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A Patriot’s Paradise

A Patriot’s Paradise – It just makes sense to celebrate the Fourth of July in a place called Colorado Ski Country U-S-A. You can’t get much more American than that. And since the holiday is just around the corner, we’re gearing up for friends, food, and fun to celebrate. Mountain towns and resorts are offering festivities like parades and fireworks, while some are offering activities outside the fire cracker box. Here are some highlights of what’s happening in the high country for the holiday weekend.

Telluride Blue Pickup

Aspen/Snowmass plans to celebrate Independence Day the Old Fashioned way on July 3rd and 4th.The schedule of events for Aspens Old Fashioned Fourth of July includes an outdoor market, antique and arts fair, Natalie Cole concert, walking and running races, childrens bicycle decorating, the tenth annual Americas Birthday Carnival, a parade down Main Street, picnics and even more concerts. While most of the activities will be open to everyone, the Natalie Cole concert and some other performances require tickets.All of the excitement concludes with a fireworks extravaganza when the sun goes down. Details can be found at http://www.aspensnowmass.com/.

Copper Mountain includes an environmentally conscious element to its July 4th celebration this year. Following the “3 Rings” of the Copper Environmental Foundation’s credo – connect, respect, protect – Copper’s 3 Ring Weekend is full of eco-‘edutainment,’ hands-on activities promoting movement, creativity and learning, a mountain carnival atmosphere, and live music from Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs, The Martini Shot, and Rojos Calientes. Free family fun also includes the Primp My Ride kid powered parade and fireworks. More information about Coppers 3 Ring Weekend can be found at www.3ringweekend.com

Also this year, the resort is bringing back the Copper Mountain Half Marathon and Trail 10K for the races fourth year. The exhilarating course starts and finishes in the heart of the Village at Copper and includes a MaraFun race for the kids. Please see www.CopperHalf.com for details.

The 4th of July celebration in Crested Butte begins early. Starting at 6:00am, guests can check out a hot air balloon rally, which launches from Jorgensen Park. Early risers with some extra energy can go from there to the Gothic to Crested Butte Run, Walk or Crawl, which starts at 8:00am, followed by a Carb Load at the Crested Butte Fire Protection District Annual Pancake Breakfast.

Then, starting at 11:00am, people will line Crested Buttes Elk Avenue to take in the spectacle of the towns Fourth of July parade. And the summer heat wont be an issue because anyone can cool down in the Wet Zone, where fire trucks open up the hoses and get everyone soaked. Following the festivities in town, a jam-packed July 4th celebration will commence up the hill in Mt. Crested Butte.An evening of entertainment for all ages awaits at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where a musical lineup featuring the band Mamas Cookin will entertain starting at 7:30pm, leading up to a fireworks display. Please see www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com for details.

Anyone hungry for a good time can head over to Durangos Independence Day Barbeque. Advertised as Red, White and Blues, the event is sure to be a fantastic combination of American food and music. For more information, visit www.DurangoMountainResort.com/Events.

At Steamboat, patriotic and western traditions will join together for the Steamboat Springs July 4th Celebration & 107th Annual Cowboys’ Roundup Days. Beginning July 2nd, the events offer Western fun for the entire family throughout the weekend. Cowboys Roundup Days, which celebrates the Yampa Valleys Western heritage, features amusement for all ages, such as a community all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, the annual parade down Lincoln Avenue, a Pioneer Days Block Party with a free community concert and root beer floats for the kids, and the Pro Rodeo Series.

One of the largest displays in the state, the breathtaking fireworks at historic Howelsen Hill on July 4th are a Steamboat tradition. Anyone can get front row seats at the base of Howelsen Hill for the exciting show, which starts at roughly 9:00pm.

Steamboats busy weekend doesnt stop there. The weekend festivities also include an authentic cattle drive, where local ranchers will drive 100 cattle from their ranch down Lincoln Avenue to Romick Arena. The cattle will then play a part in the Ranch Rodeo. Visit www.Steamboat.com for details.

Telluride is celebrating July 4th with a special lodging deal. Guests who stay for four or more nights at the resort over the 4th of July get the 4th night free and a $100 Hop Garden gift card. For more information, please go to www.TellurideResortLodging.com.

Also in Telluride, guests will enjoy the towns 7th Annual Plein-Air Festival. The six-day event includes watching artists at work, a quick-draw competition and sale, a cocktail party, an auction, and a concert at the Sheridan Opera House. On its last day, Telluride Plein-Air will pause from noon to 1:00pm for the town of Tellurides 4th of July parade. In Telluride, anyone can enjoy a mix of culture with Independence Day fun.

July 4th merriment begins on Friday at Winter Park Resort with Freeride Fridays extended hours, until 7pm, in both Trestle Bike Park and family activities at the base. Also on the evening of July 2, guests can enjoy free live music in the kick-off to the Village Summer Music Series from 4:30-7:30pm and then relax on the grass for the free Coca-Cola Family Movie Night, showing Independence Day.

On Saturday, the five-mile run/walk Rendezvous Run for Independence leaves from the resort and travels along the scenic Fraser River Trail, ending at the town of Fraser and resulting in an elevation loss of 650 feet. Then on Independence Day, the Fraser Valley 4th of July Celebration begins at 4:00pm just outside the town of Fraser. The community event draws over 4,000 Grand County residents and guests throughout the course of the day for amusements including a community picnic, live music, carnival games, and hot air balloon rides, followed by a fireworks display. More information can be found at www.SkiWinterPark.com.