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The City of Aspen and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) are soliciting community feedback on the annual 4th of July events in Aspen.
For decades, the City of Aspen and ACRA have worked in partnership with one another and the community to host a 4th of July celebration in Aspen. The centerpieces of that partnership are the parade in downtown Aspen and a firework display when fire conditions permit.
As this event has become a tradition for locals and visitors, it has grown to be a draw for tens of thousands of people. After a canceled celebration in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic followed by a reimagined celebration for 2021, this is a perfect time for reflection with the community to assess what the event means to people and how it can be improved in the future.
The City of Aspen and ACRA are asking for community feedback at www.aspencommunityvoice.com/reimagineaspen4th to better understand the desires and needs of our stakeholders. The page includes a narrative about this project, a questionnaire, and a creative ideas question. Feedback is open through July 18, 2021.
“We are excited to learn more from the community about their thoughts on our celebration,” said Nancy Lesley, Director of Special Events for the City of Aspen. “We have provided support and logistics to the event for decades but haven’t really taken the opportunity to assess how we can improve or reimagine the event to provide something the community responds to. That might mean more of the same or some reimagining of the event. We are open-minded and look forward to reading the input from our community.”
The survey and idea question results will be compiled into a report for review by Aspen City Council, ACRA, and a 4th of July committee made up of City staff, ACRA staff, residents, and a Council member. General themes from the feedback will then be discussed with small focus groups who will further explore ideas mentioned and values expressed. A final report will be delivered to City Council and ACRA.
“It’s important for us that the event be inclusive, with opportunities to experience and participate in the holiday celebration that are accessible to our residents and guests,” said Jennifer Albright Carney, Vice President of Event Marketing ACRA. “We understand how much the 4th of July means to people, both today and connections to past traditions. We look forward to learning more about what the celebration signifies to the community. Hearing what the public has to say is very valuable as we plan future celebrations.”
Aside from the reimagined 4th of July celebrations due to Covid-19 pre-cautions, another impetus for the community engagement is a desire by Aspen City Council to look at more environmentally friendly ways to celebrate as the parade relies heavily on automobiles to pull floats.
The 4th of July committee includes Jennifer Albright-Carney, Sandra Doebler (City of Aspen special events), Nancy Lesley, Councilmember Ward Hauenstein and residents Ann Mullins, and resident Stephanie Soldner.