The Fourth of July was a gorgeous day at Alcova Lake. There were blue skies, calm water and just enough wind to sail.
Casper resident Mike Simmons and his friends enjoyed their day at Sandy Beach. Simmons has been going to Alcova for 21 years, but this summer is his last. He's moving to Alaska. But Simmons has many fond memories he'll take with him.
“You're gonna laugh at me, but when I was in high school I had my nipples pierced. My cousin ripped one out right at the exact spot we're at,” Simmons chuckled.
But while Simmons knows how to laugh, he can't escape nostalgia. “I absolutely love it out here. The fishing out here can be phenomenal. Sandy Beach—for being in Wyoming—we have a beach. It's great.”
Alcova is not just a popular spot for locals. For the last five years, Pat Labato has traveled all the way from Denver to spend her weekend with Bob and Lydia Carlton. Every year she looks forward to the same thing.
“The best spot,” she said, “is coming and going down the canyon. Going down the canyon in the boat—it's just beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.”
While everyone enjoyed the day, firefighters were hard at work preparing the fireworks display. Orange firing tubes poked out between the trees on an island out in the lake. But don't feel bad. The firefighters aren’t just working. When the crowds are out on their boats watching, the firefighters are having lots of fun shooting off 600 fireworks.
Andrew Burgess, Fireworks Show Lead Shooter, grinned as he explained, “I think we probably have more fun because we get to push the button. It's like every little kid’s dream, is to be the one pushing the button. And now it’s a new electronic system. All the firing boxes and control modules are like stuff you saw as a kid in movies.”
And the show, which they start planning in March every year, is a must see.
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office had extra deputies on patrol, both on land and in the water. On the weekend of the Fourth, they respond most often to fireworks calls and DUIs.