Celebrating some normality with a bang

Column by John Akal
Posted 6/23/21

Hey, can you believe it’s almost the Fourth of July already? That statement about our annual national celebration, as well as about almost every other holiday has become kind of a running joke with …

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Celebrating some normality with a bang


Hey, can you believe it’s almost the Fourth of July already? That statement about our annual national celebration, as well as about almost every other holiday has become kind of a running joke with TV talk show hosts/comedians for the last couple of years. You can expect to see little montages of local newscasts showing people saying the same thing …Can you believe it’s (fill in the occasion here) already? The they will follow it up with the talk show host smugly saying something like “Yes, it happens at this time every year.” Its become as much of a holiday tradition as every store that advertises on T.V having a giant (fill in the occasion here again) sale.

But, this year we’re all going to be thinking something a little different. I’m sure we’ll all be thankful that we can actually get outside together for the celebration, sit on a blanket and look up at the sky to watch some fireworks again. Just doing that was one of the things we all took for granted a couple of years ago, but I’m sure we will appreciate a lot more in 2021.

Speaking of appreciation, I’m going to send an early shout-out to our Golden Lions Club for once again stepping up to the plate to produce the town’s July 4th Community Festival. Yes, it’s back and will be happening on ( I can’t believe I’m typing this ) July 4. This year it falls on a Sunday.

They have been putting this together for the town since… Oh, jeez, it’s been decades. I think Buffalo Bill was still alive when they started doing this. OK, maybe not that long ago, but I can tell you, when they took over this project my hair was brown and hadn’t started falling out yet, so it has been a really long time.

Since it’s presented by the Lions Club, I’ll only give you one guess as to where they hold it. Yup, at Lions Park. Sometimes we like to keep things simple in Golden. The Lions Club’s 4th of July Festival held in Lions Park on the Fourth of July. Once you reach 50 years old, you’ll start to appreciate things like that a lot more.

For those of you who have lived here a while, you know the drill. Just show up at the park in the afternoon, hang out, eat, drink, do some fun things and look up once it gets dark. But for those of you who may not have been to this festival, I better elaborate a little more. Otherwise you might end up sitting on my lawn and miss the whole thing. No, I’m not a lion, I just look like one when I get up in the morning.

OK, so first of all, where is Lions Park? It’s on the far west end of 10th Street by the Golden Rec Center. You can’t miss it. There are a bunch of permanent picnic tables and little shelter structures, they will have a stage set up with two bands performing all afternoon and evening as well as food trucks, kids games and activities and the famous beer booth where volunteers will be pouring cold Coors as well as beer from the Golden City Brewery and Bonacquisti Wines.

The bands will be Ryan Chrys and the Roughcuts playing Modern Outlaw Country from 3-6 p.m., followed by the Rock band Something Underground from 6:30- 9:30 p.m. Of course, once the bands finish there will be fireworks. Lots of fireworks. It’s a big show. It starts around 9:30 p.m.

Now, one very important Golden Lions Club tradition I have to mention is their Raffle. They will be selling tickets for it all around town for the next week or so. It’s how they pay for the fireworks show, but it also helps raise a lot of money for the civic projects that they put together for the town. They have used the money to build everything from public restrooms to dugouts at the local baseball parks. You will see guys out there selling them in yellow Lions Club vests and they have loads of prizes donated every year, including a $1000 cash prize. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. Winners are announced throughout the day but you don’t have to be present to win.

So, this Fourth of July’s Golden Adventure is ready to go. I’ll be looking forward to seeing some of you in the park again. But, please leave the fireworks to the pros, OK? You don’t need a road trip to Wyoming.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com


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