Want some fireworks downtown? Pull out your purse…

Collaboration is possible in this valley.
Last Saturday was the perfect example as 175 cross-sectioned members of the community came together and knocked out about two miles of new trail by the Lower Loop. The Budd Trail adds some black diamond to one of the finest single tracks in the country.
 It brought kids and grandparents, hippies and businesspeople together in an effort that adds another great amenity to the valley. Thanks to everyone from the Crested Butte Land Trust to the Crested Butte Mountain Biking Association, the Budd family, and all who moved rock and dirt.
See? It really is possible to find common ground…

Speaking of finding common ground, an accidental collaboration appeared to come out of the Crested Butte Town Council meeting last Monday. A downtown fireworks show after the mountain display could make for an impressive Fourth of July evening and that is what the council is shooting for on a tight timeline.

The downtown council members all insist they have gotten loads of feedback from their constituents that a downtown fireworks show is imperative this Fourth of July. So the council is making a last-minute effort to engage the resident and business community to see if that community is willing to do more than just bend the ear of the nearest local politician and lobby for a fireworks show. The question that needs to be answered before next Tuesday is, will that community pull out hard dollars and help pay for a fireworks show?
The council is trying to gather at least $5,000 in pledges to add on to the $3,000 in the town budget to put on a respectable fireworks show after the Mt. Crested Butte fireworks is finished.
That’s not small change. Will ten downtown businesses throw in $500 each? Will 20 throw in $250 each? Any $1,000 donors out there? And will residents who are talking to their councilmen toss in another C-note? This is more than an opinion poll—this is put up or shut up time and the council will have a definitive answer one way or the other by early next week.
I like the idea that the council is calling on the people who are telling them the tradition of downtown fireworks must continue. It is the ultimate public-private collaborative partnership. If it means $5 to you, then pull out the wallet and give the town five bucks. If you think it’s worth more, write a check.

Look, the silly fireworks issue has become so politicized the last two years that the organizations that have stepped up to try to coordinate the show have both sworn off that headache. The Crested Butte Fire Protection District and the local Chamber of Commerce are both through with fireworks. That says something. The two towns now need to figure out a true, long-term collaboration on the issue and discover a way to work together to compete against other resort towns instead of each other.

The Crested Butte Town Council rightly wants to have a solid read on the pulse of the community’s need for a downtown fireworks fix by the time they meet at a special meeting next Monday night, June 14. So, if Rainbow Park pyrotechnics are really important to you, touch base with the new “Fireworks Queen,” Phoebe Wilson, at 349-6338. Or drop off a check at the town hall.
Otherwise, enjoy the Mt. Crested Butte show on the Fourth. And let’s all stop talking about this…

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