Rangely prepares for big Fourth weekend

RANGELY I With the community’s annual July 4th events, there will be more activities held on Friday this year, but the big event will still be the fireworks show at Kenney Reservoir on Saturday.
“The only thing that was changed was we’re doing things on Friday, so our staff can enjoy the Fourth of July holiday,” said Tim Webber of the Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District, which organizes and staffs the events.
Starting at 9 a.m. Friday, there will be three-on-three beach volleyball at Elks Park, followed by “inflatable toys for the kids,” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park, Webber said. At noon, there will be a watermelon-eating contest, also at the park.
On Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., there will be a golf scramble at Cedar Ridges Golf Course. Then the main event — the Fourth of July fireworks show — will start at dusk Saturday, weather permitting, of course.
“It’d better not rain,” Webber said. “If we get rained out on the Fourth, we’ll shoot ‘em off on July 5. If we get rained out again, we’d shoot ’em off the following Friday, the 10th.
“But let’s don’t jinx it.”
The town of Rangely and Rio Blanco County contributed $1,000 toward the fireworks show, and the Rangely Fire Department donates manpower for the event.
With all of the activities going on Friday, the Rangely Recreation Center’s temporary location in the Early Education Center building will be closed. The recreation center has been housed in temporary quarters since August while the district’s permanent facility is undergoing renovations.
“It’s coming along nicely,” Webber said of the $7 million construction project. “Paint is starting to go up on the walls. It’s starting to get exciting. We’re on schedule, but the biggest thing right now is the swimming pool. That will take us right up to the end of August that it’s going to be completed.”
Webber said he is looking forward to when the remodeled recreation center will reopen its doors.
“I’m at the top of the list of people wanting this thing to be done and open,” Webber. “I don’t want to give an exact (completion) date, because you never know for sure. I would probably wait until after Labor Day weekend (and Septemberfest activities). Maybe a week or so after that, and we’ll be ready to roll.”