Fireworks explode in the night sky during last year’s display orchestrated by Craig Fire/Rescue. This year’s Fourth of July holiday weekend will include the annual fireworks show, and also a parade earlier in the day.

File Photo

Fireworks explode in the night sky during last year’s display orchestrated by Craig Fire/Rescue. This year’s Fourth of July holiday weekend will include the annual fireworks show, and also a parade earlier in the day.

Fourth of July festivities lined out for holiday weekend in Craig

If you go ...

What: Fourth of July parade and community barbecue

When: Noon Monday

Where: The parade route begins at Craig City Park, travels west on Victory Way, north on Yampa Avenue, east on Sixth Street and ends back at City Park.

— The free community barbecue – which includes hamburgers, hotdogs, plus kids’ games and activities — begins immediately after the parade at the south end of the park.

If you go ...

What: Craig Fire/Rescue’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show

When: After dark Monday

Where: Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane

Johnny Garcia is beginning something new in Craig.

This year, the newly elected junior vice commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, is throwing a Fourth of July parade.

“This is the first year ever — since I‘ve lived here, since 1963 — that a Fourth of July parade is going on here,” Garcia said. “I really don’t have any idea as to why nobody has done this before. I am hoping this catches on and gets bigger.”

Beginning at noon Monday at Craig City Park, floats, motorcycles, a marching band and more will roll west down Victory Way, north on Yampa Avenue and east on Sixth Street.

“All this is going to start at City Park and end at City Park,” Garcia said.

When the parade completes its short loop, a community barbecue will break out at the park.

Garcia said he hopes 200 to 300 people will turn out.

“Hopefully I’ll get that number because I’ve got lots of hotdogs and hamburgers to give away at the barbecue,” he said.

The free barbecue also includes baked beans, soda and more. Plus, kids’ games and activities will be available.

Garcia said sponsorships from community businesses have made the barbecue possible.

“I’ve got a bunch of people that are great sponsors,” he said. “I tell you what, you just can’t believe how supportive people are in this town.”

One of the games for children is a money pit.

“That’s when you put money in woodchips and then you have kids scramble and go look for the money,” he said. “There’s going to be some great prizes in that money pit that Yampa Valley Bank is sponsoring.”

Entering a float in the parade is free, Garcia said.

“You just go down there to the park, we’ll line you up and you’re ready to go,” he said. “The whole thing is free … from getting in the parade … to the barbecue.”

Garcia said he suspects that many Craig residents leave town on the Fourth to attend the annual Meeker Massacre event, or they watch the parade in Steamboat Springs.

“We need to keep this in Craig,” he said. “I think we’re the only town in Northwest Colorado that doesn’t do anything, and we’re losing out.”

John Bolton, Moffat County High School band director, said he will lead about 40 musicians through “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” during the parade.

Bolton said he’s not nervous about performing for the first Fourth of July parade.

“No. This is fun,” he said. “I think it will be a great thing.”

Later, after the sun sets Monday, Craig Fire/Rescue will kick off the department’s annual fireworks show.

Firefighter Kris Olsen said this year’s arsenal of fireworks includes about 800 shells. The cost of the show is roughly $8,000, which was paid by the City of Craig and Moffat County.

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