If a small town Fourth of July celebration is your speed this summer, there’s no better place to experience it than Telluride with an old-fashioned parade down Main Street, a Fireman’s barbeque, free events and activities for kids, and timeless traditions. Here are some of the best events to catch on Independence Day.
Starting off at 8 a.m., The Rundola is an open-registration uphill foot race that parallels the gondola. Runners of all ages start at the base of the gondola, and then either run, walk, or just bushwhack to the top of the ridge on the Telluride Trail, gaining an elevation of 1,810 feet. The Telluride Foundation hosts the race, and proceeds ensure support goes back into Telluride’s community and mountain area for years to come. Afterwards, runners get to enjoy breakfast and an awards ceremony at Oak at 10 a.m. Get more details and registration information.
Fourth of July Parade
Back in the old days, miners only had two days off a year – one of them was July 4. Today, the town of Telluride celebrates the town’s independent spirit on this day, with a celebration of freedom, humor, imagination and music.
Right before the parade starts, the skies will be filled with a military jet fly by. Then at 11 a.m. on Main Street (Colorado Avenue), expect to see throngs of people in red, white and blue gather on the sidewalks, older folks setting up their lawn chairs to get a good glimpse, and little kids waving flags atop their parents’ shoulders. (This much-loved event will take you right back to your childhood!) The parade commences with fire trucks, themed adult-and-kids floats, volunteers from the Colorado National Guard, vintage cars, horses, hilarious costumed teams, dogs, hula hoopers, dancers and other theatrics.
Each year, thousands look forward to the annual Fireman’s fundraiser BBQ in the Town Park put on by the local volunteer fire departments. It’s the ultimate in Independence Day fare: 1,500 pounds of beef and 1,300 pounds of chicken doused with barbeque sauce, and sides of baked beans, corn on the cob, and potato salad and watermelon dessert.
With the box canyon as the spectacular backdrop, a large fireworks show lights up the skies, usually starting about 30 minutes after sunset (around 9 p.m.) and are best viewed with lawn blanket or chairs in the Town Park ball fields. For the adults, viewing the fireworks while enjoying a cocktail along Main Street or from the top of the Gondola is the ultimate thrill.
Note: fireworks are always weather-dependent. They have only been canceled twice in 20 years, but in 2018 they canceled the fireworks because of the drought and fire conditions.
Where to Stay
The Fourth of July is an extremely popular time to stay in the summer, so it’s best to book your lodging right away. After all the rustic activities outdoors, treat yourself and your family or friends to the five-star accommodations of Silverstar Telluride Luxury Properties. With high-end amenities in either the Mountain Village or Town of Telluride, you can enjoy your own Independence Day traditions when you get back on the private deck with outdoor seating nestled in the pines and look up at the stars.