COVID Friendly 4th of July Activities
By Emily Krempholtz
After the longest spring season in recent memory (thanks, corona!), summer is finally here, and Independence Day is quickly approaching. While most years, the 4th of July brings massive fireworks celebrations, barbecues, concerts, parades, and picnics, this year thanks to COVID-19, things are going to look a little bit different. Most major gatherings and fireworks celebrations have been canceled throughout Colorado, including the Colorado Rockies’ 4th of July baseball game and fireworks, the Breckenridge Independence Day Parade, and Rollin' on the Riverwalk and Pueblo West 4th of July Celebration. It’s disappointing, to be sure, but there is still an abundance of ways to celebrate the 4th of July in Colorado without putting yourself or others at risk.
Attending an Event
Some events are still happening, such as the fireworks celebrations in Castle Rock and Berthoud. The events should be visible from local homes so no one has to go anywhere, and in Berthoud, the fireworks will be set off from a greater height than usual in order to maximize visibility. So grab a lawn chair or a blanket and find a socially-distant spot to sit back and watch the show. In Colorado Springs, the Switchbacks FC are hosting a fireworks display set to music from iHeartRadio and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, which can be viewed from your car outside Widmer Field. If these places are not an option, other communities like Brighton will be live streaming their fireworks display on their Facebook page as well as on channels 8 and 881.
Other events that are still on include a handful of parades and gatherings throughout the state, like the Triple Play Holiday movie night in Colorado Springs, hosted by the Rocky Mountain Vibes baseball team. The event is being held in careful accordance with health department regulations and also has a limited number of pods available for rent for those who want to be extra cautious of space. Other cities are hosting virtual events like the Virtual Independence Freedom 5K in Buena Vista, which is offering T-shirts, “corona can’t stop me” race bibs, and family-friendly scavenger hunt packs to encourage participants to join with their families.
If you do head out to an Independence Day event, it’s important to be conscious of safety. Wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer, wash your hands whenever possible, be respectful of others’ space, and keep at least six feet of distance between you and people outside of your household.
Celebrate at Home
Due to some of the abovementioned restrictions and cancelations, as well as, you know, the ongoing global pandemic, it might be more prudent (and a lot easier!) to celebrate the 4th of July from the comfort of your own home this year. Like we mentioned above, there are several fireworks displays that are still set to happen around Colorado, and local governments are setting them up in creative ways that might make it possible for you to see them from your backyard, depending on where you live.
But even if fireworks aren’t in the cards, the 4th of July is a great opportunity for you to break out the grill and make some fantastic food for you and your nearest and dearest. You can stuff yourselves full of good food, play some games in the backyard, and maybe watch Hamilton (which is being released on Disney+ on July 3) to brush up on the founding of our country.
If you’re a music fan, check out the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Symphony Concert, the “4th of July Symphony From Your Porch,” which will be streamed online and on local radio stations. In Erie, the city canceled the annual fireworks show, but they are offering Porch Party kits for families, full of fun activities, crafts, and themed decorations so families can still celebrate the 4th of July. Kits are available on the city’s website.
Celebrate in Nature
Celebrating America wouldn’t be complete without recognizing just how beautiful our country is, and how much of that incredible nature is at our fingertips here in Colorado. This Independence Day, consider taking your RV or tent out for a whirl and enjoying some of the amazing natural beauty that Colorado has to offer.
Currently, campsites are available by reservation at reduced capacity, and as a general rule, you should be camping only with members of your household, and trying to stay close to your local region. If you do travel outside your local region, make sure to bring all your supplies and fuel with you so you don’t risk community spread by visiting grocery stores and businesses in small, at-risk communities. Many campground facilities might be closed, like public restrooms or visitor centers. More information about current camping guidelines and restrictions can be found here at the official Colorado COVID-19 website, and information about current fire bans can be found here. That being said, if you’re prepared for the restrictions, camping over Independence Day weekend could be an amazing way to relax and spend time with your loved ones.
And if sleeping in a tent isn’t your jam, a day hike could be just the thing to get everyone out of the house. Weekends, in general, tend to be pretty busy out on the trail, and holiday weekends are even more so, so make sure to get an early start and be aware of social distancing on the trail.
Notes About Firework Safety
It can be really tempting, in the absence of official fireworks shows, to drive up to the Wyoming border and grab a few boxes of rockets and roman candles, but fireworks are illegal throughout the state of Colorado. Some non-explosive types that never leave the ground—such as snappers, poppers, sparklers, and noisemakers—are permissible in some parts of the state, though you should always check your county or municipality for specific rules and restrictions in your area, as well as fire risks. For the complete list of laws and restrictions regarding the sale and possession of fireworks in Colorado, click here.