Fireworks and Filling Lakes: Leadville’s Fourth
What’s In a Name: Leadville Fireworks
The formal name of the Fourth of July fireworks show presented every year by the Leadville Lions Club is the Tony Hren Memorial Fireworks Display. And in a town like Leadville these kinds of notorieties are relevant and certainly worth learning about. After all, if it weren’t for guys like Tony, many of Leadville’s small-town traditions might go to the wayside.
So who was Tony Hren? For those who knew him or worked with him, the mere mention of his name brings a genuine smile to their face. He was that type of person, kind, and unassuming, mixed with a strong work ethic and giving nature.
Tony Hren was the owner of the Sayer and McKee Drug Store on Harrison for decades during the mid-late 20th century when life rolled a bit slower on the avenue. It was before all the big-box stores that folks now shop at over the hill. It was before digital cameras, when you had to have a place to get your film developed. And it was the place where you really could experience that neighborhood feel when getting your prescription filled. Hren ran a solid business, a tight ship and gave back to his community in countless ways, one of which was as a member of the Leadville Lions Club.
Hren passed away in 1999 at the age of 67, too early some say. But fortunately, as he was putting his affairs in order towards the end of a long battle with illness, Hren made sure that once a year the Leadville sky would be lit up, adding a kaleidoscope of colors to the brilliant, twinkling stars.
It is Hren’s legacy – in part – that provides the financial support of the annual Leadville Lions Club 4th of July Fireworks Display, now appropriately named in his honor.
Today, the building that once was home to Hren’s former drug store has been restored after the roof collapsed under heavy snow during the winter of 2014. It is now known as the historic Sayer & McKee Building, which is home to the KW Plaza and the Treeline Kitchen, which by the way, has a great rooftop patio with an incredible view of the Tony Hren Memorial Fireworks Display at dusk.
Enjoy every “ooh” and “aah”, compliments of Lion Tony! Happy Independence Day!
Turquoise Lake Water To Rise Over Holiday Weekend
There’s some real good news for local residents and outdoor recreationalists as the water report released this morning from the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) indicates water levels will begin to rise on Turquoise Lake beginning today, July 2.
According to the details, it looks like lake-lovers will see Turquoise take a big old sip of water over the 4th of July weekend. Here’s the BOR’s official report.
“CSU will begin storing water in their Turquoise account. At 12:00 today, we will decrease the release down Lake Fork by 25 cfs. After this, we will be releasing around 170 cfs, all of which is native. We will also make cuts to the total release Weds, Thur and Fri, Sat, Sun, and Tue of 25 cfs at 08:00.”
“Tomorrow, we will convert 50 cfs of the Turq native release to an account release for Aurora.”
“Right now, we anticipate that Twin Lakes Canal Company will fill their storage in Twin Lakes on Friday. At that time, we’re obligated to release the native inflows into Twin. My best guess right now is the native inflows will be about 1500 cfs.”
In addition earlier this week, Leadville Today reached out to Terry Dawson, a BOR FryArk Project Water Resource Specialist for more details regarding the popular lake located a few miles west of Leadville. The near bone-dry conditions of Turquoise Lake has folks talking more than ever this year in light of historic snow-pack level in the mountains. Not only do the locals revel in the few summer days they can find at 10,152 feet, but there are more than a handful of businesses that rely on that lake level to earn a living. When will the water rise this year?
“It all depends if we get more snow or not. My thoughts this morning are the middle of July,” stated Dawson on Sunday, June 30. “ I’ll slow the releases through the Mt Elbert conduit and down Lake Fork Creek over the next couple of weeks to make sure we get to about 4’ from full (our goal most years).”
So there you have it, the official word on Turquoise Lake. Get out and enjoy your lakeside BBQ while you can – it’ll be iced over again before you know it!