The holiday weekend is here, with events bursting out all over Colorado. Although fireworks shows are once again subject to cancellation (this time because of fire danger rather than the pandemic), bargain entertainments abound.
If you're penciling in events for the season, don't miss our comprehensive Summer 2021 listings; for a quick peek at this week's options, keep reading for ten of the best free events in and around Denver — and yes, a few online:
Meet in the Street
Saturday, July 3, through Monday, July 5, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
16th Street Mall
The Downtown Denver Partnership and City and County of Denver are hosting Meet in the Street, a summer festival taking over the 16th Street Mall with games, activities, and more. Learn more here.
Sloan's Lake Bazaar High Country Hustle With Derek Dames Ohl
Saturday, July 3, 4 to 8:30 p.m.
1611 Raleigh Street
TheBigWonderful is presenting a free show with Derek Dames Ohl (5 to 6 p.m.) Durango's High Country Hustle (from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) at the Sloan's Lake Bazaar. Admission is free, dogs are welcome, and you can buy a $40 open-bar ticket. Find out more here.
ArtWalk Summer on the Streets Festival
Saturday, July 3, 4 to 8 p.m.
Firehouse Art Center, 667 4th Avenue, Longmont
Firehouse Art Center is taking charge of Longmont’s ArtWalk again this summer by activating live music and mini arts-and-crafts markets in downtown alleyways and breezeways every Saturday, starting this weekend and running through August 21. Kids’ activity tables won’t be on the docket this round, but youngsters can pick up free hands-on take-home art kits at Firehouse, where the art exhibition One Thing, and Then Another will be on view for one last day. Get to know Longmont’s nooks and crannies on foot this summer; find weekly maps and schedules here.
Big Boom Bash
Saturday, July 3, 9:15 p.m.
Jeffco Stadium, 500 Kipling Street, Lakewood
Spectacular fireworks will be on view within a 1.5-mile radius of Jeffco Stadium, 500 Kipling Street, from a variety of vantage points on July 3, including nearby parks and convenient parking lots. Tune in to 100.3 FM on your car radio for choreographed music, or stream on your phone here; learn more and find a map of prime viewing spots here. In case of winds, pray for calmer weather on July 4.
Highland Neighborhood Fourth of July Parade
Sunday, July 4, 8 a.m. pre-party, 9:30 a.m. parade kickoff
West 32nd Avenue and Clay Street
After a pandemic hiatus, this family-friendly Highland neighborhood celebration returns with a bike-decorating pre-party, festively clad red-white-and-blue locals marching behind the antique fire truck, the Little Man drumline and the additional star power of Senior Miss Colorado, 96-year-old Lorie Woltemath. After a bike-decorating pre-party, Makenna Sherry will sing the national anthem at 9:30 a.m. Then the parade will travel down 32nd Avenue to Tejon Street, ending at Hirshorn Park for a local meet-and-greet with Fire Department #7. At 11 a.m., the action will move to the plaza at Little Man Ice Cream, which turns thirteen on July 4, for a free, kid-friendly “Happy Birthday Bash Singalong” featuring local north Denver favorite Hank Williams, director of awesomeness with the Rocky Mountain Aardvarks. Find out more here.
Brighton Fourth of July Festival
Sunday, July 4, 4 to 10 p.m.
Carmichael Park, 650 East Southern Street, Brighton
The annual free celebration returns to Brighton. Live entertainment includes music from DJ Tidal Wave starting at 5 p.m., followed by headliner Anavrins’s Day, a ’90s alternative and grunge tribute band, at 7 p.m. At the conclusion of the concert, the fest will feature one of the region's largest fireworks displays. Find out more here.
Know of a great free event in metro Denver? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to [email protected]