Englewood cancels Fourth of July celebration

Joseph Rios
jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/6/20

The smell of hot dogs and burgers being grilled, and the sight of hundreds of residents dressed in red, white and blue will not be at Cornerstone and Belleview parks this Fourth of July. Englewood …

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Englewood cancels Fourth of July celebration

Posted

The smell of hot dogs and burgers being grilled, and the sight of hundreds of residents dressed in red, white and blue will not be at Cornerstone and Belleview parks this Fourth of July.

Englewood City Council reached a consensus at a May 4 meeting to cancel the annual Fourth of July celebration that takes place at the city's southern border with Littleton. The event is hosted in conjunction with the cities of Littleton and Sheridan, and the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District.

The event annually brings hundreds of residents to the parks to watch fireworks, interact with neighbors, grab food from food trucks and more. But the idea of hosting a gathering of more than 10 people in the COVID-19 era is not feasible, officials said.

“This one stings, I hate to (cancel the event). (The celebration) doesn't seem like the prudent thing to do in the interest of public safety right now to proceed with the uncertainty of our partners,” said Englewood City Councilmember Dave Cuesta.

The Tri-County Health Department, which covers Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams counties, told Englewood the event would likely need to be canceled under public health orders. Littleton was told by the health department that gatherings will be limited to 10 or less people for the foreseeable future, according to Englewood documents.

Englewood is looking at other times to launch fireworks including at its Block Party, which is still scheduled for Aug. 29. The city is also looking at other options outside of fireworks at the Block Party, like the possibility of hosting a laser show.

Englewood City Manager Shawn Lewis mentioned the idea of using the city's Neighborhood Resources Program to bring individual parties to Englewood neighborhoods on a smaller, less-populated scale. Englewood's Neighborhood Resources Program works to build stronger and more inclusive neighborhoods in the city. Last month Englewood announced the creation of its Get to Know Your Neighbor grant — a grant that can be used for neighborhood events like block parties, neighborhood parades, neighborhood cleanup events and more.

Chris Harguth, communications manager for the city, said Englewood is taking it day by day and week by week as it holds out hope to still host its summer concert series and that it can launch fireworks at some point this year.

“We want to have these community events. We would be heartbroken if we have to cancel them,” said Harguth.

The cancellation was a bummer but not a surprise, said City of Littleton spokesperson Kelli Narde. 

"We saw this coming," Narde said.  Littleton takes a backseat to Englewood in planning the event, Narde said, contributing police officers to patrol the event and direct traffic, and staff to help plan. 

Littleton hopes to hold its Criterium bicycle race later in the summer, and holds out hope for Western Welcome Week in August. 

"Hopefully we can still have some summer fun," Narde said. "We'll see. We want everyone to be safe and healthy."

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