Fireworks! Parades! Beer! The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and we’ve rounded up a slew of ways to celebrate our country’s freedom. Grab your red, white and blue—Independence Day in Denver is about to heat up.
This annual event takes place at Civic Center Park July 3, and is set to feature a live concert, stunning light show on the Denver City and County Building and a brilliant firework finale. Tip: Skip the parking nightmare and ride the light rail or strap on a picnic-filled backpack and bike to the park at dusk.
Start off your Fourth of July festivities a day early at this third annual fest held in Union Station. The free two-day music and beer extravaganza will feature pints from Boulder’s Avery Brewing Co. and live bands: New Sensations, Chris Daniels and the Kings, Paizley Park (a Prince tribute band) and Phat Daddy will play on the Plaza Beer Garden Patio from 4-10 p.m. Cheers to that!
Round up the kids and head to the historic Park Hill neighborhood for the largest neighborhood Fourth of July parade in the Denver-metro area, where 700-plus marchers, riders and floats will cruise along 23rd Avenue from 1:30-3 p.m., including pom squads, scout troops, chrome-gilded low riders, military vehicles, fire engines, a marching band, Western rough riders on horseback and even a “dinosaur” from the Denver Zoo. Make a day of it and head to the end-of-parade street fair on the 2200 block of Kearney Street, where you’ll find live music and local vendors.
Get your adrenaline pumping early this Fourth and spend the day riding the infamous roller coasters and water slides at Denver’s Elitch Gardens. Stick around after the parks close to watch the annual Pepsi Center firework show light up the downtown Denver skyline.
Cheer on the undefeated Denver Outlaws as they play the New York Lizards in the annual Independence Day Celebration lacrosse game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Post-game fireworks will be launched from inside the bowl alongside a music video tribute on the stadium’s brand new 220-foot long by 40-foot high Thundervision screen.
Rapids fans, this one’s for you! Purchase tickets to the traditional Fourth of July soccer match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the MLS Soccer team will take on the Portland Timbers at 7 p.m. Get there early to enjoy free pre-game 4thFest activities with your family: The 4thFest Family Activity Zone opens at 5 p.m. outside Burgundy Boulevard and will feature an inflatable obstacle course, human hamster balls, a bungee trampoline, face painting, live entertainment and more. Adults can score drink specials at Eighteen76 bar, explore the Budweiser Beer Garden Experience and take part in the Centennial 38 Tailgate. But that’s not all—a post-match firework display will be shot over the stadium and you’ll get a live performance by hit alternative/indie band, 888.
Head to Four Mile Historic Park at 5 p.m. on July 1 for a free, fun-filled evening of old-fashioned games, historic demonstrations, live music, horse-drawn wagon rides and more. There will be food trucks and a beer garden sponsored by Dry Dock Brewing Company on-site, and the Glendale firework show will begin overhead at dusk.
Spend your Fourth of July jamming out to live music at the 28th annual Evergreen Music Festival at Buchanan Park, where local food trucks, vendors, kids’ activities and live music performances will be held throughout the day. The Hazel Miller Band headlines at 6 p.m. and admission is only $10 for adults, $5 for teens and free for active military service members, veterans and kids younger than 12.
Bring the kids to EB Rains Jr. Memorial Park on July 4 for “Denver’s largest family picnic” and kick off the holiday with a pancake breakfast provided by Boy Scout Troop 98, a 4-mile run, a car show and the Pedals and Paws Patriot Parade—all happening before noon. Hit the food vendors and beer garden for lunch at 12 p.m. and enjoy live performances by Phat Daddy, Arena Rock All-Stars and Soul School throughout the day. Festival-goers are also welcome to take advantage of the pedal-boats, bouncy houses, booth vendors and community stage. And, of course, a dazzling firework show will be the grand finale.
Have you ever seen skydivers land just seconds before fireworks launch above them into the sky? Here’s your chance. Head to Carpenter Park Fields in Thornton on July 4 at 4 p.m. to enjoy the beer gardens and food from local vendors, listen to live music and watch nighttime parachutists jump from the sky at 9:30 p.m. Tip: Bring a blanket, bug spray and a pair of binoculars!