SOUTH FORK- Several communities throughout the state are dealing with the same question in light of the Fourth of July celebrations that are next week. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, communities are dealing with many issues of community safety, social distancing and abiding by state and local restrictions while figuring out how to hold one of the most celebrated holidays.
South Fork Town Manager Dan Hicks attended a work session with Rio Grande County Commissioners Monday, June 22, to discuss a possible variance request to the state that would potentially lessen restrictions of COVID-19 and allow the town to host their annual Third of July celebrations. Due to Governor Polis’ new Safer at Home and in the Vast Great Outdoors order, most of the town’s concerns were alleviated but other questions remained.
Commissioners explained at the beginning of the conversation that the timeframe of submitting a variance request to the state and having it approved in time for the Third of July celebrations was too short and near impossible to accomplish but that the state health orders were sufficient for the town to host their events as long as certain precautions were put in place.
Hicks explained that the town had already put a plan in place for the event and would be adhering to guidelines from state and local officials such as social distancing and recommending the public consider wearing a mask while they participate in activities like the parade.
The town announced that the Third of July celebrations will be moving forward minus the annual rodeo that typically takes place. The rodeo was canceled by Burris and Sons earlier in the year due to COVID-19 concerns. The Town of South Fork will be moving forward with the annual parade with a theme of “Let Freedom Ring” and South Fork Fire rescue will be hosting their annual catfish fry with some changes.
The South Fork Fire Rescue Catfish Fry will have some restrictions in place like limited seating, drive-thru take out options, and will not be hosting their annual silent auction. For more up to date information, please visit their Facebook page, South Fork Fire Rescue.
Fireworks are scheduled to take place at the Rio Grande Club and Resort but are subject to change depending on fire restrictions. More information can also be found on the town’s website at www.southfork.org