Tips for Fourth of July at Vail America Days, Avon Salute to the USA and Beaver Creek Independence Day Celebration |

Tips for Fourth of July at Vail America Days, Avon Salute to the USA and Beaver Creek Independence Day Celebration

Throughout the Vail Valley, towns will be celebrating the Fourth of July throughout the week. Minturn's celebration is Tuesday, July 2, followed by Avon's on Wedensday, July 3. Vail and Beaver Creek Independence Day celebrations take place on Thursday, July 4.
Chris Dillmann |

It is said to be one of the busiest days of the calendar year for the Vail Valley. Independence Day honors our nation’s freedom and the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Across the valley, be awed by Fourth of July in the Rocky Mountains.

Highlights include Ziggy Marley and Hazel Miller performing at Avon’s Salute to the USA on July 3, followed by one of the biggest fireworks displays in the state. In Vail, the America Days Parade is a popular Fourth of July event featuring 60 floats parading through the streets of Vail. Bravo! Vail is offering its annual Patriotic Concert, and Vail Jazz is kicking off its 25th season with Fourth of July performances.

Wherever and however you celebrate, don’t forget your sunscreen (and rain jacket). Be sure to bring a camera to help capture the memories.

Here’s a look at how the valley will celebrate America’s Independence Day:

“America is another name for opportunity.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 2

Minturn Independence Day Celebration (FREE)

5:30 p.m.; Little Beach Park, Minturn

Celebrating July Fourth early, Minturn’s Independence Day Celebration features live music, food, kids activities and more at Little Beach Park. Primal J and the Neanderthals will play, as well as headliner Hazel Miller Band. There will be a bounce house, mechanical bull, face painter, balloon artist and more.

Wednesday, July 3

Salute to the USA in Avon (FREE)

5:30 p.m.; Nottingham Park, Avon

One of the largest fireworks shows in the state, Avon’s Salute to the USA includes 10,000 shells exploding over Nottingham Lake with eight-time Grammy Award-winning reggae artist Ziggy Marley headlining the concert with Hazel Miller as the opening act.

Throughout Nottingham Park will be face painters, fire jugglers, stilt walkers, balloon sculptors, magicians and more for kids. Festival-style food available will include fresh squeezed lemonade, funnel cakes, mini doughnuts and roasted ears of corn.

Tips for attending Salute to the USA in Avon:

Parking: General public parking is extremely limited and organizers encourage attendees to walk, bike or take public transportation. Due to the high volume of traffic, plan ahead and expect delays on the roads.

Get a spot: Bags and coolers will be checked at all entry points, with no outside alcohol allowed. Pets are encouraged to be left at home due to the large crowds and fireworks. Stand-up paddleboards and paddle boat rentals are available from the beach area until 2:50 p.m. Bring a blanket, low-backed camping or beach chair, sunscreen, comfortable footwear and a camera.

Hear the music: Hazel Miller Band takes the Nottingham Park stage from 5:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. before headliner Ziggy Marley performs from 7:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

Thursday, July 4

Vail America Days (FREE)

10 a.m.; town of Vail

The annual Fourth of July celebration in Vail features the popular town parade, starting in Golden Peak and ending in Lionshead Village. This year’s parade theme is “A Tribute to the 10th Mountain Division.” Get your spot on the parade route early.

The annual Vail Fireworks Show takes place at Golden Peak at about 9:30 p.m. Fireworks will be synchronized to a musical soundtrack.

Tips for attending Vail America Days:

Parking: Between the Vail Village and Lionshead Village parking structures, there’s about 2,500 open spots for free — that usually fill up prior to the 10 a.m. start of the parade. Bus services will also be increased during the holiday. To help reduce congestion, spectators are encouraged to walk, ride their bikes or take the bus to the parade.

Get a spot: Organizers recommend arriving by 9:30 a.m. and picking a spot along the parade route. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and winds its way from Golden Peak on Vail Valley Drive, then west on Hanson Ranch Road, north on Bridge Street, west on Gore Creek Drive, north across the International Bridge, west along Meadow Drive and through the Lionshead Village to finish around noon.

Thursday, July 4

Beaver Creek Independence Day Celebration (FREE)

Noon to 9 p.m.; Beaver Creek Village

Family-friendly activities, country music and fireworks will fill Beaver Creek Village on July Fourth. Free slides, bounce houses, arts and crafts, face painting and games start at noon, as well as live music at Centennial Park. California musician Tyler Rich headlines the live music, taking the stage at 8:15 p.m. as the sun sets. The fireworks go off at 9:15 p.m.

While in Beaver Creek, explore the restaurants, art and shopping available.

Tips for attending Beaver Creek’s Independence Day Celebration:

Parking: The two parking structures atop Beaver Creek are sure to fill up quickly. Shuttles run every 10-20 minutes from the lots on U.S. Highway 6 — the Elk and Bear lots, and there’s additional street parking in Avon.

Hear the music: Denver-based country band Hang Rounders perform first at noon at Centennial Park. Lifetime musician Lillie May is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performing at 2 p.m. Texas-based Green River Ordinance takes the stage at 4 p.m. At 6 p.m., Maggie Rose performs — check out her cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” on YouTube. Tyler Rich, performing across the country this summer, headlines the day’s music at 8:15 p.m.

Gypsum/Eagle Fourth of July Celebration (FREE)

7 p.m.; Lundgren Theater, Gypsum

The towns of Gypsum and Eagle are partnering again for the Fourth of July Celebration on Thursday, July 4, at Lundgren Theater in Gypsum. Starting at 7 p.m. with live music from a Denver ’90s cover trio performing and free hot dogs and ice pops, the celebration will end with the fireworks show starting at 9 p.m.

Tips for attending Gypsum/Eagle Fourth of July:

Parking: Gypsum town campus parking lots and Eagle Valley High School parking lots will be available. There will be no parking on Cooley Mesa Road.

Marcia Ball at Vail Jazz Festival (TICKETED)

6 p.m.; Vail Square, Lionshead Village

American blues singer and pianist Marcia Ball returns to kick off this year’s Vail Jazz at Vail Square series, taking place Thursdays through August in Vail. Ball will bring her signature Texan blues and swampy New Orleans jazz to Vail Square. Tickets start at $25.

Also part of Vail Jazz, keep an eye out for the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center Jazz Band from Los Angeles, performing in the Vail America Days Parade. The band also performs in Lionshead Village at 1 p.m.

Bravo! Vail’s Patriotic Concert with Dallas Symphony Orchestra (TICKETED)

2 p.m.; Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

Conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in the annual Bravo! Vail Music Festival’s Patriotic Concert on July Fourth. Tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 1, for the concert.

The Patriotic Concert is the final show in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s residency at the classical music series. Up next, The Philadelphia Orchestra comes to Vail for performances July 5-13, followed by the New York Philharmonic July 17-24.

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