63rd Annual Boulder City Damboree
By Valery Behr
Sixty-three years ago, the residents of Boulder City started a tradition that has turned into one of Southern Nevada’s most anticipated annual celebrations. This full-day event, to be held on Monday, July 4th, offers individuals of all ages an opportunity to enjoy the true meaning of Independence Day in a singular, small-town setting.
The theme for this year’s celebration, “Serving Our Community & Nation,” showcases the town’s philanthrophic spirit. “We wanted to show our gratitude to everyone who donates their time and energy to make Boulder City such a great place to live,” shares Roger Hall, director of Boulder City Parks & Recreation and longtime chair of the Damboree Committee.
Here’s a rundown of the day’s events, from pancakes and a parade to food, games and fireworks.
Rotary Pancake Breakfast 7am
Bicentennial Park, 1100 Colorado Street. Donations.
Early risers will enjoy the annual Rotary Pancake Breakfast. Local club members fire up the griddles and start flipping these hotcakes well before the sun rises. All you need to do is stumble out of bed and follow the delicious smell of pancakes and maple syrup.
63rd Annual Damboree Parade 9am
Colorado & Nevada Way to Fifth Street & Avenue B. Ends at Broadbent Park. Free
Bring your lawn chairs and pick a shady seat along the route to watch an entertaining selection of parade entries from big-city floats to local kids on bikes to the popular Shriners’ mini cars all kicked off by Boulder City Veterans Flying Group flyover (9:05 am). Be sure to keep an eye out for the “water allowed” banner signaling the start of the water section. At that point, parade entries are armed to engage with the crowd in what has become Boulder City’s famous 4th of July water play. Those who wish to stay dry should seek higher ground! Water balloons and projectiles are prohibited, otherwise anything goes!
Broadbent Memorial Park Festivities 10am-4pm
1301 Fifth Street, Parade Route End. Free.
The end of the parade is just the beginning of the fun at Broadbent Park with food, drinks and games sponsored by various local non-profit groups. The kids will enjoy midway-esque games (10am-4pm) and an ongoing competitive eating competition. Older folk can watch the official Damboree Ceremonies (11 am) complete with flag-raising, national anthem, an introduction of distinguished guests, presentation of parade trophies and entertainment (11:30 am). Kids who didn’t get wet enough during the parade are welcome to dive for change at the annual Coin Toss at the Pool (1 pm, pool admission fee). The Damboree Committee drops over $300 of nickels, dimes and quarters into the water for this popular, spirited event.
Veterans’ Memorial Park 6pm-11pm
1650 Buchanan Blvd. Enter on Buchanan or Veterans Memorial Drive. $10 Parking Fee.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the Boulder City Damboree Committee tops off a fun-filled day with a spectacular fireworks display that rivals most resort destinations. Many families arrive at Veterans’ Park early, set up their blankets and enjoy picnic dinners on the soccer field or down by the water park. The outdoor party gets started with live music from local bands Here Down Under and Heels Over Head (7 8:45pm). Pre-firework activities include Games2U’s fun Hamster Balls and Video Game Trailer. Be sure to sign up for the 2nd Annual Pie Eating Competition to take place between band sets. Three groups of 10 contestants aged 18-29, 30-49 and 50+ will be competing to win great prizes, including a Grand Prize Stay at Lake Las Vegas. But by far, the best part of the event is when the sun goes down and the night light up. Sit back, relax and watch the sky explode with color. The Damboree Committee goes all out with its annual display, leaving the crowd “oohing and ahhhing” as the show continues for thirty minutes. When the very last explosion fills the air, the band kicks back in and the celebration continues until 11 pm.
For more information on the 63rd Annual Boulder City Damboree 4th of July Celebration, contact the Boulder City Parks & Recreation Department 702-293-9256. 2011 Official Damboree t-shirts are available for sale at Ace Shopper Stopper and Albertsons. Damboree donations jugs can be found throughout town to support the festivities. To enquire about sponsorship or in-kind donations, contact Boulder City Parks and Recreation Department Program Coordinator Patty Sullivan at 702-293-9340.