Independence Day Sparkles at 10,200 feet in Leadville!
It was an action-packed Fourth of July weekend in Leadville. From the Firecracker 5k, to fireworks to a BBQ with root beer floats, and nearly perfect weather to match, when it comes to the 2-mile-high Independence Day Celebration, it was sparkles all around!
July 4th kicked off with the Firecracker 5k, seeing another sizeable increase in registration, with 230 racers lacing up to the start line. In the end, it was a 16-year-old from Collinsville who took first place. Parker Vanlandingham came in at 19:23. Leadville’s Smokey Burgess took second with a time of 19:56. He was followed closely by third place winner, Erez Falkenstein of Boulder.
On the women’s podium, it was Sarah Woerner from Dunlap, Texas who took top honors, crossing the finish line at 20:35.
The Firecracker 5k is put on as a fundraiser for the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame; this year’s event also benefited the Skyline Youth Baseball League and Leadville Nordic. For full race results: CLICK.
The parade crowds on Historic Harrison Avenue were spilling out into the streets, with the kids scrambling for their share of the candy being thrown by parade entrants. This year’s Annual Fourth of July Parade, sponsored by the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce, was a sparkling sea of red, white and blue as businesses, individuals, and organizations patriotically marched down the avenue.
After the parade, hundreds of residents and spectators headed up to the Leadville/Lake County Airport afterward for the FREE BBQ provided by airport and Lake County Public Works staff. People waited in long lines to enjoy their tasty hot dog or hamburger while enjoying live music.
Attendees were then treated to an All-American root-beer float served up by the Leadville /Lake County Fire Rescue. These combined efforts really make it an all-out Leadville party! Hundreds not only enjoyed the food and music, but there were airplanes on display for the kiddos to see up close, as well as the classic car show, which was a big hit!
Independence Day ended with another spectacular fireworks display put on by the Leadville Lions Club. The Tony Hren Memorial Fireworks show is one of the group’s many summer events. This pyrotechnic show is sponsored in part by a generous memorial donation from Hren, who was also a former owner of the Sayer & McKee drugstore. For those who knew him, it’s a fitting tribute to one of Leadville’s civic leaders for many years.
So that wraps up another celebration of America’s birthday at 10,200 feet. Summer is definitely underway in the high country – get out there and enjoy it!