Since 2019, Frisco Town Council has had a significant, ongoing public discussion about the impacts of events on the economy, resident quality of life, and visitor experience. These conversations most recently included a strategic events discussion during Council’s February 23, 2021 work session and follow up discussions on August 10, 2021 regarding July 4th and on September 28, 2021 regarding the Frisco BBQ Challenge. Subsequently after significant public discussion over three years, all six Frisco Town Council members in attendance at the October 25, 2022 meeting gave staff direction to no longer host the BBQ Challenge in 2023, to enhance the July 4th parade and concert in 2023, and to not pursue July 4th fireworks for 2023.
Council also directed staff to bring suggestions back to Council for an event over the traditional BBQ weekend that aligned with the community’s focus around arts and culture, such as a one-night revival of Frisco’s Music on Main to include a noteworthy musical act. In addition, Council provided direction to enhance the community’s 4th of July celebrations by boosting parade participation to include a limited amount of vehicles, creating a block party atmosphere on Main Street post parade by keeping a three block area closed to vehicles and by bringing in performers, booking a more prominent band at the afternoon concert in the Historic Park, and organizing an evening boat parade at the Frisco Bay Marina. In future years, Council also wants to pursue more July 4th celebrations at the Marina when the landscaping and infrastructure could better accommodate.
BBQ Discussion Details
During the BBQ discussion, Council noted that Town staff had effectively brought the 2022 Frisco BBQ Challenge “back to basics,” as a result of community feedback, by eliminating ancillary components such as the Whiskey Tour, chef demos, carnival-like food and bounce houses, the firefighter cook-off, and street performers. Instead, the event successfully focused on BBQ, on providing a place for friends and family to gather, and on live music. Council gave this “back to basics” direction to staff during their September 28, 2021 discussion, when they also directed staff to return with a post-BBQ event recap.
While making the decision to no longer host the BBQ Challenge, Council also cited direct feedback that they received from local businesses that the BBQ Challenge did not have a positive impact on their businesses. Council also determined that they did not want this event to be the first and possibly only impression of Frisco that visitors would have, as they believed that Frisco seemed out of character and someone other than itself for the three days during the BBQ Challenge. In conclusion, Council emphasized that while the BBQ Challenge did become smaller and more localized in 2022, it still felt as if the event was out of step with the community’s values and had run its course.
July 4th Discussion Details
During the July 4th discussion, Council expressed an appreciation for the longstanding traditions of Frisco’s July celebrations of Independence Day and that enhancements to the July 4th parade, Main Street celebrations, and afternoon concert would better honor this community tradition going forward. Council did note that they did not intend the parade to be as it always had been and directed staff to arrive at a plan that encouraged human powered floats and brought a limited amount of vehicles that aligned with the Town’s character and values.
Council also voiced appreciation for July 4th fireworks over Dillon Reservoir, which they had directed staff to pursue for 2022, but which had to be canceled, as the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC) denied the Town’s fireworks permit in April 2022. DRReC cited the impacts on traffic, watershed, and wildlife; ongoing major road construction in Summit County and on I70; anticipated fire danger; and a lack of consensus among the Towns and Summit County to have an event with this level of substantial impact on the whole county. Also, securing permission from the School District to launch fireworks from this location was challenging and an agreement was not reached prior to the April 2022 DRReC decision.
Council acknowledged that there would likely be insurmountable hurdles to securing a DRReC permit in the future, and in the interests of being a good neighbor to all of the surrounding communities, none of which are supportive of Frisco’s fireworks display, they would not pursue a July 4th fireworks display going forward.
Frisco Town Council Meetings
Frisco Town Council meetings are available to view via Zoom and YouTube, and are also held in person to make Town Council meetings easier to access for everyone. More information and recordings of Council meetings may be found on the council and commissions meetings page at FriscoGov.com.