From drive-in fireworks and a drive-in symphony to live music and plenty of outdoor fun, the 4th of July celebrations happening all around Fort Collins give you plenty of ways to celebrate. Here are 10:
4th of July Community Celebration
One of the main highlights of this year’s pared down July 4 celebration is the drive-in fireworks show. The City of Fort Collins has partnered again this year with the City of Loveland, Larimer County, and The Ranch Event Complex to host a drive-in fireworks show. Entry to the fireworks viewing at The Ranch is free and gates at the south entrance will open for vehicle entry at 6 p.m. Learn more about the event online at lovgov.org/july4th.
Hot Air Balloons
The morning of July 4, a Hot Air Balloon Launch will begin around 6 a.m. Balloons will launch from Twin Silo, Soft Gold and Edora Parks (weather permitting). With the various launch points, most everyone should be able to catch a glimpse of the colorful balloons.
Driving Motorcade Parade
Tip your hats to many of the important services that keep Fort Collins running with a driving Stars and Trucks Parade! Bring a blanket or chair and see vehicles big and small including police cars, ambulances, and more.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. in southeast Fort Collins. The parade consists of approximately 15 vehicles consecutively driving along the route (parade is not open for public entries).
Live Tunes in Old Town
Over Fourth of July weekend, head to Old Town Square to enjoy live music on July 2 and 3. On July 2, head to the south end of the Square to catch Foco Flava dancing while a live DJ performs at the First Friday Hangout from 6 to 8:30 p.m. And on July 3 from 7 to 9 p.m., Cool Hand Juke will play two sets of live music, including blues, rock, funk and soul. Enjoy cover songs as well as original songs during the two-hour set. Visit this page for more information.
The 22nd annual Firecracker 5k begins at 7:30 am. for the Citizen’s Race, 8:30 a.m. for the Elite Race, and 9 a.m. for the Kid’s Race. Enjoy a flat, fast 5k course that runs through City Park and Old Town streets before finishing up at Sheldon Lake. All ages and abilities are welcome; you can walk, jog, run or race. Kids can also join in on the fun during the kid’s race. Visit http://firekracker5k.com for more information.
Golf Tournament at City Park Nine Golf Course
Tee off and enjoy the 18-hole Stars & Stripes Golf Tournament at City Park Nine golf course. Register your two-party team by July 2. The tourney is a 9 holes best ball, 9 holes scramble. Enjoy a barbecue and refreshments at the clubhouse following the tournament. Built in 1940 and located next to historic City Park and Grandview Cemetery, the downtown course features smooth fairways, small greens, and mature trees. Call 970-221-6650 for more information and to register.
The Avery House Old-Fashioned Fourth of July
Celebrate an old-fashioned 4th of July at the Avery House. Admission is free and will be fun for all ages. The Old-Fashioned Fourth of July at the Avery House runs from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on the Avery House lawn (328 W. Mountain Ave.). Featuring music by the McDaileys and Capo Zero featuring members of The Bluegrass Patriots, attendees can listen to music; play old-fashioned games such as croquet, pin the tail on the donkey, and bean bag toss; make crafts; and sample offerings from the on-site food trucks. Admission and the activities are free.
City Park Pool
Enjoy the park surroundings and Sheldon Lake for fishing and an outdoor pool at City Park Pool, located in City Park. This pool is the best place to be during a hot 4th of July. And don't forget, City Park Pool provides a water park experience. Call 970.221.6655 for more information.
Tumbledown Shack 4th of July at the Mish
Celebrate the 4th of July in style with two sets of Grateful Dead favorites from Fort Collins’ Tumbledown Shack. Head to Mishawaka Amphitheatre for the event, which takes place from 1-4:30 p.m.
The Holiday Twin Drive-In hosts the second annual Drive-In 4th of July featuring the Fort Collins Symphony. The Fort Collins Symphony is the oldest arts organization and only professional symphonic orchestra in Larimer County. The event is slated for 7 to 9 p.m. and more details will be released soon.
Hop Aboard the Trolley
Hitch a ride on the only original restored city streetcar operating in the western U.S. today. If you’re near City Park during the 4th of July weekend or any other weekend this summer, be sure to grab a ride to Old Town on Birney Car 21 or 23. Take a trip back in history while enjoying an experience you and your family won’t soon forget. On Saturdays and Sundays during the summer, the trolley runs on Mountain Avenue from Old Town to City Park and Grandview Cemetery. Each 3-mile trip takes about 30 minutes.
Bonus Content: Activity Ideas for the long weekend
The winter snow is melting and the rapids are active in the Cache la Poudre River Canyon. Spending your 4th of July weekend in Fort Collins makes for the perfect time to bring the family out for a whitewater adventure. Check out one of our many whitewater rafting companies and book your trip today. The Poudre Canyon is one of the few spots across the state of Colorado that still hit its 100 percent accumulation levels over the winter, meaning the river is screaming for excitement. So grab your wet suit and a paddle and enjoy your adventure on the Poudre River. If it's your first time rafting feel free to check out our blog - A First Timer's Guide to Whitewater Rafting in Fort Collins.
With a long weekend in the palm of your hand it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Favorite camping spots include Horsetooth Reservoir and the multiple campgrounds along the Poudre River. If you’re looking to get a little further from the hustle and bustle, check out the approximately 650,000 acres of back country near Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and CSU Mountain Campus. Let's also not forget the numerous amount of streams and bodies of water that offer ample fishing opportunities. Camping and fishing go hand-in-hand when visiting Fort Collins and the surrounding areas.
Horsetooth is always a popular spot during the long weekend. Not only do boats start gliding across the waters, but so do Stand up Paddle Boarders and Kayakers. If it’s not quite warm enough for you to enjoy water recreation just yet, then we suggest taking in the view from one of the numerous hiking trails scattered throughout Horsetooth Mountain. These incredible hikes range from hour-long to half-day trips across the open space.
When thinking of what a classic summer evening in Fort Collins looks like, catching a movie at the Holiday Twin Drive In is something that always comes to mind. With new movies each weekend, this two screen outdoor drive-in theater is the perfect way to kick back and relax for an evening. Not to mention the Holiday Twin is one of just six drive in movie lots left in Colorado and one of only about 300 left in the entire country. So, open up your car hatch, pile in the blankets and pillows and grab your popcorn for a cozy evening at the Drive-In.