If you’re celebrating the Fourth of July in Colorado this year, here’s where to see the most awe-inspiring displays, plus a few unusual ones, just to be true to the Rocky Mountain reputation.
Many counties across Colorado have lifted their fireworks bans. Even high-mountain towns nestled in the trees have brought their rockets red glare back, after years of pause.
These are our eight favorite fireworks displays across Colorado:
1. Black Hawk’s Boom Town: The mountain casino town of Black Hawk does it big for the Fourth, with breathtaking fireworks filling the valley sky.
After a day of trying your luck on the slots, try to score the best seat in the house: in a neighborhood or open space as high as possible. The bird’s eye view is unmatched — the best in the state — and from above, you skip the crowds.
After the show, go camping nearby in Genesee Park or at one of the many casinos. We love the Ameristar and Lodge Casino.
2. Grand Lake 4th of July Celebration: This small town’s celebration is as grand as its lake. Many travelers come to Grand Lake specifically for the display, shot off above the placid water. See fireworks 7,500 feet in the sky reflected on the lake below. It feels like twice the sparkle. Grab a blanket and picnic basket and celebrate amid the serenity of the tall trees and wildflowers.
3. Rollin’ on the Riverwalk, Pueblo: Southern Colorado’s biggest Independence Day celebration fuses orchestra music with a light show in the sky.
The Rollin’ on the Riverwalk event begins with an outdoor concert by the Pueblo Symphony Orchestra. As the finale, the sky glows with fireworks. Event is open to the public, but costs $3-$15.
4. Independence Eve, Denver: You can't leave Denver’s big bang out. Independence Eve, in Civic Center Park, is a huge, free light show, concert and fireworks display that transforms the dramatic city and county building into a glowing rainbow of patriotism.
Tip: Come as early as possible to get the high-demand lawn spots. Concessions are nearby, but spare the lines and pack a picnic.
5. Elitch Gardens: For a wild spin on Independence Day, get your rush on the thrilling rides at Denver’s favorite amusement park. Don’t miss the SlideZilla ride, a six-story water slide that will take you through a massive swirling bowl and into a mega wave.
After a day of adrenaline, you’ll be ready relax under the stars for Elitch Gardens’ free fireworks display after dark. The show is free with admission.
6. Nederland’s Old Fashioned July Fourth Fireworks and Festival: The college town of Boulder is known for its flashy fireworks display, but this year, head up the hills to the funky neighbor town of Nederland. “Ned” recently brought back its fireworks and celebration after a break.
But this is no ordinary festival. Expect all kinds of quirky mountain fun, such as a human-sized Jenga game and barrel races.
7. I-76 Speedway Fourth of July race, Fort Morgan: Looking for a unique and exciting way to celebrate independence? A day at the speedway watching race cars wiz by is pretty ‘Merican. The race usually kicks off in the evening, followed by fireworks. Tickets typically range from $4 to $30, depending on your age and seat location.
8. Fourth of July weekend celebration, Estes Park: Visitors stationed in Rocky Mountain Park over Independence Day won’t be disappointed. The charming mountain village of Estes Park goes all out for the holiday, starting with the Go 4th music festival, where you can try for a strike in human bowling or fill up at the pig roast.
July 4 brings a car show, pro bull-riding and another free concert, with dramatic fireworks over Lake Estes as the grand finale. The best seats at at Stanley Park.