Fourth of July fun on horizon

World War II-era veterans will be front and center

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There may be no fireworks on this year’s Fourth of July, but that doesn’t mean there will be any shortage of fun in Highlands Ranch.

A 5K run and two parades are scheduled, and an all-day celebration at Town Center will feature a hot dog eating contest, live music, food and beer vendors, a pet adoption fair, a fireman’s challenge and skateboard demos.

“We didn’t have fireworks last year either, and we still had a great time,” said Highlands Ranch Community Association spokeswoman Jamie Noebel.

The day begins with the 5K run and walk starting at 8 a.m. from Town Center North. Same-day registration opens at 7 a.m. and the cost is $40. Following that will be the family bike and pet parade at 8:45 a.m. This parade is for children from 2 years old through sixth grade, and parents are required to stay with their children throughout the parade. It’s free to participate in, and the lineup for the parade will begin between Garbanzo and Jack in the Box in Town Center North at 8:30 a.m. The length of the parade is two-tenths of a mile.

The HRCA July 4th Parade follows at 9 a.m. starting and finishing at the Kaiser Permanente building on Hepburn Street in Town Center North. Announced by Ed Greene of CBS4, the parade will wind through the streets of Highlands Ranch, heading east on Highlands Ranch Parkway, turning south on Zotos, before wrapping around onto Ridgeline Boulevard, Monument Boulevard and Barrons Boulevard and then heading back west on Highlands Ranch Parkway.

The grand marshals of this year’s parade will be HRCA employees and World War II-era veterans Bill Harkness, Curt Chambers and Dave Monroney.

“How amazing is it that we have veterans from the ‘greatest generation’ to honor in this year’s celebration,” said HRCA CEO Gerald Flannery. “They can speak directly to the tyranny that the world faced in World War II with Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini. We can never repay the debt and sacrifice they paid for our freedom.”

Harkness, a 15-year employee of the HRCA, served in Army Air Forces between 1942 and 1946, while Chambers, a 22-year HRCA employee, served in the Navy in 1945-46, and Monroney, who has been with the HRCA six years, served in 1946-47.

For more information on the parade and this year’s Independence Day activities, please visit www.hrcaonline.org. The Town Center celebration will continue until 7 p.m. and then The Nacho Men will close out the day with a 7:30 p.m. musical performance in Civic Green Park. 

July 4 street closures: 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.

• Highlands Ranch Parkway between Lucent and Broadway

• Barrons Blvd. from Monument to Highlands Ranch Parkway

• Monument Drive

• Zotos Drive

• Ridgeline Boulevard from Blake Drive to Monument

• Ridgeline Boulevard from Dorchester to Highlands Ranch Parkway

• Blake Drive from Ridgeline