BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – With a picturesque backdrop and perfect views of the city, Boulder’s Chatauqua Park is a hot spot for Independence Day. Yet if your holiday plans take you to the popular park, be prepared for park rangers and police checking out what you bring.
“This is one of our more popular areas for people to view fireworks,” Phillip Yates, spokesperson for the City of Boulder’s Open Space & Mountain Parks (OSMP), said. “People like to come here to be in nature and have the opportunity to be with others on the 4th (of July).”
Fireworks are prohibited within city limits, as well as on city OSMP land. That’s why authorities will be around the parks inspecting visitors for illegal items.
“These are visual inspections of people’s bags or parcels,” Yates explained. “What we’re looking for are fireworks and fireworks only.”
Visitors may refuse inspection and may dispose of or return to their vehicle any items they do not want inspected, Yates added. For those who refuse inspection, rangers and police will deny entry.
“I think that’s completely fair,” one Chatauqua Park visitor told CBS4.
“I feel like that’s a bit harsh,” another visitor disagreed.
“I probably wouldn’t mind, but I’m sure a lot of people would definitely care (about being inspected0,” a different visitor said.
Yates explained the visual inspection procedure has been part of 4th of July policy for years after fireworks were illegally used in the open space. He said fireworks are strictly prohibited as a matter of public and fire safety.
“It’s important to remember it’s a pretty confined space if you have about a thousand people here,” Yates said of Chatauqua Park. “Not only could (a firework) light up some vegetation, but it could also harm a lot of people by way of hitting them or anything else. We want to make sure we’re providing a safe and enjoyable visitor experience for everyone here.”
If fireworks are found by rangers or police, the items will be confiscated and a summons will be issued.
Additionally, the city asks residents and visitors celebrating the holiday in one of the city’s urban parks to please be a good neighbor and help keep parks welcoming to all. Please remember that possession of open containers/consumption of alcohol in city urban parks is prohibited without a permit and to dispose of trash in marked containers or pack it out with you.