When you celebrate the Fourth of July in Colorado this year, you'll want to know where to see the most awe-inspiring displays, plus a few unusual ones, just to be true to the Rocky Mountain state's reputation. There are fireworks displays in scenic rural areas as well as a big bang event in downtown Denver and not all of them take place on the 4th.
These are eight favorite fireworks displays across Colorado:
Black Hawk’s Boom Town
Every year, the 150-year-old mountain casino town of Black Hawk does it big for the Fourth, with breathtaking fireworks filling the valley sky. In fact, the Boom Town Fireworks Spectacular may just be the largest fireworks display in Colorado.
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, spend the night camping nearby in Genesee Park or stay at one of the many casinos. Popular casino-hotels are the Ameristar (which also has great views of the fireworks) and the Lodge Casino.
As with all Colorado fireworks shows, this event is weather permitting. If it's too dry out and the fire risk is high, the event may be canceled.
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 lake's calm water. When you 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.
Fireworks aside, Grand Lake in the summer is hard to top. The lake is the focal point of all kinds of water activities—swimming and stand-up paddle boarding. And the old-fashioned downtown has quaint shops and a quality theater. This full package makes Grand Lake an ideal Fourth of July destination for visitors and locals, alike.
Rollin’ on the Riverwalk in Pueblo
Southern Colorado’s biggest Independence Day celebration fuses orchestra music with an aerial light show. The Rollin’ on the Riverwalk event begins with an outdoor concert by the Pueblo Symphony Orchestra. As the finale, the sky glows with fireworks. The event, located at Confluence Plaza at the Pueblo Riverwalk, is open to the public, but there is a charge.
Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket to sit on. There are plenty of food options and beer, too, so make it a full evening event.
Independence Eve in Denver
Denver’s big bang is not to be missed. 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.
The live music starts at 5 p.m. and the craft beer and wine bars and food trucks will be open. For 2019, a local favorite and international sensation Chris Daniels & The Kings along with the Colorado Symphony perform on the patriotic stage.
Go as early as possible to get the high-demand lawn spots. Concessions are nearby, but spare the lines and pack a picnic. Parking and traffic can be really challenging in downtown on this day.
Elitch Gardens Amusement Park
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 to relax under the stars for Elitch Gardens’ free fireworks display after dark. The show is free with admission.
Nederland’s Old Fashioned 4th of July Festival
The college town of Boulder is known for its flashy fireworks display, but this year for something different, head up the hills to the funky neighbor town of Nederland. “Ned” is a mountain town with a ton of personality. (In fact, it holds another event called the Frozen Dead Guy Days, complete with coffin racing and frozen T-shirt contests.)
As you would expect of Nederland, this is no ordinary festival. Find all kinds of quirky mountain fun, such as a human-sized Jenga game and barrel races.
I-76 Speedway 5th of July Race
Looking for a unique and exciting way to celebrate independence? A day at the speedway in Fort Morgan watching race cars whiz by is pretty ‘Merican. For 2019 the event with fireworks takes place on July 5. 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.
Fourth of July Weekend in Estes Park
Visitors staying 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 festival, where you can enjoy the music, 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, touted as the most spectacular in the state, over Lake Estes as the grand finale. The best seats are at Stanley Park.