By Mary Anderson
Your typical Fourth of July: morning parade followed by a barbecue and concluded with fireworks. But not every town takes this traditional approach to the celebration of our independence. Destinations like Breckenridge and Durango take Colorado to a whole new level by tapping into the festivities that all its residents are obsessed with.
Check out these July 4 events centered around the outdoor activities we love.
The Firecracker 50 is a 50-mile mountain bike race in Breckenridge that starts at 9:30 a.m. The race was born in 2001 out of its founders’ desire to be different and create an organized athletic event in their town for the holiday. Beginning on Main Street, the race includes a 25-mile loop with 4,000 feet of climbing. Teams each do one loop while solo participants bike the route twice. There are different groups based on age, skill level and type of biking. Registration starts at $95 and is only accepted online through July 2.
Beginning at 8 a.m., runners and hikers will race 1 mile from the gondola in Telluride to the top of a ridge. The trail is 4,600 feet long, 40 feet wide and gains 1,810 feet in elevation. Participants who are squeezed out of the main trail can bushwhack to the top. Put on by the Telluride Foundation, the race will kick off the town’s Fourth of July celebration. On-site registration starts at $40.
For those who would rather start at the top and cruise down in personal record-setting times, the Superior Downhill Mile starts at 7 a.m. Participants will run down Rock Creek Parkway with disposable chips timing them. Online registration is available until 11:59 p.m. on July 3. Cost is $25 per person, $60 flat for families.
Don’t want to leave your furry friend on the sidelines? The Four-Legged Fun Run in Windsor is a dog-friendly race around Windsor Lake. The race begins at 8 a.m. Online and on-site registration is available for $20.
Click here for more information about the race and other Fourth of July activities in Windsor.
Beginning at 8 a.m., participants of the Mild to Wild’s 4th of July Rafting Parade will float down the Lower Animas River through Durango. The best costume gets a prize. Other meet times are also available as late as 3:30 p.m. Cost is $51 for youth, $61 for adults.
Click here to check out Thirst Colorado’s calendar for additional Independence Day fun scheduled this year.