This week's news roundup touches on proposed changes to the annual Fourth of July celebration, concerts in the park this summer, and beginning farmer classes at the Old Fort. This story is sponsored by StoneAge Tools and Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado
Durango fireworks will look a little different this year. Pack your picnic baskets, concerts in the park return to Buckley Park this summer. And you can now pick up a permit to harvest your firewood for next fall. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by StoneAge Tools and the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado. I'm Deborah Uroda. With continuing drought creating extremely dry and dangerous conditions, the 4th of July fireworks display will look a little different this year in Durango. The city council recently agreed to spend $30,000 of Lodgers' Tax funds to hire a contractor to produce an aerial light show using 60 to 100 programmed drones. Think of them like giant coordinated fireflies with different colors of lights. Both Basalt and Vail have used the drone shows in place of fireworks for several years. If a contractor is available, the show would be launched from Greenmount Cemetery or the Fort Lewis College Rim. If you believe that 4th of July holiday isn't a holiday without fireworks, don't despair. The city still has a $15,000 contract with the Zambelli Fireworks Company that was carried over from last year when the display was canceled due to fire danger. However, instead of a big aerial display, the city will purchase close-proximity fireworks like the kind used in stadium shows. The fireworks and drone show will be the evening on Saturday, July 2nd during a street dance at the City Transit Center. The Powerhouse Science Center will host a free concert on the plaza featuring Elder Grown on Saturday July 3rd. And wrapping up the holiday weekend, will be a breakfast and 5K run at Rotary Park, lunch and afternoon events at Buckley Park, a downtown parade, then a Lyle Lovett concert at the fairgrounds. A final schedule with dates will be released later this spring. Find more information at downtowndurango.org. The Community Concert Hall in partnership with Alpine Bank and Kdur Community Radio will return this summer with free concert hall-at-the-park performances every Thursday, beginning June 16th. The Taylor Scott band will open the series with its fusion of funk, soul, rock and rhythm and blues. Back by popular demand on June 23rd, will be a performance by Albuquerque's Nosotros band with Latin rhythms that combine elements of rock, salsa, jazz and cumbia. And you won't want to miss the United States Air Force Academy band,the Falconaires on June 30th followed the Next Week by Jack and the Vox and company who perform as part of the Rocky Mountain Uke Fest. Jack and the Vox will perform a bit of Americana featuring jazz, folk and pop as arranged for a band featuring ukuleles and guitars. Bluegrass will be featured on July 21st with the Carter Simpson and the Jackalopes band, all from Oklahoma and wrapping up the series will be Ali McGwirk a Boston based singer and songwriter who is recipient of the Boston Music Awards, Blues Artist of the Year Title. All concerts start at 5:30 p.m and are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule visit durangoconcerts.com. Are you a beginning farmer or considering the profession? The Old Fort will offer a series of short courses this summer that are tailored to address the challenges of a high altitude desert environment. Individual courses will cover farm food and safety, ecological market farming, plant basics for farmers and growing specialty crops at high elevations. Courses are taught one day a week and lasts from two to six weeks depending on the topic. To learn more visit fortlewis.edu and search for Old Fort. Permits are now available to cut firewood this summer on the San Juan National Forest. Permits are $20 and are divided into five tags with each tag good for a half-cord of firewood. A cord is measured as a stack, four feet by four feet by eight feet. One household may purchase a permit for up to 10 cords of firewood per year for personal use. Commercial permits are required for resale. Restrictions apply to cutting standing dead Ponderosa Pine and live Gambel Oak. Permits are valid through December 31st this year. You can purchase the permits at Cox Conoco in Mancos, Conoko Corner in Lewis, Dolores Outfitters in Dolores, and Kroeger's Ace hardware in Durango. They're also available at the San Juan National Forest headquarters in Durango. For more information, visit fs.usda.gov/sanjuan. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Roundup. I'm Deborah Uroda.