Silverton cancels Fourth of July celebration

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The town of Silverton announced this morning it will cancel its Fourth of July celebration this year, joining Telluride as southwestern Colorado towns that have nixed Independence Day festivities in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are sad to announce that the 2020 Silverton July 4th Celebration is cancelled due to concerns with COVID-19," the town posted on its Facebook page. "This includes the carnival at Memorial Park, the street dance, parade, camping, and our spectacular fireworks show. There is a tremendous amount of time and coordination needed to put on an event like this, including efforts by the Silverton Fourth of July Association, Town of Silverton, Silverton Volunteer Fire Department, the Parade Committee, San Juan County Sheriffs Department, Office of Emergency Management, plus additional resources from our neighboring counties. With the holiday only 49 days away, and uncertainty about future state mandates regarding the size of gatherings, it is the best decision at this time. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause and hope to welcome you back in 2021."

Telluride town officials announced a similar cancelation last week.

The Ouray City Council gave every indication in a May 7 work session that it will cancel traditional Fourth of July festivities this year. Councilors didn't take any formal action but expressed doubt about being able to enforce social distancing protocols for an event that draws thousands of people every year. Some councilors also said they're concerned that with other towns canceling Fourth of July events, even more people that normal will flock to Ouray, putting the community's health at risk, if the city proceeds with a traditional celebration.

The council is expected to make an official decision during its meeting on Monday. The meeting begins at 1 p.m.