Best Ways to Spend Your 4th of July in Colorado

Written by Ben Sack, 06.26.2019

We’re approaching that time of year again, the time when whole towns and cities join together to celebrate the day, long ago, where we asserted our independence from (the then uber-controlling) England.

In Colorado, we take the 4th of July seriously. In the celebratory spirit, there’s no shortage of celebrations for couples and families alike. Whether you’re looking for a one-night fireworks display or a weekend-long festival, you’ll find it in Colorado.

The Top 7 Fourth of July Events In Colorado

1. Broomfield: Great American Picnic

Great American Picnic Bike ParadeIf you want to bring your kiddos to somewhere fun this 4th without having to drive too far from the Denver metro area, try the Broomfield Great American Picnic. Here you and your family can indulge in hot dogs and ice cream as your kids wear themselves out with unlimited inflatable game fun. There are fun concerts for the whole family interspersed throughout the night, with a fireworks display to end the night right.

2. Steamboat Springs: Cowboys’ Roundup Days

Are you looking for a western celebration this 4th of July? Then head to downtown Steamboat Springs for Cowboys’ Roundup Days. You’ll get to enjoy live music, a rodeo, a 4th of July parade, and fireworks. With the celebration lasting from July 3rd through the 6th, it’s a great opportunity for a mini-mountain vacation.

3. Denver: Cherry Creek Arts Festival + Fireworks

If you find yourself in Denver over the 4th of July weekend, there’s more to do than just watch the fireworks shows. This weekend welcomes people to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, with free performances and great street food and art from many local vendors.

With the arts festival starting on the 5th of July, you have the day and night of the 4th free to visit Elitch Gardens for their annual fireworks show. Pro tip: if you don’t want to spend your day on thrilling roller coasters (or if you can’t because your work won’t allow it), there are many places around Denver to sit and enjoy the show for free.

There is also a 4th of July celebration at Four Mile Historic Park with delicious food and drink from food trucks and a beer garden, as well as games for the whole family, horse-drawn carriages, live entertainment, and more.fireworks over denver colorado

4. Grand Lake: 4th of July Fireworks

Fireworks on the lakeGrand Lake is a picturesque lake with quaint and comfortable cabins nestled nearby. It’s a beautiful place to go for water sports like kayaking and swimming and for a beautiful fireworks show on the 4th. You can watch from a nearby campground or find some trees and set up a hammock for snuggling with that certain someone. Plus, you’ll get two times the fireworks with the reflection in the still blue lake.

5. Greeley: The Greeley Stampede

Greeley StampedeEvery year the city of Greely puts on the Greeley Stampede, where you’ll find a demolition derby, country music, a carnival, and more to keep the whole family entertained. They have one of the largest 4th of July parades in the whole country, so you can practice your moves to marching bands and live music. While this event runs June 26-July 7, 2019, you can find fireworks and the parade on the 4th if you choose to come here to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

6. Black Hawk: Boom Town 4th of July Fireworks

Black Hawk is Colorado’s top gambling destination. People state-wide travel here to try their luck at the slots or test their prowess at the tables. For those who love fireworks and gambling, Black Hawk’s Boom town is not to be missed.

They set off one of the biggest fireworks displays in the state at 9:30 P.M. every 4th of July. With great viewpoints spread around the city, you can enjoy the show after a fun day of playing the stakes.

7. Florence: Wet and Dry Parade

Just outside of beautiful Cañon City is the small town of Florence which hosts their Fourth of July Wet and Dry Parade. Fun for kids and parents alike, you can choose to be in the wet area where you’ll battle it out with the floats and firefighters with water guns and hoses. Or choose the dry section if you just want to watch the fun.

What’s more, you can spend the early part of your day whitewater rafting along the Arkansas River from Cañon City on a half-day or full-day rafting trip for families, and spend your night watching fireworks and playing at the Wet and Dry Parade.

Not Sure Where to Go?

With so many exciting options for the family and romantic possibilities for couples, it can be hard to decide on the best one for you. Some of these events go on for multiple days, so if you can get away, try out two events this year to add some variety and see if you can find the perfect celebration for you. Starting next you, you can make it a tradition.

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About the Author

Ben Sack is the General Manager of Echo Canyon River Expeditions, Colorado's largest white water rafting outfitter. He's also a raft guide, a photographer, and he loves exploring Colorado and beyond with his wife and two boys.
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