We, your neighbors at the Leadville Lions Club, want to take a moment and apologize for any confusion and disappointment you might have felt in us not putting on the fireworks display this year. There was a lot of information floating around social media recently about our decision and we want to clarify some misunderstandings the community might have.

First, the fireworks are put on each year by the Leadville Lions Club not the City of Leadville, not Lake County Government, nor Colorado Mountain College. Typically, we partner with CMC for the location to detonate the fireworks, the City of Leadville for assistance from the fire department, Lake County Government for the special event and St. Vincent Hospital for emergency response. The Leadville Lions Club is a service-based, 100% volunteer organization, that works to better our community through our members’ commitment to social and civic engagement.

Some in our community felt that our lack of display this year showed how unpatriotic we, the Lions, are as an organization. You may not be aware that the Leadville Lions Club is also the organization that puts up and takes down the American flags along Harrison Avenue each holiday, including Independence Day. Additionally, some of the other major contributions to our community by the Lions, or in conjunction with the Lions, are: the Lake County High School Career Fair, the U.S. 24 cleanup project, the Panther Pride program, vision screenings for youth with the school district, the Lake County 9News Health Fair, volunteers for various civic and social events and the list goes on.

There were a lot of considerations that went into the decision not to have the fireworks this year. First and foremost, COVID-19 and local/state health orders provided a unique and unprecedented hurdle this year. Additionally, due to a variety of reasons, Lake County’s emergency resources are already stretched and the added burden of our display to our first responders’ infrastructure was unwarranted. Finally, we had to take into consideration the health of our own club members. Historically, a small group of volunteers have set off the fireworks, many of whom are now in the high-risk health category.

People asked why we didn’t put out an open call for help to set off the fireworks. While we appreciate the idea, and people’s willingness to set off large explosives… this isn’t something that we can freely open up to anyone who might want to assist. The fireworks team must be a group of individuals that already has a good working relationship and a built-in level of trust. If you’re going to have someone setting explosive charges off a few feet from your head, you want to know and trust them.

Our club is always looking for new members. So, if you find yourself saying, I’m civically engaged and want to make a difference, contact us. We would love to have you!

See you for Fireworks 2021!

Whittney Smythe-Smith

Leadville Lions Club

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