Fourth of July celebrations around Boulder County have changed over the years. But they’ve generally featured one constant: fireworks. The coronavirus pandemic brought to a halt this summer tradition, however. And this year, in a sign the cancellations may become permanent in Boulder, the city is replacing its fireworks show with a drone light show. The decision was due at least in part to concerns about wildfires — particularly hot, dry and windy weather that has helped lay the conditions for past blazes. Other Independence Day fireworks in towns and cities nearby are going ahead as planned.
Here are nine local July 4 events — with and without fireworks — worth seeking out.
Night sky drone show
Tuesday, July 4, Folsom Field at CU Boulder, gates open at 7 p.m., and show starts at 9:35 p.m., free admission
CU Boulder, the City of Boulder and WK Real Estate are teaming up to present Boulder’s inaugural July 4 night sky drone show as a substitute for traditional fireworks. Boulder has been hosting fireworks since 1941 — until Covid cancellations. The decision to opt for the drone show, it said, was “not an easy” one, and was based on several factors, including fire danger fueled by climate change. The event will include music from the School of Rock, Funkiphino and The Custom Shop-Band, and food and drinks. Ride the HOP bus there for free or park on CU’s campus at no cost.
Boulder Symphony concert
Tuesday, July 4, Boulder Bandshell, 1212 Canyon Blvd., 7 p.m., $5-$15
The Boulder Symphony will be performing a collection of classics at the Boulder Bandshell. The event, presented by Alpine Bank, will include the iconic works of Copland, Bernstein and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” along with music from Star Wars and Indiana Jones composed by John Williams. Drinks and wood-fired pizza will be available for purchase.
Fireworks at Erie Community Park
Monday, July 3, Erie Community Park, 450 Powers Street, parking opens at 6 p.m., show starts at 9:30 p.m., free admission
Erie’s fireworks show is happening Monday, July 3. Event parking will begin at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 9:30 p.m. and expected to last around 15 minutes. The event will have food and vendor options available throughout the evening. Check out the event map here.
Daylong festival plus fireworks
Tuesday, July 4, Lions Park, 1300 10th St, festival at 11:30 a.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m., free admission
The Golden Lions Club is hosting a daylong celebration with music, drinks and five food trucks. The event will have Coors and Golden City Brewery beer, wine and more. Fireworks will begin at 9:35 p.m.
Pre-July 4 fireworks at dusk
Saturday, July 1, 4-10 p.m., Waneka Lake Park, 1600 Caria Dr., Lafayette, free admission
Lafayette’s firework show is on Saturday, July 1. Enjoy music from Chris Daniels and the Kings and food from Abo’s Pizza, Tibet’s, Ruby Ru’s, All-American Grill and Eats & Sweets. Attendees can check out the beer and wine garden and try craft beer from The Post, a local brewery. The event still needs volunteers — those interested can sign up on the event site.
Tuesday, July 4, Fox Hill Country Club, 1400 State Highway 119, food at 4 p.m., band at 7 p.m., fireworks at 9-9:15 p.m., free admission
Longmont is holding its fireworks show at the Fox Hill Country Club, though you’ll be able to view them from several areas across the city — including Sandstone Ranch, Union Reservoir (park entry fees apply), Clark Centennial Park and Longmont Recreation Center. There will be food trucks from 4-9:30 p.m. and a performance by The Long Run, an Eagle’s tribute band, from 7-9 p.m. The fireworks show will begin around 9 p.m. Parking passes are sold out for Fox Hill. Event map is here.
Let Freedom Run 5K/10K
Tuesday, July 4, Louisville Rec Center, 900 Via Appia Way, 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., $40-$50
Start your day with the Let Freedom Run, which is hosting a 5K, 10K and a free run for kids. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite American heroes for a chance to win prizes. The race will begin at 7:30 a.m. Those who wish to complete same-day registration should arrive at 6:30. If you want to be entered in a raffle, bring five items for the local food bank, Community Food Share. Sign up here.
Tuesday, July 4, Coal Creek Golf Course Clubhouse, 585 W. Dillon Road, 6 p.m., free admission
The City of Louisville is putting on its fireworks show at the Coal Creek Golf Course Clubhouse. The show starts at 9:30 p.m., but festivities begin at 6 p.m. The evening will include food trucks, bounce houses, face painting and music. There’s limited parking at the clubhouse. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., free shuttles will bring people to the event from the Louisville Recreation Center and Coal Creek Ace Hardware.
Parade & Pancake Festival
Tuesday, July 4, Superior Community Park, 1350 Coalton Road, 7 a.m.-noon, free admission
The Town of Superior and the Superior Chamber are hosting the Parade & Pancake festival, “featuring ALL the Superior traditions” — the Superior Mile, community parade, pancakes and a community center celebration. There will be live music, food trucks, giveaways and more. After the festival ends, the Superior Community Center will host a classic Fourth of July BBQ until 3 p.m.