Our view: Celebrate local community this 4th of July | SteamboatToday.com

Our view: Celebrate local community this 4th of July

At issue: The Fourth of July holiday is a time to celebrate our great nation. Our view: Regardless of politics and strife, there is more that unites us than divides especially if we focus on local community. Editorial Board • Logan Molen, publisher • Lisa Schlichtman, editor • Tom Ross, reporter • Alice Klauzer, community representative • Cameron Hawkins, community representative Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or lschlichtman@SteamboatToday.com.

The Fourth of July is a day set aside to celebrate freedom and independence. And as we prepare to gather with family and friends in honor of our nation’s birthday, we think it’s important to reflect on what unites us rather than what divides us in today’s polarized political climate.

It would be easy to fall into doomsday thinking by focusing on racial unrest, divisive immigration issues, gun violence and the growing incivility of society. But we must remember this is not the first time we’ve faced challenges of this magnitude. Think back to the Civil War, Great Depression, Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War. Time and time again, we have found a way to rise above our differences and build a stronger America.

In John Meacham’s book, “The Soul of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels,” the author writes, “In the main, the America of the 21st century is, for all its shortcomings, freer and more accepting than it has ever been. If that weren’t the case, right-wing populists attacks on immigrants and the widening mainstream wouldn’t be so ferocious. A tragic element of history is that every advance must contend with the forces of reaction.”

The conclusion Meacham makes is that eventually good overcomes evil, and as a country, our “better angels” surface.

It’s through that optimistic lens that we encourage readers to shift their focus away from the national political scene and turn their attention to local community on this Fourth of July holiday — a time when Steamboat Springs always shines.

Festivities surrounding the Fourth are emblematic of what we love about this beautiful place that many of us get to call home or at least get the opportunity to visit from time to time.

On Wednesday, you’ll have the opportunity to gather along Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs to watch a hometown parade with horses, red, white and blue floats and plenty of candy, all led by a pair of local Olympians as grand marshals.

Later in the day, the city’s historic Howelsen Hill will be the site of impressive ski jumping where 60 of the nation’s best Nordic combined and ski jumping athletes will soar through the air, and downtown on Oak Street, the Tread of Pioneers will host a Pioneer Block Party, complete with famous Routt beer floats and free hot dogs.

Evening activities include Steamboat’s famous Pro Rodeo Series, a nod to Steamboat’s western heritage, and a laser light show, which is being held in lieu of fireworks that were canceled due to dry conditions.

We applaud city leaders for planning ahead and coming up with a contingency plan to keep people downtown and entertained on the night of July Fourth, and that type of leadership reminds us that we’re grateful for individuals willing to run for elected office and serve the community. This type of service transcends politics and provides the foundation for local democracy — one more thing to celebrate on the Fourth.

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