It's a sad day when our nation's birthday falls on a Wednesday. How are we dedicated citizens supposed to honor our freedoms by drinking too much, stuffing our bellies and shooting off fireworks — and then still show up to work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Thursday? We can't help you with your hangover, but we can provide a list of places to dine and drink throughout the Fourth of July. Here are ten of the best Independence Day events for eats and drinks.
7415 Grandview Street, Arvada
Being an American doesn't have anything to do with you color, creed or birthplace. It doesn't matter what language you speak. What unites us all as a nation in 2018 is our love of brunch; it's practically enshrined in the Constitution at this point. So who's going to pass up brunch on a weekday? Not the Bluegrass, which is serving its full brunch menu (it pays homage to the many immigrants who made America great in the form of breakfast pizza, burritos and French toast) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, along with bottomless mimosas and Bloodys. Start the holiday off right (i.e., tipsy), then get out there and light some illegal fireworks.
Avery Brewing Company
4910 Nautilus Court, Boulder
If you're truly committed to the celebrating the birth of a nation (even though it falls on a Wednesday, damn that five-day work week), you need to work hard. And there's nothing that's more challenging (to your legs, if not your liver) than Avery's "4 on the 4th" 4K race that starts at 9 a.m. and ends with breakfast and beer at the brewery. Age-group winners — over 21, of course — will receive a case of brews, with overall winners getting their weight in Avery beer. That's an opportunity worth racing for; register ($40) at active.com.
Highland Fourth of July Parade and Picnic
16th and Erie streets
This Fourth of July, consider the eternal question: Does size really matter? The answer — definitively — is yes, especially when it comes to hot dogs and ice cream sundaes. But before the big guns come out, engage in some holiday foreplay with Highland's annual bike parade, which steps off from West 32nd Avenue and Clay Street at 9:30 a.m., before wending its way down Tejon Street to Hirshorn Park, where free hot dogs will be handed out and Little Man Ice Cream will be creating a 200-foot long sundae — which will definitely have you appreciating its immensity.
Declaration Brewing Company
2030 South Cherokee Street
One of the best brewery patios in town — boasting ample seating, plush couches, games galore and legal access for your furry friends — is celebrating the day with one of the best meals known to man: whole roast pig. This little piggy will be prepared kalua style and served with sticky rice, kale salad, coconut sweet potatoes and a pint of beer, all for just $20. Still hungry? There's a pie-eating contest at 4 p.m., and live music to lull you into a food coma starting at 5 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. and admission to this "brew-luau" is free.
1380 Horizon Avenue, Lafayette
Boulder County's best vista for fireworks this summer is a farmhouse on a hill. Acreage, the cidery and restaurant opened by Stem Ciders earlier this year, is a delightful contradiction: Its community seating is comfortable and relaxed; its beer garden is a wraparound patio that serves up uninterrupted views of the surrounding land and foothills; it's a counter-service joint with sit-down prices. But somehow it all works, which makes it a clear choice to watch northern firework displays. Bluegrass purveyors the Lonesome Days will be taking the stage at 5 p.m., but doors open at noon, so show up early and settle in with a cider or three.
The Post Brewing Co.
2200 South Broadway
All of the Post's locations are dishing up barbecue specials and picnic baskets packed with fried chicken for the Fourth, but our bet for the best party is at the company's Rosedale outpost, which opens its doors at noon. That's because in addition to its ’cue plate (links, bird, ribs and sides) for $18, the bar is mixing Red, White and Blue cocktails for a mere $5, and happy-hour pricing will run from 4 to 8 p.m. There will also be cornhole on the patio all day and live music starting at 1 p.m. The only thing more American than fried chicken is apple pie, and the joint will probably have some of that on hand, too — so don't miss out on the quintessential American birthday bash.
2501 Dallas Street
This great nation was founded on the concept of liberty, and in addition to our inalienable, constitutionally guaranteed freedoms (speech, religion, press), this food truck rally promises another: lunch. From 1 to 8 p.m., nearly twenty food trucks will be offering everything from sopes to sandwiches to shawarma to surf and turf. Oskar Blues and Infinite Monkey Theorem will help you wet your whistle, and bands and DJs will be performing all afternoon.
Strange Craft Beer Company and Wit's End Brewing
1330 Zuni Street
What's a cookout-loving Millennial to do for Independence Day when he can't fit a grill on his tiny apartment patio? There's always the possibility of wandering around the neighborhood with a bag of hot dog buns until he smells smoke and then crash that party, but it would be far less awkward if he just headed over to Strange Craft and Wit's End for the day. The beer garden — complete with grills, tongs and spatulas — will open at 3 p.m.; all you need to do is show up with meat, fixings and the ability not to set anything on fire (though water balloons will be available to extinguish the flames if you decide to serve that dog extra-extra-crispy).
The Fort Restaurant
19192 Highway 8, Morrison
For the most panoramic view of the city skyline this Fourth, head up the hill to the legendary Fort Restaurant and snag a table on its patio. You'll be able to enjoy firework shows from Westminster to Parker while enjoying the food that sustained pioneering Coloradans and mountain men: meat. This is no outing for vegetarians; the menu is dominated by animal protein and, as expected, the kitchen knows its way around a slab of meat. The evening's special is a half-rack of bison ribs and half-rack of pork ribs with cherry pie for dessert; make sure you call early for reservations to ensure that you get the best seat in the city.
1023 Walnut Street, Boulder
It may not be the most ’Murican of celebrations, but Corrida's American Takeover promises to be one of the most scrumptious. The Iberian steakhouse is is giving a nod to classic Fourth of July picnic food (corn on the cob, potato salad and coleslaw will be served), but the main attraction will be the whole roasted pig. Get there early — the event runs from 7 to 11:30 p.m. — and be the first in line so you can call dibs on the tail and cheeks. Tickets ($125 at eventbrite.com) aren't for the frugal, but they come with Spanish food, drinks and an unparalleled view of fireworks exploding over the Flatirons from Corrida's rooftop patio.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.