Patricia D. Kennedy: The Grandest Fourth of all
July 6, 2011
It was a happy two-hour drive from our home in Lakewood over Berthoud Pass as we made our annual Fourth of July trip to the family cabin in Grand Lake. The grandchildren were bursting with excitement at the prospect of the fireworks. They had reason to be.
Of all the Independence Day displays across the state of Colorado, the one along the shores of beautiful Grand Lake is possibly the most spectacular and memorable. Residents of Grand Lake Village, located at the foot of the Continental Divide and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, spend countless hours fundraising and preparing for the fireworks, which are stunning.
Two magnificent works of nature contribute to make this so. The presence of Colorado’s largest natural lake along with the surrounding mountains makes the display unique and draws thousands of visitors to experience this special night. The fireworks’ kaleidoscope of colors perfectly reflects on the broad expanse of water while the resounding echoes from the surrounding peaks provide the music for an impressive show.
We usually walk to the village and the shoreline, but this year, because we had two toddlers in the group, we decided to climb the hill behind our cabin and view the display from the meadow above our trees. In the hour before the fireworks began we ate and reminisced about past Independence Days.
When fireworks began the earth shook as the sky and the water glimmered and glowed. Young and old in our group cheered loudly to the bursts of color and the deafening booms. All of us shouted and clapped non-stop for the next hour. Later all was quiet, still, and very dark. At that moment a shooting star streaked across as we all stared up at the sky. Another cheer erupted. Our 12-year-old grandson said softly, “I just made a wish that on every Fourth of July of my life I can be here in this spot to see these fireworks.”
The short trek down the hill to the cabin was filled with “It was awesome!” “It was grand!” “Yep,” shouted one of the little ones, “That was the most grandest of all!”
Patricia D. Kennedy