FLORENCE, Colorado — All eyes are on the skies tonight in Fremont County as the Florence Fourth of July Festival gets underway. The town is kicking off a three-day celebration with a drive-in movie doubleheader, provided the weather cooperates. If conditions turn bad, they won't be able to put up the inflatable screen.
City manager Mike Patterson said the movie screenings are a holdover from 2020 when the town had to keep social distancing rules in mind.
"People loved it, we actually borrowed from the Miami Dolphins," Patterson said.
This year's movies are the classic comedies the Sandlot and Dodgeball. Businesses in Florence and surrounding communities helped to raise more than $40,000 needed to pull of the big event.
Patterson said this all began in 2012 with a patriotic parade.
"Former mayor that we had, Keith Orr, looked at it and said, hey it's the Fourth of July, nobody does anything for it anymore. Let's do something for it," he said.
The parade has since grown to include a water fight and festival at the park. There will be live music, food trucks, and beverage vendors set up during the day Saturday and Sunday at Pioneers Park. The town also plans to hold a craft fair and 5K run here.
Musical acts Martini Shot and Wrestle with Jimmy will headline the live concerts on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
The parade and water fight will begin Sunday at 10:00 a.m. along Main Street.
"It's a wet and dry parade," Patterson explained. "People turn off at one point if they don't want to get wet."
The turn off point is Pikes Peak Avenue. He warns anyone lined up east of there should bring towels.
"You will be soaked, definitely bring that, and just come looking to have fun."
The festival will wrap up with a fireworks display from Florence High School which is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. Sunday.