Red, white, and BOOM: Fireworks returning this year for Bayfield Fourth of July
After a year’s hiatus, fireworks are back this year for Bayfield’s annual Independence Day festivities on Thursday, July 4.
Postponed in 2018 due to drought and fire danger, locals are looking forward to having the big fireworks show back to cap off Thursday’s small-town celebration.
“It’s an awesome fireworks show,” said Ashleigh Tarkington, owner of the Billy Goat Saloon and a trustee on the Bayfield Town Board. Bayfield’s Fourth of July “is my favorite day of the year,” she added. “It’s just a classic representation of small-town America.”
For those new to Bayfield festivities, the best piece of advice from long-time residents is to show up early. The Bayfield Lions Club pancake breakfast starts at 7 a.m. at the club’s hall on Church Street, so parade-goers can fuel up before the day’s activities. It runs until 10 a.m., when the parade starts.
The Firecracker 5K, hosted by the Durango Running Club and Town of Bayfield Parks and Recreation, is from 8 to 9 a.m. The entry fee is $10, cash or check, day of race entry only. Race registration is from 7 to 7:30.
“We'll have post-run beverages and light snacks, but really, after you finish you should head to the Presbyterian Church to get some tasty pie and stake out your spot to watch the parade,” race organizers said.
Next door to the Lions Hall and along the 5K route, Calvary Presbyterian Church sells homemade pie by the slice, along with whole pies, coffee and water, and crafts. It’s a popular stop after the parade to pick up a pie.
Becky and Dennis Hillyer are this year’s grand marshals for Bayfield’s 4th of July parade.
This year’s grand marshals for the parade are Dennis and Becky Hillyer, the longtime owners of Southwest Ag. After living in Bayfield for more than 40 years, the couple said they are honored to lead the parade down Mill Street.
“It’s pretty hard to find a better small town than here,” said Dennis Hillyer. “This is an old-time Fourth of July.” The couple is active in community activities and at Calvary Church, where Becky helps organize the pie sale. Southwest Ag and 4 Corners Trailers also host an impressive tractor display in the parade. Want to participate in this year’s parade? The Bayfield Marshal’s Office is looking for volunteers to walk with deputies and other staff toward the front of the parade. For more information or questions, call 884-9636.
After the parade, festivities in Joe Stephenson Park run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring kids activities, live music by 3rd and Long, food and drink vendors, and merchandise and information from local businesses and organizations. The Pine River Centennial Rotary beer tent is open from 11 to 3, as well. Across the street from the town’s large park, the Serrano family will host the annual horseshoe tournament starting at noon in Eagle Park, next to the Pine River.
At 12:30, the corn hole tournament starts in the beer tent. All are welcome to come participate.
As the park activities wind down in the afternoon, lots of people head home or to barbecues held throughout town, then folks are welcome back to the park at 7 p.m. for more music by 3rd and Long. Fireworks are at dusk, at about 9 p.m.
Many residents who were raised in Bayfield and move away come back for the Fourth of July. Visitors are welcome, as well, to enjoy some small-town hospitality.
“I love hanging out with everyone in the park,” added Tarkington. “Everyone has a smile on their face. It’s just a good day.”
The Billy Goat Saloon float is always a hit with parade-goers in Bayfield.
A full list of events is at https://www.ourbayfieldparks.org/events/2017/7/4/bayfields-110th-annual-4th-of-july-celebration
For parking for the parade, shuttles are available at the Church of Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, both on Bayfield Parkway, and Bayfield Primary School, on Mustang Street. Handicap parking is available at Bayfield Town Hall.