by Pam Zubeck
The Air Force Academy will host a free, public event with family-friendly games, music and fireworks, on July 4.
The city of Colorado Springs, which will not host a fireworks display for the third consecutive year, will fund the $21,000 cost of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic concert at the academy that night. Falcon Stadium's gates will open at 4, according to an academy press release.
Among other details:
The events will feature bouncy houses and the Austin Healey Car Show from 4 to 8 p.m. Music will be provided by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic at 7 p.m., and the Air Force Academy Band at 8 p.m. The fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m.
A number of food and beverage vendors will be on site, and tailgating will be authorized. However, a number of items are prohibited inside the stadium stands, including coolers, barbecue grills, pets other than working service dogs, backpacks and fireworks.
The city had long sponsored a huge fireworks display, with the Philharm providing the warmup act in Memorial Park. But in 2009, city leaders cancelled the event, which cost the city roughly $100,000.
"We don't have the city having a fireworks display of its own," city spokesman John Leavitt says. "We're paying the cost of the Philharmonic to play at the Air Force Academy function, a partnership to make this a nice event."
Leavitt adds that the $21,000 cost is being funded through the city's asset marketing program, specifically the city's canteen vending contract for which it collects money. No tax dollars will be used, he says.