Put on your stars and stripes and your red, white and blue: the Fourth of July is just days away. Across the United States, fireworks, parades and barbecues will celebrate Independence Day -- and Denver has no shortage of patriotic pride. Here are ten ways to celebrate this year.
See also: - Five unlikely patriotic places to celebrate the Fourth of July in Colorado - Photos: 4th of July fireworks displays in Colorado -- and the ones cancelled so far - Ten festivals you don't want to miss this summer
Independence Eve Concert and Fireworks Where: Civic Center Park When: July 3, 8 p.m. Cost: Free, lawn seating is first-come, first-served The fourth annual community celebration features a Colorado Symphony concert, light show and fireworks display. You bring the blankets and low-rise concert chairs; the city will put on the show. There's an after-party in the McNichols Building for those 21 and over; admission is a suggested $10 donation.
Break the record at the Outlaws game Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High When: July 4, 7 p.m. Cost: $20-$45 Come help the undefeated Outlaws break the professional lacrosse attendance record for the sixth year in a row. Hoping that more than 31,000 spectators will pass through the turnstiles this game -- beating last year's record of 30,128 -- the team is offering a package deal with Elitch Gardens Amusement Park. If you use the Ticketmaster promo code JULY4, you can use your ticket to get into Sports Authority on the 4th and use the Elitch portion for admission any regular operating day this season. General admission tickets to the July 4 Outlaws game are also available via Ticketmaster or at 303-OUTLAWS. After the game, a pyrotechnics show will be paired with a music-video tribute on the stadium's new 220-foot high, high-definition screen.
Race in the Liberty Run Where: Washington Park When: July 4, 8:30 a.m. Cost: $35 Lace up your kicks and burn off a few calories at the 4-mile Liberty Run before you eat your weight in hamburgers and apple pie. Runners are encouraged to rock red, white and blue (there's a costume contest), and finishers will receive a commemorative pint glass. The kids-only Firecracker Fun Run follows the adult run. Proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Foundation Colorado.
Sixth annual Highland 4th of July Parade Where: LoHi neighborhood When: July 4, 9:30 a.m. Cost: Free A family-friendly, old-fashioned parade starting at 32nd Avenue and Clay Street and ending at Hirshorn Park, the Highland parade will feature food, music, games, an appearance by the Denver Fire Department and an ice cream sundae eighty feet long! There will also be appearances by Trout Steak Revival, National Anthem Singers, the Pettis Family, Little Man Drum Line, the Golden Monkey Fortune Company and the Rocky Mountain Roller Punks.
Hit up a Hot Air Balloon Rally Where: Gunnison When: July 2-4 Cost: Free The 33rd annual 4th of July Hot Air Balloon Rally in Gunnison will run July 2-4. A colorful array of balloons will launch from Jorgensen Park around 5:30 a.m. each morning; audience members will be given rides on a space-available basis. The rally is part of Gunnison-Crested Butte's four-day Americana celebration that will also feature concerts, fireworks, a pancake breakfast and the Gothic to Crested Butte Run, Walk or Crawl 1/3 Marathon. Continue reading for more ways to celebrate.
Calm down at Wanderlust Where: Copper Mountain Resort When: July 4-7 Cost: Varies This summer, Wanderlust coincides with Copper Mountain's Fourth of July festivities and brings together some of the world's leading yoga teachers, top musical acts and DJs (MOBY is headlining), as well as top chefs and winemakers -- all in a stunning setting. Start your morning off with a meditation hike, then shop for handcrafted pieces in the vendor village, grab a quick snack and hop into a yoga class. All this and fireworks, too.
Park Hill Fourth of July Parade Where: 23rd Avenue between Dexter and Krameria When: July 4, 1:30 p.m. Cost: Free The fourth annual 4th of July parade in Park Hill will feature such favorites as the Winona Cotter Marching Band, Platinum Divas cheer squad and the Denver Pie Truck making repeat appearances. Also in this year's lineup are the Denver Pedal Bar, two Denver Fire Department engines and the Wands and Wishes princesses to delight young ones.
Cool off at a Whiskey and Beer Dinner Where: Wynkoop Brewing Company When: July 4, 6:30 p.m. Cost: $45 The Wynkoop is hosting a special pre-fireworks dinner, pairing each course with a Wynkoop beer and special whiskey. The four-course meal begins with barbequed quail, smoked cheddar grits and Kurt's Mile High Malt before moving on to trout, Olathe corn salad and George Dickel #12; smoked elk tenderloin and sage cornbread pudding with a Flanders style sour red ale; and fresh grilled peaches served with bourbon pecan ice cream and Wynkoop 2011 Imperial Stout. Dinner will end in time to watch the fireworks at Coors Field just down the street.
Ralphie's Independence Day Blast Where: Folsom Field, Boulder When: July 4, gates open at 8 p.m. Cost: Free The Blast will feature a sing-along with the Parks & Open Space Singing Rangers, Frisbee Dogs, the Monarch High Marching band and, of course, Ralphie. Boulder's largest fireworks show is expected to blast off at 9:40 p.m. Normal stadium rules apply.
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Olde Town Arvada Spirit of America Festival Where: Stenger Sports Fields, Arvada When: July 4, 4 p.m. Cost: Free The Olde Town Arvada Spirit of America Festival will feature a kids' park with games and activities, craft booths, a mini classic car show, DJs and live bands, face painting and plenty of tasty food. There's free parking starting at 3 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis; fireworks will light up the night at 9 p.m.