Wikipedia’s definition of America’s traditional patriotic holiday is this: “Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.”
However you envision celebrating Independence Day, plenty of events in the region will do the trick. The high fire danger and cost of fireworks has made those wonderfully exciting aerial displays a little less common than in the past, and Nederland residents again will not have the pleasure of viewing them over Barker Reservoir, but if that’s the signature way that makes the holiday stand out for you, in a few places the sky will be lit up in celebration — you just have to drive a little ways.
Starting off in our own back yard, Nederland has added green to the traditional red, white and blue, stressing a more sustainable, environmentally agreeable nod to the patriotic. Events kick off at noon on Thursday with the annual Fourth of July parade downtown. The town’s old sewage lagoon is being transformed into a beautiful park and community performance area, and the park plans will be on display at the 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting for Nederland’s new water treatment plant, the most energy-efficient of its kind on the Front Range.
Tours of the plant will be offered. The Guercio ballfield will have lots of activities going on until 7 p.m., from kickball, volleyball and other games to wagon rides. The Nederland Fire Protection District will celebrate its 100th anniversary by having a day off to participate in water barrel wars, competing with other regional fire districts in high pressure water fun.
The fire fighters also will be manning a barbecue grill to cook whatever is brought by the public for a BYOS (bring your own stuff, like blankets and food) Ned Pickin’ Picnic, with the Eldorans, the Caribou Mountain Collective and FatRabbitDog keeping things lively with entertaining music. Vendors of arts, crafts, food and drinks will be on hand. From 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Orphan Circus will be performing in the TEENS Inc. parking lot, with the troupe showing off Cirque de Solei-style performance arts and high-flying acts.
While Nederland opted out on a fireworks display, it is hoped that local folks will head downtown at dusk with LED lights or anything safe that glows (like fluorescent hula hoops perhaps) and have some extemporaneous fun.
After an afternoon of Nederland activities, you could head elsewhere for some sparkling fireworks. Black Hawk, a short drive to the south, will present its 22nd annual Fourth of July fireworks display, allegedly the largest in the state, around 9:30 p.m. The display will span approximately 30 to 40 minutes, featuring more than 12,000 colorful aerial shells, pyrotechnics from around the world, including Disney World and the Montreal International Fireworks Competition, and will premier several newly-designed displays of blooming flowers, silver crowns and animated shells that dance across the sky.
This year the town will be synchronizing the pyrotechnics with streaming music, via the internet, to everyone during the show. To participate, the link to be used with web-connected devices is: http://188.8.131.52:88/broadwave.m3u?src=s0&rate=0.
There are other fireworks displays on or around the Fourth of July. Baseball fans will be treated to bright spectrum at the July 2 and 3 Colorado Rockies evening games at Coors Field. The Denver City and County Building will present its fourth annual Independence Eve Celebration on Thursday evening, featuring a free stirring, patriotic concert by the Colorado Symphony and an innovative light show followed by stunning fireworks.
Denver City Park will have a concert at 7:30 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Boulder will have Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast 2013 at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field. Gates open at 8 p.m., with the Monarch High School marching band, Mad Hops jump roping team and Boulder Open Space Singing Rangers.
Jamestown will have a benefit for its fire and emergency medical departments on Thursday beginning at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast and an evening concert from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with bands Eat the Sun, Chimney Choir, Gasoline Lollipops and Alcapones in its Town Square.
Gold Hill will host a pancake breakfast on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Gold Hill Elementary School, with Gold Hill firefighters serving plain and blueberry pancakes with bacon, Chief Finn’s strawberry rhubarb sauce, along with coffee, tea, and juice.