Can't believe you're still at work? Get out. It's time to plan your fabulous July 4th weekend, so here's what you should do: Go hang out with a marg at Mezcal and ponder. You could even have some fun along with the relaxation: There's a Beyond José tequila education night there beginning at 8 p.m., with free sips and henna tattoos for the ladies (admission is also free), not to mention the right atmosphere to make kick-back celebratory fireworks-drenched preparations. And here's some help charting your course for a holiday that will rock all weekend long.
When the 4th falls on a Saturday, it means the celebratin' begins on Friday. To begin with, there are bang-up events in Glendale and RiNO. But not to outdone by Glendale's southeastern sparks, Lakewood will also put on a show during 40 and Fireworks!, a civic 40th-anniversary party and fireworks show combined, with kids' activities and live music beginning at 4 p.m. at the Jefferson County Stadium, 580 Kipling Street in Lakewood, where fireworks will light up the sky after dark. Admission is free; visit www.lakewoodonparade.org for details. Or get your fill of patriotic music at the CSO Independence Day Celebration, a free evening with the Colorado Symphony beginning at 7 p.m. in City Park, 17th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. And for a price, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra will follow suit with From Sea to Shining Sea, 7:30 p.m. outdoors at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard. Admission ranges from $10 to $28 (kids get in for $1); go to www.arvadacenter.org or call 720-898-7200.
Of course, you know that on Saturday, the day proper, the weeding out of events gets tougher: so little time, so much to do.
It would be hard to find anything hipper in the world to do tonight than to hit the July 4th East Colfax Super Block Party or more down-home than the Gold Hill Inn's Fourth of July Twang Feast and Bar-B-Que. But perhaps you're seeking something more traditional. No problem: Head to Four Mile Historic Park for the annual Old-Fashioned Family 4th of July event, where you not only might run into Uncle Sam, Abraham Lincoln or a real live mountain man, but you can also ride a horse-drawn wagon back in time. Take part in the landmark's family fun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 715 S. Forest Street. Admission is $4 to $7 (kids under 5 admitted free), and rides are $1 to $2; get info at www.fourmilepark.org or call 720-865-0800.
Or head for the hills, where Central City and Black Hawk are kicking out the jams in celebration of the first full weekend of $100 limits and 24-hour gaming in Colorado. Central City hosts an all-day fest in the streets from noon to 9 p.m., while Black Hawk will provide the light show after dark, and the Central City Opera gets into the act with a special opening day matinee performance of A Little Night Music at 2:30 p.m. at the Central City Opera House (for tix, $50 to $99, call 303-292-6700). Log on to www.centralcitycolorado.us or call 303-582-5251 to learn more.
Big shows are promised after games at Coors Field and Dick's Sporting Goods Park, but your best bet for still getting a ticket might be at Invesco Field, 1701 Bryant Street, where the Denver Outlaws major league lacrosse team takes on the appropriately named Boston Cannons at 7 p.m., with fireworks to follow. Visit http://denveroutlaws.com for ticket information. And the traditional Ralphie's Independence Day Blast at Folsom Field, which coincides this year with Boulder's sesquicentennial celebration, features a community sing-along, flag procession, 150th anniversary-celebration and fireworks choreographed to a patriotic soundtrack, all for free, if you can elbow your way into the stadium. Go to www.bouldercolorado.gov for event information.
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And finally, if you're looking for something just over the top, slap down some cash for a ringside seat on the patio at Vita, way up on the Highland bluff at 1575 Boulder Street. A stiff fee of $250 for a table of four will not only reserves you a coveted space on the deck for viewing downtown fireworks, but also includes an elegant picnic basket with two bottles of wine, an appetizer platter, a champagne toast and other surprises. Totally worth it, if you're looking for a splurge. Go to www.vitadenver.com or call 303-477-4600 for reservations.
So. You're still looking, and it's last call at Mezcal? Pull out your laptop and surf to Westword's Fourth of July listings for a complete rundown. You'll be glad you did.
For more ways to rock the night and kill the day, go to westword.com/calendar.