Fun on the fourth

Your guide to having a blast — with or without fireworks

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There are a lot of things to do on July 4, but with multiple parts of the state literally on fire, it might be hard to come by those oft-cherished fireworks. Here are some of the best things to do this Independence Day — fireworks not guaranteed.

Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast
8 p.m. Folsom Field, Boulder
It isn’t football season, but Folsom Field will be opening its doors to all come July 4. In addition to the Boulder Open Space Singers, both the Monarch High School Marching Band and CU’s own Ralphie will be in attendance. Doors open at 8 p.m., and fireworks will begin between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Busing to the event is advised — the Hop is free all day.

U.S. Air Guitar Qualifier  
8 p.m. Hi-Dive, Denver
So fireworks aren’t your thing, huh? Why not try out America’s unofficial pastime — air guitar. Though it may not be hosting the national championship like it has in the past, Denver will once again be part of the U.S. Air Guitar Championships. The competition is still accepting entries. For more information check out

Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
6:15 p.m. Coors Field, Denver
“For it’s one! … Two! … Three strikes …”  and, yeah, you’re out at the old ball game. But this isn’t any ordinary ball game. It is American pageantry and regalia in its purest form: baseball, hot dogs, beer and fireworks. What the hell — let’s throw some cotton candy in there for the kids. Unless you live in Boston, New York or San Francisco, you probably wouldn’t have trouble getting tickets to a baseball game, but July 4 games are always a hot ticket — and tickets are hard to come by for this game. But hey — you could always go see the Denver Outlaws …

Blues Traveler with moe.
6 p.m. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison
After nearly 20 years of playing this holiday show, the seasoned rock vets will yet again return on Independence Day to one of the most historic music venues. It is almost impossible to not have a good time at Red Rocks. Pack a blanket, a picnic basket and the kids and head on over to the show. Getting a view of multiple firework celebrations from the top of the amphitheatre can’t be anything but inspiring.

Avery Brewing Company’s Four on the Fourth 4K
9 a.m. Avery Brewing Taproom, Boulder
There might be some of you outdoorsy Colorado types that actually want to work out on your day off. Fine. The least you could do though, is balance it out with a few beers. Avery Brewing Company is once again hosting a footrace on July 4. Or you could get motivated and try to win. The men’s and women’s champions, after all, win their weight in beer. Bring it, Boulder! Proceeds go the the Richard Castro CU Track and Field Endowment Fund.

Gold Hill Fire Department 4th of July Pancake Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Gold Hill Elementary, Gold Hill
Take a trip just outside of Boulder proper and visit the quaint town of Gold Hill. Just 10 miles into the mountains, this small town is having a pancake breakfast to support its local fire department. Traditional, wheat and gluten-free pancakes will all be available, as well as bacon and rhubarb sauce, both cooked by the fire chief himself.

Alfalfa’s Market Hometown Throwdown
11 a.m. Alfalfa’s Market
The Hometown Throwdown brings something a little more low-key to the July 4 festivities: a seed spitting contest. Don’t worry, though, as there will be much more to this Boulder staple’s Independence Day festivities. Including face painting, live music, a local food-tasting, burgers and “other goodies” from the Al Fresco grill, this is more like a traditional backyard cookout.   

Fourth of July Twang-Fest and Barbecue
5 p.m. Gold Hill Inn
Live music and barbecue will ring in our nation’s 237th birthday. Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams, Town Mountain, Bella Betts and the Little Stars and Kort McCumber will all play.

Opting for a non-flammable option, the city of Nederland has invited everyone to come “downtown” with lights at dusk so that there can be a bright celebration of independence. No joke.

Fireworks and more
For those of you who would rather sit around and just watch fireworks all night, here is a list of some of the best local fireworks displays.
Boulder County Fairgrounds Longmont, 9:30 p.m.
Independence Day at Elitch Gardens 9 p.m.
Lake Estes 9 p.m.
Let Freedom Run 5K and 10K Louisville, 6:30 a.m.