Independence Day is still on the calendar for July 4 — but this year’s holiday marking the nation’s birth won’t look like past celebrations.
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Many of the usual community Independence Day celebrations have been canceled across the Denver metro area due to the state’s public health orders banning large gatherings of 10 or more, among various ongoing precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For that matter, communities have canceled most large events scheduled through the end of summer. Some remain hopeful late-summer events will return by August.
But that doesn’t mean that Independence Day will fizzle this year. Here’s what to expect on the Fourth in several of the area’s communities, with plans subject to change on short notice.
Arvada: Porch Fest
The City of Arvada is working with the National Porch Placemaking campaign, an effort encouraging people to decorate the fronts of their houses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city is asking residents to adorn their front porches and driveways with patriotic decorations. Residents can compete in an online competition using the hashtag #ArvadaPorchFest on social media or by emailing email@example.com. The winner will be awarded a prize.
Golden: Virtual festival
Golden lost this year’s edition of its beloved, longstanding Buffalo Bill Days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Golden Lions Club is determined to hold its annual Fourth of July Festival — albeit virtually.
The Golden Lions announced via Facebook it will be holding a Facebook Live event to give residents a show from the comfort of their homes.
The virtual Fourth of July Festival will begin at 9 a.m. Lions Club members will talk about projects they’ve done in the community over the years. Live bands will play and those tuning in can participate in virtual contests.
Local participating restaurants will be serving special dishes and Lions Club members will be at those restaurants handing out items for kids. The all-day affair ends with a recorded firework show from a previous year.
The City of Lakewood's annual Big Boom Bash was canceled due to COVID-19. There are currently no plans for a city-sponsored event.
Littleton and Englewood: Canceled
This year’s combined Littleton and Englewood fireworks celebration was canceled and, at press time, there were no city-wide or area-wide celebrations announced.
The annual festival that takes place at Cornerstone Park in Littleton each year has been canceled due to COVID-19. And organizers of the annual Western Welcome Week announced June 11 the event is canceled.
Highlands Ranch: Virtual 5K
The annual Highlands Ranch Community Association Independence Day 5K has gone virtual.
The HRCA canceled the 5K for in-person running due to COVID-19, but currently registered participants have the option to be credited.
Those interested in participating in the virtual race can sign up through the HRCA website. Once signed up, participants can print out their race bib and run the race whenever they want, within a two-week window of the July 4 race.
Runners can choose to run on a treadmill, outdoors, on a trail or in a circle around their house. Participants are asked to take photos and use the hashtag #HRCA4TH on social media or @HRraceseries on Facebook.
All participants will get a race T-shirt shipped to them or they can pick them up. Finishers with a certificate can receive a discount at Living The Dream Brewing Company.
Parker: Porch Party
The Town of Parker is hosting a porch party July 4. Residents are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, grills, fire pits and picnic necessities to the front porch for a town-wide outdoor party. The event was created to celebrate while social distancing. Residents can participate in their front lawns, driveways, porches or balconies to socialize while being socially-distant minded.
Various contests will take place throughout the Parker Porch Party Series. Residents can participate by taking a photo or video of their party and sending it to the town by 8 a.m. July 6. For more information, visit ParkerOnline.org.
Parker’s Porch Party Series began May 18 to celebrate high school graduates. The next porch party the town has organized is for the first day of summer, June 20. Two other parties are scheduled, one for the last week of July and a second welcoming the new school year.
Lone Tree: Stay tuned
City of Lone Tree officials canceled its annual Fourth of July celebration at Sweetwater Park due to limitations on group gatherings, budget constraints and safety concerns.
The city announced June 8 in a news release that the Independence Day fireworks display and celebration are canceled.
City officials are coming up with alternative ways to celebrate Independence Day, according to the release, and the city will notify residents and businesses once plans are final.
What about fireworks?
According to a June 8 post on the town Facebook page, Castle Rock still plans to stage a fireworks show on July 4 at about 9:30 p.m., weather permitting. The town website says the fireworks will be launched from Santa Fe Quarry Mesa, located south of The Meadows, above Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course. “This year, we recommend viewing the fireworks from your home or neighborhood if possible,” the website says. Full details are at crgov.com/fireworks.
That makes Castke Rock an outlier in the metro area. According to a list compiled by KUSA-9News and updated June 11, these area communities have canceled their usual July 4 fireworks shows: Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch, Lafayette, Lakewood, Littleton, Lone Tree, Louisville, Northglenn, Parker, Thornton, Westminster.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated the City of Lakewood had sponsored a "Porch Fest" celebration on July 4. All city-sponsored events in Lakewood have been canceled through the summer due to COVID-19.
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