July 4th fest ends with a weather-related bang

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Severe thunderstorm adds drama to final performance at Evergreen Lake Park

By Sandy Barnes

Booming thunder and flashes of lightning accompanied Celtic Pipes and Drums musicians at the annual Evergreen Music Festival and Art Show at Evergreen Lake on July 4.

As festival-goers huddled under a large white tent during the storm, the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers moved in graceful patterns to the sounds of bagpipes blended with rumbling thunder.

While some in the audience appeared concerned about the storm and the driving rain, others were intrigued.

“The weather added to the drama,” said Evergreen resident Betsy Hayes. “It was awesome.”

This year’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was augmented by the sound of thunder, added Hayes, who has attended most of the festivals over the past 25 years.

From the stars-and-stripes fringe bordering the performance tent to the red, white and blue bouncy house for kids, a patriotic theme dominated the event. 

The Denver Brass played World War II-era tunes such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B,” and the Evergreen Chorale sang a melodic arrangement of “America the Beautiful.”

Members of American Legion Post 2001 offered a 21-gun salute and presented the Empty Chair ceremony honoring soldiers who are missing or prisoners of war.

Festival attendee Stan Richister, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, said he appreciated the tribute to those in military service. 

“It’s great being here,” said Richister, who was spending the day in Evergreen with family and friends before returning to his base in Colorado Springs.

A new venue for teen performers was a prime attraction at the festival. Among young musicians was John Remington, who played a variety of funk and hip-hop while people danced on the boardwalk behind the Lake House. 

Teen singers and musicians Sidney and Caitlin Powell also drew an audience as they played original tunes.

Inside the Lake House was the art show, which has become a tradition.

A variety of nature-inspired paintings and photographic works were on display, along with hand-painted glassware, bronze sculpture and jewelry.

Janet Doyle, a former member of the board of the music and arts festival, said that several years ago she suggested adding the art component to the July 4 event. 

Doyle currently serves on the board of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District and is the Democratic candidate in state House District 25. During the festival, she was doing a bit of campaigning while taking in performances and art on display.

Primary sponsors for the festival were the Canyon Courier, Intero Real Estate Services, Inspired Fitness and Coyote Gold.

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com.