The Town of Silverton is preparing for the annual invasion of thousands of visitors for its popular Fourth of July celebration, with a contingent of Colorado Mounted Rangers to be deployed this year.
San Juan County Sheriff Sue Kurtz said the road to the Pittsburgh Mine along Mineral Creek will be closed for the Fourth of July weekend as a pre-emptive move to maintain law and order.
“There are some rowdy kids that go down there if it’s open,” Kurtz explained. “That will be closed. It’s private property when you get to the end of the road anyway.”
Kurtz said rafters could still use the road, but not camp overnight.
On the afternoon and evening of the Fourth, no parking will be allowed on the truck bypass linking county roads 2 and 110 below the cemetery.
And Shine Road will be closed on the Fourth of July.
“People get up there and they try to camp right near where the fireworks are going to be set off,” Kurtz said.
Extra law enforcement from Mesa County and La Plata County will be deployed and the Colorado Mounted Rangers, a force of volunteers will be patrolling on ATVs and horseback.
Kurtz said she expects six to eight of the rangers to ride in.
Kurtz reminded residents and visitors that fireworks are still banned.
“Anything that leaves the ground or explodes is prohibited,” Kurtz said.
Local officials are concerned that crowds may be large this year since Durango will not be having a fireworks display
“We just want everyone to have a happy and safe Fourth,” Kurtz said.
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION AND FIREWORKS:
• Blue Ribbon 10K Run/Walk
• Parade at 10:30 a.m., followed by Fire Departments’ Water Fight, downtown
• International Rhubarb Festival at Memorial Park, including Silverton Brass Band concert
• Ducky Derby at 2 p.m., Memorial Park
• Old Fashioned Picnic at the American Legion Hall
• Fireworks after dark. Fire Department shoots off fireworks on Shrine Road
Town-operated campgrounds at Kendall Mountain and near the train depot will open on Friday, July 1, with final checkout by noon Tuesday, July 5.
Cost for camping is $10 per person per night. Porta-potties will be set up at the campgrounds, and the town will offer fire rings and firewood for a fee.
Last year, operating the campgrounds cost the town $20,000, and brought in $16,000, for a loss of $4,000.
This year, town officials estimate costs at about $10,000.
“The idea is we’ll make six grand this year,” said Town Administrator Jason Wells.
Town Code Enforcer Keith Thompson said he has heard suggestions by some that the town should suspend its open container law for the weekend and allow alcohol to be consumed throughout town.
“I would not support that at all,” said Sheriff Sue Kurtz.
“It’s a wonderful idea,” joked Mayor Terry Kerwin. “Let’s put it to bed.”
your ... Duckies!
Excitement is building for one of the premier sporting events in Silverton this Fourth of July — the annual Ducky Derby race down Cement Creek.
The fundraiser for the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce gets floating at 2 p.m., in Cement Creek at Memorial Park. Race ducks are available for purchase for just $5 each. Those entering six ducks or more get a free T-shirt, which otherwise will cost $15.
Ducks and T-shirts are on sale now at the Visitors Center and at Memorial Park on Race Day.