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City Talk: Partnership makes Damboree a great success

Editor’s Note: City Talk is a new column written monthly by city department heads discussing city events, programs or their individual departments.

This July 4, when the first pancakes hit the griddles in Bicentennial Park, we will be kicking off the 75th Damboree. This patriotic, fun-filled day serves as a way to get to know neighbors, celebrate the birthday of our great nation, and more!

The annual event is a premier festival that draws thousands to our community – former residents, members of various clubs and organizations, and even political leaders, from city council members to governors to presidential hopefuls. Since being forced to take a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, the Damboree has come back as strong as ever.

Partnership between the Damboree Committee and City staff make the annual celebration a great success

For 28 years, the City of Boulder City and the Damboree Committee have had a great partnership in putting together one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in Southern Nevada. The Damboree Committee is composed of a small group of dedicated volunteers who help plan, coordinate, and implement the Boulder City Fourth of July Damboree Celebration.

The Damboree Committee, incorporated in 1995, is a 501 c (3) non-profit organization approved by the State of Nevada, governed by a board of directors. Planning for the event starts in January of each year and is attended by approximately 15 volunteer members.

The Damboree Committee, in coordination with Boulder City staff, is responsible for organizing the parade. This is no simple task! It includes marketing, developing the parade lineup, securing the sound system for the main stage, selecting the parade grand marshals, and securing the veteran group that does the fly-by to start the parade at 9 a.m. The committee also secures and coordinates the non-profit and profit food vendors at both Broadbent Park and Veterans Memorial Park. After the parade, festivities begin at Broadbent Park. These traditionally include Boulder City High School class reunions. The Boulder City Pool gets in on the fun, holding a children’s coin toss with hundreds of dollars in coins and prizes.

Once festivities end at Broadbent Park, the celebration moves down to Veterans Memorial Park for the rest of the evening. Games for children, food and drink vendors, family picnics, water park activities, and music keep the crowd engaged until nightfall, when Fireworks West sets off one of the best fireworks displays in Southern Nevada!

City staff from nearly every department help keep the festival safe, secure and powered. Boulder City Police and Fire departments provide security and emergency medical services for the Damboree events. The Fire Department staff supervises the setup of the fireworks and inspects all food vendors and certain tent structures in the park. Police officers and volunteers provide traffic control for the parade and security for the activities at both park sites. The Public Works Streets Department is responsible for blocking off the streets for the parade, deployment of the street signs, securing the pedestrian barricades for the parade route and traffic control at Broadbent and Veterans Memorial Park. The Utility Electrical Division is responsible for securing a large generator for Veterans Memorial Park and providing power boxes for Bicentennial, Broadbent, and Veterans Memorial parks. The Parks and Recreation Department is also responsible for park use coordination and facility cleanup after the event is over.

The City of Boulder City provides $15,000 toward the purchase of approximately $33,000 in fireworks for the event. The Damboree Committee, through corporate sponsorships and private donations provide the rest of the money to purchase the fireworks.

As one can see, there is a huge collaborative effort between the city of Boulder City and the Damboree Committee to make the Fourth of July Damboree Celebration one of the best in the state of Nevada. We appreciate the hard work of the Damboree Committee members and city staff who make this patriotic event possible.

Roger Hall is the city of Boulder City’s Parks and Recreation director.

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