Tips and rules
• For most Fourth of July events, attendees can bring insect repellent, lawn chairs or blankets
• Do not bring outside alcohol, glass bottles or containers, grills, illegal personal fireworks or open fires
• Leave pets at home and keep them inside, as fireworks can be stressful for animals
• Never pick up used fireworks casings as they may still be active and can cause burns
• Be careful if sparklers are allowed in the city — they burn at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees
• Illegal in Colorado: Aside from public and professional displays, any firework that leaves the ground or explodes is illegal. Those include firecrackers, rockets, bottle rockets, Roman candles, cherry bombs, mortars and M-80s
• Legal in most Colorado locations: Fountains, toy caps, snake or glow worms, ground spinners, illuminating torches, dipped sticks and sparklers, toy propellants, and noise makers that crackle or whistle but don't make loud explosive sounds
• Ordinances vary from town to town, so find out first before setting fire.
Healthy stress exists, a fact that is stress-inducing.
This beneficial stress forms under a combination of euphoria and stress, called eustress, coined in the 1950s by endocrinologist Hans Selye. This blood-pumping feeling of fulfillment comes after competing in a sport, riding a roller coaster, watching a scary movie, gambling and watching fireworks.
Those patriotic sparks in the sky that send pets flying under the bed are boosting most human brains with a blend of fear and excitement.
For the Fourth of July, if eustress gets buried by explosion stress, there are plenty of Front Range holiday parties that feature far more than fireworks. Various festivals offer live music, children's activities, parades, beer gardens, food and carnivals.
In Boulder, the University of Colorado's buffalo mascot Ralphie will host her annual Independence Day Blast at Folsom Field. The fireworks extravaganza is free and will have a patriotic stadium-wide sing-along, various forms of entertainment and the sweet moves from Ralphie's brother (from a human mother), Chip, in all his felt-costumed glory. (Fun fact: Chip placed No. 5 at the 2017 Mascot National Championship.)
Longmont will start out the celebration early with a free 11 a.m. concert at Thompson Park. It features the Longmont Youth Symphony, Longmont Chorale and Longmont Symphony. The party in the park will be followed by fireworks launched from the Boulder County Fairgrounds. Longmont's TinkerMill will host its annual patriotic party with music, food trucks, beer, a petting zoo and more — all under a sweet view of evening fireworks.
Loveland celebrates Independence Day at North Lake Park and at 8 p.m. will feature tunes from the Loveland Concert Band at the outdoor amphitheater. The party will feature various vendor booths, a vintage car show and a fireworks spectacle.
In Lafayette, Chris Daniels and the Kings will provide the dance tunes while kids can enjoy numerous activities and adults can enjoy the food and beer, followed by fireworks over Waneka Lake.
Level the stress with soothing live music, then take a euphoric ride with plenty of giant explosions at dusk.
Here's a guide to other Fourth of July events on the Front Range. Fireworks, unless specifically noted, begin at dusk — anywhere from 9-9:45 p.m.
• Ralphie's Independence Day Blast includes fireworks, a jump rope team, Boy Scouts Color Guard, live music, stadium-wide sing-along, and the University of Colorado live mascot, Ralphie. Free Hop shuttles back and forth to Twenty Ninth Street and downtown Boulder, 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, Folsom Field, 2400 Colorado Ave., free; boulder4thofjuly.com.
• Fourth at the Rez: The Boulder Reservoir will celebrate the Fourth with food, music, a beer garden, children's activities, paddle boarding, water slides, hydro bikes and a carnival, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Boulder Reservoir, 5565 N. 51st St., $4-$7; bouldercolorado.gov. There will also be the 5K/10K Craig Towler Freedom Run at 8 a.m. Tuesday with a post-race party with Boulder Beer, games, music, vendors and activities, $30-$50; bbscrun.com.
• Great American Picnic will have a children's carnival, pony rides, petting zoo, food and drink concessions. Live music at 6 p.m. from Face and 7:15 from That Eighties Band. Festival at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Broomfield County Commons, 13200 Sheridan Blvd, free; 303-464-5530, broomfield.org.
• July 3 Extravaganza will bring the Fourth a day early with food trucks, rides, climbing walls, obstacle courses, music, face painting and more on the golf course's driving range, 5 p.m. Monday, Colorado National Golf Course, 2700 Vista Parkway, Erie; coloradonationalgolfclub.com/july_3rd_extravaganza.
• Colorado Firecracker Run Fourth of July Classic features a four-mile run, a 4K and kids run with a finish line party complete with a crawfish boil, Pabst Blue Ribbon garden and a Slip 'N Slide finish line, 8 a.m. Tuesday, Erie Community Center, 450 Powers St., $38-$45; coloradofirecrackerrun.com.
Fourth of July Twang-fest and Barbecue features music from Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams, Town Mountain and The Cody Sisters with Jackson Earles, noon-5 p.m. Tuesday, Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main St., $15-$30; 303-443-6461 goldhillinn.com.
• Fourth of July at Waneka Lake will feature music from Chris Daniels and the Kings from 4-8 p.m. Children's activities include free face painting, balloon sculpting and a bounce house. Food from Butcher & the Blonde, Abo's Pizza and Suburban Wiener and drinks from Odd 13 Brewing and Stem Ciders, 4-10 p.m. Tuesday, Waneka Lake, 1600 Caria Drive, free; 303-666-9555, lafayettecolorado.com.
•The Post pre-fireworks party features a backyard barbecue with live music at 4 p.m., then the party will move down the road to Waneka Lake, with glow sticks and sparklers, at 8 p.m. to watch the fireworks, 4 p.m. Tuesday, The Post Brewing Company, 105 W Emma St., free; 303-593-2066, postbrewing.com.
• Fourth of July Concert in the Park: Longmont Youth Symphony, Longmont Chorale and Longmont Symphony will host a free Independence Day concert in Thompson Park, 420 Bross St., Longmont, while fireworks begin at 9 p.m. at Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road. KGUD 90.7 FM will sync on-air music to the fireworks display, concerts at 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; longmontcolorado.gov.
• TinkerMill Fourth of July Carnival, features live music, food trucks, beer, demonstrations, petting zoo, yard games, rockets and a direct view of the Boulder County Fairgrounds' fireworks, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, free with $5 suggested donation, TinkerMill, 1840 Delaware Place; tinkermill.org.
• Fourth of July Celebration and Fireworks features live music from the Boulder Concert Band, food trucks, bounce house, free face painting and balloon sculpting, 6-10 p.m. Tuesday, Coal Creek Golf Course, 585 W. Dillon Road, free. 303-335-4581. Note: No parking at the golf course. Free shuttle runs from 6-11 p.m. from the Louisville Recreation Center and Home Depot parking lots.
• Let Freedom Run 5K/10K, 8 a.m. Tuesday, Louisville Recreation Center, 900 Via Appia Way, free; letfreedomruncolorado.com.
• July 4th Parade and celebration features a 7:30 a.m. pancake breakfast ($3-$5) at Niwot Market, 7980 Niwot Road, Longmont; a 9 a.m. concert by Niwot Semi-Marching Free Grange Band and the parade at 11 a.m. The parade features vintage cars, decorated bikes (get there at 8:30 a.m. to decorate), color guard, line dancers, pets and more. Festivities begin at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Parade runs from Cottonwood Square, across Niwot Road, along Second Avenue to Murray Street.
• Great American Pastimes Parade, 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Community Park, 1350 Coalton Road; superiorcolorado.gov. Followed by a pancake breakfast, vendors, music from Ultralowfi and kid activities.
• Fourth of July Kickball Tournament, 11 a.m. Tuesday, Stuart Field at Community Park, 1350 Coalton Road, free; superiorcolorado.gov.
• The Superior Mile, "the fastest street mile in the United States," 7 a.m. Tuesday, $15-$20; superiormile.com.
•Estes Park Fireworks: Find a grassy place in Stanley Park to enjoy the view during this annual tradition, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Lake Estes, between U.S. 34 and U.S. 36, Estes Park; visitestespark.com
•Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast, Crossroads Fundraiser, 7 a.m. Tuesday, Our Lady of the Mountains Church, 920 Big Thompson Ave., Estes Park, $5-$8, a discount of $1 with donation of non-perishable food item; crossroadsep.org.
•The Coolest Car Show in Colorado, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Estes Park Events Complex 1125 Rooftop Way, Estes Park, $2.50-$5; estesparkmuseumfriends.org/coolest-car-show.
•The Big Band Concert on the 4th, featuring a view of the fireworks, food, local craft beer and wine, with live music headliners, Colorado's tribute to Eagles, The Long Run, as well as a set from Chain Station, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Estes Park Events Complex, 1125 Rooftop Way, Estes Park, $11, kids 12 and under are free; visitestespark.com.
•Loveland Concert Band performs, and the event also features vendor booths, a vintage car show and a fireworks spectacle, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Norma and Lynn Hammond Ampitheater at North Lake Park, 29th Street and Taft Avenue; lovelandconcertband.org.
•Loveland Fireworks: Organizers say this year's show will be about 30 minutes long and the finale will include nearly 500 shots, 9:17 p.m. Tuesday, Lake Loveland at North Lake Park, 2750 N. Taft Ave., Loveland; cityofloveland.org/July4th.
•Carter Lake Boat Parade and Light Show, sundown to 10 p.m. Saturday, Cater Lake, 4011 S. County Road 31, Loveland; 970-667-1062.
•Loveland Libery 5K, 7 a.m. Tuesday, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, 623 Denver Ave., Loveland, price varies; lovelandliberty.com.
•Flag Raising, 10 a.m. Tuesday, by Lone Tree School House in North Lake Park, 29th Street and Taft Avenue; cityofloveland.org/July4th.
•Veterans Motor Car Club of America Car Show, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, North Lake Park, 2750 N. Taft Ave., Loveland; cityofloveland.org/July4th.
•July 4th Four-Legged Fun Run, 7 a.m. Tuesday, Boardwalk Park, 100 N. Fifth St., Windsor. $15-$20; windsorgov.com
•Windsor Fireworks, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Boardwalk Park, 100 N. Fifth St., Windsor. $15-$20; windsorgov.com.
•Town of Timnath Fourth of July Celebration, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Timnath Reservoir, 5824 E. County Road 40, Fort Collins; facebook.com/townoftimnath.
•Timnath Fireworks over Timnath Reservoir, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Timnath Reservoir, 5824 E. County Road 40, Fort Collins; facebook.com/townoftimnath
•All-American Picnic, 3-6 p.m. Monday, Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Drive, Fort Collins; fcgov.com/july4th.
•FireKracker 5k, 7:30 a.m, Tuesday, City Park, 1599 City Park Drive, Fort Collins, price varies; firekracker5k.com.
•City Park Nine Stars and Stripes Open, 8 a.m. Monday, City Park Nine, 411 S. Bryan Ave., Fort Collins; 970-221-6650, fcgov.com/july4th
•35th annual Old Timer's Game, 9:30 a.m. Monday, North Ball Field of City Park, 1599 City Park Drive, Fort Collins; fcgov.com/july4th
•Fourth of July Parade, 10 a.m. Monday, Mountain Avenue between Jackson and Meldrum, Downtown Fort Collins; fcgov.com/july4th
•Old Fashion Fourth of July, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Avery House, 328 West Mountain Ave., Fort Collins; poudrelandmarks.org.
•Live Music, 4:15-9:30 p.m. Monday, City Park, 1599 City Park Drive, Fort Collins; fcgov.com/july4th.
•Fort Collins Fireworks, 9:35 p.m. Monday, City Park, 1599 City Park Drive, Fort Collins; fcgov.com/july4th.
Michelle Vendegna: 970-699-5407, firstname.lastname@example.org