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A firework show lights up Keystone Lake at Lakeside Village. —Photo courtesy of Keystone Resort

9 Ways to Spend Independence Day in Colorado

From Denver-area events to reasons to take a road trip, here's how to celebrate the Fourth of July, Colorado style.

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Whether you’re looking to stay in the neighborhood, get the family out of dodge, or meet friends at a Denver-area event, you simply can’t go wrong celebrating Independence Day during a three-day weekend. So don your red, white, and blue and head out to enjoy the mid-summer fun. Here are our picks on how to celebrate:

If you don’t want to venture too far…

The Denver Outlaws at Sports Authority Field

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The Mile High City’s lacrosse team will face the Florida Launch at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on July 4, with fireworks to follow the game. Pair the sky-high display with accompanying visuals on the 97-foot-wide ThunderVision screen to get a patriotic display you won’t soon forget. Find tickets at denveroutlaws.com, by calling 303-OUTLAWS, or at the box office on game day. July 4, 7 p.m.; 1701 Bryant St.; $20

Liberty Run and Firecracker Kids Fun Run

Eat your fill of BBQ and apple pie after earning it in the Liberty Run. The four-mile course around Washington Park benefits veterans. Prizes will be awarded to race winners and the most patriotic participants, so sport your best flag-inspired outfit. Get the whole family involved after the Liberty Run in the free Firecracker Kids fun run at 10 a.m. Parking is available in the South High School parking lot and around the perimeter of Washington Park. July 4, 8:30 a.m.; 1000 S. Downing St.; $35 for adult registration

Cherry Creek Arts Festival’s “Pre-Festival Prep Sesh”

Local businesses barre3, Swoozie’s, and Glow Facial Bar are coming together to host a “prep sesh” for the popular Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Glow Facial Bar, a new business that offers 30-minute, spa-quality facials to folks on the go, will offer complimentary facial sunscreen from Image Skin Care and $10 discount cards for their services. Swoozie’s will have outdoor summer items on sale, and barre3 will offer complimentary 20-minute fitness classes in their studio throughout the event. While you’re in the area, enjoy the weekend-long festival, which celebrates visual, culinary, and performance arts, and includes nighttime concerts July 3, 1–3 p.m.; 6th Avenue and Filmore St.

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Jet Car Nationals & Family Festival 

What gets your heart pounding faster than jet dragsters racing up to 290 m.p.h.? Bandimere Speedway in Morrison will tap into its patriotic side on Saturday with race-day fun including festival games, contests, food, live bands and fireworks just after sunset. Watch time trials in the morning, elimination races in the afternoon, and enjoy the finale just before it’s time for the pyrotechnic display. July 2, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; $14-28, children under five are free and parking is $10; 3051 S. Rooney Rd., Morrison 

Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers

Soccer fans can head out to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to watch the Rapids play at home. As of June 24, the Rapids lead the MLS Western Conference by one point over FC Dallas. Buy tickets by calling 303-727-3535 or visiting dicksportinggoodspark.com, where parking information is also available. Stick around for a fireworks show after the game. July 4, 7 p.m.; 6000 Victory Way, Commerce City; ticket prices vary

Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast

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Boulder’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show is free to the public and will take place at Folsom Field. Presented by the University of Colorado, the city of Boulder, and Wright Kingdom Real Estate, this family-friendly celebration features food, live entertainment by The Mighty Twisters and Mad Hops jump rope teams, and a fireworks show once the sky goes dark. Find bus and parking information at wkre.com/boulder-4th-of-julyJuly 4, 8 p.m.; 2400 Colorado Ave, Boulder

If you don’t mind a road trip…

Estes Park Go 4th Festival 

This annual event kicks off with an old-fashioned pancake breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church. The party then moves to the Estes Park Events Complex for a cool “Steam-to-Electric” Coolest Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Estes Park Village Band will play Performance Park Amphitheater at 7 p.m., and fireworks over Lake Estes will top off the day after the sun goes down. Surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park, visitors to Estes Park are sure to appreciate America’s purple mountain majesties on Independence Day. Find more info at visitestespark.comJuly 4, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; 920 Big Thompson Ave., Estes Park; $5–8 for the pancake breakfast, other activities are free

Fort Collins 4th of July Celebration

A trip to Northern Colorado this weekend will be rewarded with plenty of fun activities in Fort Collins. Blue Ocean Enterprises and the Richardson Foundation sponsor the city’s Community Celebration, which includes a FireKracker 5k race through City Park in the morning (with $25 registration fee), a morning parade and golf tournament, live music in the afternoon and fireworks to light up the sky from City Park at night. Find more details at fcgov.com/july4thJuly 4, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; City Park, Fort Collins; free

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Keystone Resort Independence Day Celebration

Trying to find an extra fireworks show on Sunday? Summit County’s Keystone Resort will host a day’s worth of family-friendly events to highlight the holiday weekend, including an outdoor barbecue, petting zoo, spin art, tie-dye t-shirt making, balloon animals and a Stand Up Paddleboard obstacle course race in Keystone Lakeside Village and Keystone Lake. Guests planning to spend the weekend in Keystone have until June 30 to save up to 40 percent on lodging through the resort. Of course, there will be fireworks. July 3, 12 p.m.; 21996 US-6, Dillon; free

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