RANGELY I As the nation’s annual Independence Day celebration approaches, the Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Parks and Recreation District is busy preparing for Rangely’s two days of holiday festivities.
WRBM recreation supervisor Kirstin Cushman believes that events like these are important to the community because they provide “some fun activities and events for the locals to stay in town and do. We are trying to promote our community and get everyone involved.”
Friday will start with the annual Color Run, benefiting the New Eden Pregnancy Center. The 5K race will begin with registration at 8 a.m. at the Pregnancy Center, located at 219 South Sunset. The race kicks off at 8:30 a.m.
Runners and walkers will have the option of being doused in colored powder at various locations around the course. The cost of registration is $20 per person or $60 for a family and includes a T-shirt commemorating the race.
Later on Friday, families can head to Elks Park for an afternoon of inflatable water fun. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the recreation district will have the inflatable water slides, bounce houses and an obstacle course set up for children to enjoy, free of charge.
New this year to the inflatables is the requirement of a signed waiver by parents or guardians in order for their children to participate. Waivers can be obtained prior to the event at the recreation center and will also be available on site.
Wristbands will be given to children who have submitted their waiver and are eligible for the inflatables.
Friday evening will bring a little Cajun style to Rangely.
At 5:30 p.m. at Elks Park, participants can enjoy a Cajun boil prepared by Rangely’s own Harry Forward. In true Cajun style, the meal will include crab, shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes and all the fixin’s. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the recreation center for $25 for adults. A children’s hot dog meal will also be available for $5.
After the evening meal, locals can head over to the stage in Elks Park for a free concert by Foreign Figures at 6:30 p.m. Foreign Figures, based in Salt Lake, will play a mixture of country and rock songs, entertaining the crowd with popular cover songs that span the decades.
For those who would rather spend their evening on the greens, Cedar Ridges Golf Course will host its annual Night Golf Tournament.
The nine-hole tournament begins at 9 p.m., and is the golf course’s most popular tournament. While participation spots for this tournament are filled months in advance, people are always welcome to come cheer on their friends.
On the Fourth, residents and visitors will see another full range of events at Elks Park.
Beginning at 10 a.m., local grillers can test their skills at the annual Rib Cook Off. Contestants will spend the day preparing their finest ribs, with judging to take place at 5 p.m.
While the ribs are busy cooking, people can participate in a set of organized “old time games” such as wheelbarrow and sack races and rounds of Twister from noon to 3 p.m.
The afternoon will be filled with the sounds of locals during the Local Music Showcase. At 3 p.m., local musicians such as Angie Kenney, Alexis Wiley and Fiscus and Gravy will put on a free concert in Elks Park. Musicians interested in performing will need to sign up in advance at the recreation center.
The Independence Day festivities will end traditionally with a fireworks show beginning at dusk at Kenney Reservoir.
At a cost of $15,000, the fireworks, which will be set off by a combination of recreation center staff and the Rangely Fire Department, will be a crowd-pleasing grand finale to the weekend’s activities.
Cushman is hopeful that the events will run smoothly and draw a large crowd. “We just really want the community to be involved,” she said. “We are trying to offer more for everyone, but if we don’t get participation then the events will eventually fall off.”