July 4 fireworks still a go

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 Plans for the joint community July 4 celebration at Belleview, Cornerstone and Progress Parks include most of the usual activities and, for now, the celebration plans still include an upgraded fireworks display. “This has been such a successful event each year that we don’t plan to make many changes to something that is working so well,” said Kraig Stovall, Englewood training chief and one of the event organizers. “Again this year, there will be food vendors, for-a-fee activities like the climbing wall as well as free events like the family field games. Of course, there will be a fireworks finale and, because the county’s ban on all professional fireworks shows forced us to postpone the event last year, we are working with the fireworks company to upgrade the show and finale.” However, he added that the status of the fireworks could change because, on June 13, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson issued a total fire ban for the county. It bans all open fires and individuals setting off fireworks. “We are in a wait-and-see position right now,” Stovall said. “We are planning for the July 4 fireworks but that could change if the county issues a fireworks show ban.” This is the 18th year agencies and communities have joined together to put on a July 4 celebration. For 2013, contributors and sponsors including Englewood, Littleton, South Suburban Parks and Recreation District, Sheridan, Centennial and Arapahoe Counties. A small army of volunteers will be on hand to help put on the event, including representatives from the Arapahoe Rescue Patrol. Also, Englewood Country Buffet annually donates the food to feed police officers, firefighters and volunteers. Belleview, Cornerstone and Progress, the three parks clustered near the intersection of West Belleview Avenue and South Windermere Street, are the location for July 4 celebration. People generally begin arriving early for the celebration to secure a good spot to watch the fireworks, but July 4 activities — like games and attractions — don't get underway until about 3 p.m. Some activities do start earlier. One example is the fishing derby that is held in the lake at Progress Park. Sign-up for the event starts at 7 a.m. and the derby runs until noon. Fishing is traditionally pretty good because the state stocks the lake the night before the derby with an abundance of trout. Anglers should bring their own gear and those 16 and older are reminded they must have a valid fishing license to take part in the event. Other early-starting activities include Belleview Park’s miniature train and children’s zoo which open at 11 a.m. A small fee is charged for both attractions. Event-goers are reminded that rules in all three parks prohibit bringing glass containers of any kind, alcoholic beverages or setting off any type of fireworks — including sparklers. Police will be patrolling the park on bikes to enforce the rules. About 7 p.m. entertainment begins on the stage in Cornerstone Park featuring the Deja Blu. The band will be on stage for about two hours. The day’s activities wrap up about 9:30 p.m. with a countdown that launches the annual fireworks display.