Brian Head determined to party without fireworks

While the meadow looks green and lush, one errant spark can set the underlying vegetation into an inferno . | Photo courtesy of Bryce Harerlie, St. George News

BRIAN HEAD – Lighting up the sky on the Fourth of July is a tradition that Brian Head Town holds dear. “We hold it on the Fourth.” Mayor H.C. Deutschlander said. “Even when the holiday falls on a Sunday.”

So the decision to cancel the fireworks show was not made lightly.  The Director of Public Safety, Chief Dan Benson, in coordination with the town council, came to the conclusion that the risks involved were just too great.

“We have the Shingle Fire about 20 miles away and state fire officials telling us that if something bad happens, we will be on our own,” Benson said. “With the prediction of high winds on the Fourth and vegetation drying out more each day, the possibility of a fire and its catastrophic impacts were too great to ignore.”

However, that doesn’t mean that the party is over in Brian Head. Officials have chosen to ramp up the other planned activities to entertain the crowds.  “We have the country band Muddy Boots playing in front of the Mall on Wednesday evening starting at 6:30 p.m. and we are going to have a blast,” said Joan Mortensen.

Brian Head town Mayor H.C. Deutschlander and Chief Dan Benson survey the dry vegetation that threatens the community and caused the resulting fire restrictions to be put in place. | Photo courtesy of Bryce Haderlie.

Brian Head Town will modify the bonfire slightly by having a dance with free hot chocolate and cookies starting at 8 p.m. and music at the park pavilion from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Alice Rogers, Town events planner said, “We hope that people will come out and dance and have a good time.”

“There’s no shortage of things to do and we hope that folks won’t let this decision dampen the holiday,” Rogers said as she packaged cookies for the dance. “If nothing else it’s the coolest place to hang out for the weekend.”

Deutschlander looked over the tinder dry grass on a slope next to his office and said: “We hope that people will abide by the fire restrictions and understand why we made this tough decision. We just want to be here to celebrate the Fourth next year.” He pointed out that the decision was also influenced by numerous calls from state representatives and fire officials encouraging the town to err on the side of caution.

In addition to the events on Wednesday night, there will be the Volunteer Fire Department’s Pancake Breakfast from 8-10:30 a.m. that morning at the Giant Steps Ski area, a craft fair on Village Way, Thursday-Saturday, July 5-9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. T-shirts and sweat shirts will be on sale at the breakfast and dance.

The Town is also sponsoring an All-Terrain Vehicle safety instruction (all types of ATV’s) course starting Friday at 9:30 a.m. with registration at the Navajo Lodge upper parking lot, and an entertaining obstacle course for adults at the Giant Steps Lodge parking lot starting at 1 p.m.

The ATV highlight is a poker run ride from Brian Head to Panguitch Lake and back on Saturday July 7. Registration is available online (www.brianheadtown.utah.gov) or at the Double Tree Resort and Spa by Hilton from 8-10 a.m. on the day of the event. The ride will leave the resort at 10 a.m. and an after-ride-party and awards event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Double Tree.

Henry Hornberger, Brian Head Resort general manager, pointed out that, “The Scenic Sky Lift Ride will be operating Wednesday through Sunday where you can hike the Vista Trail, ride your mountain bike off the mountain, play disk golf, or ride the lift back down when you’re done taking in the sights.”

The press release submitted by Bryce Haderlie, Brian Head Town Manager.

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1 Comment

  • Noelle July 4, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Thank you for changing your fireworks display. It has been a concern here in Duck Creek. The Shingles Fire is a excellent example of what just a spark and can destroyR.

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