If you’re celebrating the Fourth of July in Colorado this year, there are various places to see the most awe-inspiring displays in the beautiful state.
Counties across Colorado have lifted their fireworks bans, and even some high-mountain towns nestled in the trees have brought their rockets' red glare back after years of pause.
Many of the Centennial State's fireworks displays have been altered or canceled in 2020. Check the details and the websites of event organizers for more information.
Black Hawk’s Boom Town
This event is being postponed until later in the year. Check the city's website for updates.
Every year, the mountain casino town of Black Hawk, which was founded in 1886, hosts Boom Town, Colorado's largest display of 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—the best in the state—is unmatched, and from above you skip the crowds.
You can spend the night camping nearby in Genesee Park. Another alternative is staying at one of the many casino-hotels like the Ameristar (with great views of the fireworks) or 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 gathering may be canceled.
Grand Lake 4th of July Celebration
This small town’s celebration is as grand as its natural lake. Many travelers come to Grand Lake specifically for the display, which will be shot off above the calm water from 9:30 to 10 p.m. on July 4, 2020. When you see the free fireworks 7,500 feet (2,286 meters) in the sky reflected on the lake below, it feels like twice the sparkle. Grab a blanket and picnic basket and honor the holiday amid the serenity of the tall trees and wildflowers. Event organizers request that guests practice social distancing.
Fireworks aside, Grand Lake in the summer is hard to top. The lake is the focal point of all kinds of water activities like swimming and stand-up paddleboarding. And the old-fashioned downtown has quaint shops, restaurants with live music, and the quality Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. This full package makes Grand Lake an ideal Fourth of July destination for visitors and locals alike.
Rollin on the Riverwalk, Pueblo
This event is canceled for 2020.
Southern Colorado’s biggest Independence Day celebration typically fuses orchestra music with an aerial light show. The Rollin on the Riverwalk bash begins at 5 p.m. and features an outdoor concert, vendors, and a great fireworks show at about 9:15 p.m. Located at Confluence Plaza at the Pueblo Riverwalk, the event is open to the public, but there is a charge (advance tickets are cheaper).
Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket to sit on. There are plenty of food options and beer, so make it a full evening event. Note this event is weather permitting.
Independence Eve Celebration, Denver
This event is canceled for 2020, but a virtual celebration with the Colorado Symphony will be announced, along with additional ways for the community to celebrate the holiday.
Denver’s big bang is not to be missed. Held in historic Civic Center Park, Independence Eve 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 on the patriotic stage usually starts at 5 p.m. on July 3, and guests enjoy the craft beer and wine bars as well as food trucks.
Go as early as possible to get the high-demand lawn spots. Concessions are nearby, but if you want to spare the lines, pack a picnic. Parking and traffic can be really challenging in downtown on this day.
Elitch Gardens is currently closed; check the official website for updates.
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’ fireworks display when the park closes after dark. The show is free with admission.
Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast, Boulder
This event has been canceled for 2020.
Since 1941, the annual Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast has taken place in the charming mountain town of Boulder. Held in Folsom Field, the football stadium at the University of Colorado, the event entails live music, a sing-along, and seeing Ralphie—a now-retired live buffalo, which served as the university mascot. Entertainment goes on at 8:30 p.m. and the fireworks usually take place around 9:30 p.m.
I-76 Speedway Fourth of July Race, Fort Morgan
If you are looking for a unique and exciting way to celebrate Independence Day, watching race cars whiz by at the I-76 speedway in west Fort Morgan is pretty patriotic. As part of the 2020 summer racing season, a fan appreciation night takes place on July 4. The race kicks off at 5 p.m. As of mid-June, the event organizers are still determining whether fireworks will be a part of the festivities. Tickets typically start at $10 for adults and $4 for children ages 6 to 12. Those age 5 and under are free.
Fourth of July weekend celebration, Estes Park
This event is canceled for 2020.
Visitors staying in Rocky Mountain National Park over Independence Day won’t be disappointed. The charming mountain village of Estes Park goes all out for the holiday. Guests can check out over 100 vehicles at the Coolest Car Show, and enjoy food along with local craft beer and wine in the Grandstands at the Estes Park Fairgrounds.
July 4 also brings a free patriotic concert at 7 p.m. at the Performance Park Amphitheater. At 9:30 p.m., dramatic fireworks, touted as the most spectacular in the state, are displayed over Lake Estes as the grand finale. The best seats are at Stanley Park.