said that other Four th of July celebratio­ns this year will soon be announced.

“The city (of fers) a variety of safe, family-friendly Four th of July celebratio­n options,” said Sarah Huntley, director of communicat­ions for the city.

Additional­ly, organizers hope that residents can take comfor t in the fact that Ralphie’s Independen­ce Day Blast will return next year.

“The intention is to have the best show that we’ve ever had next year,” Kingdom said.

 ?? File photo ?? Fireworks soar into the air during the 2014 Ralphie’s Independen­ce Day Blast at Folsom Field on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. Organizers confirmed the spectacle has been canceled amid COVID-19 concerns for the second consecutiv­e year, but that it is expected to return in 2022.
File photo Fireworks soar into the air during the 2014 Ralphie’s Independen­ce Day Blast at Folsom Field on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. Organizers confirmed the spectacle has been canceled amid COVID-19 concerns for the second consecutiv­e year, but that it is expected to return in 2022.

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