Here’s what’s happening for Fourth of July weekend in the Vail Valley

There's a little something for everyone over the holiday weekend

The Vail America Days parade returns to a traditional format this year. If you don't want to attend, the parade will be carried on cable and streaming by High Five Access Media.
High Five Access Media/Courtesy photo

This story has been corrected to reflect that the Vail Farmers Market is held on Sundays.

If you can’t find something fun to do this holiday weekend, you aren’t trying.

From a July 1 drone show in Gypsum to a revived Vail America Days parade July 4 to plenty of music and sports, there’s something for just about anyone to enjoy.

The fun starts July 1 in Gypsum with a 100-drone show over the town’s sports complex. The show starts well after dark, but you can take a lawn chair over to the Lundgren Amphitheater and enjoy the show with family, friends and neighbors.

Some highlights

Drone show: Gypsum, July 1

Salute to the USA: Avon, July 3

Vail America Days: Vail, July 4

Eagle Bike Parade: Eagle, July 4

Avon jumps into the fun Sunday with the annual Salute to the USA. There will be a laser light show instead of fireworks, a good idea in an age when it’s so easy to start a fire.

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The Avon festivities also include plenty of music from artists Cory Wong and Galactic featuring Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph.

There will be food and adult beverages, of course.

Instead of driving, plan to bike, walk or take public transportation to Harry A. Nottingham Park.

The same advice applies to Vail.

Monday, July 4, brings the return of Vail America Days. This year’s event returns to an old-fashioned parade, which begins at 10 a.m. and runs from Golden Peak to Lionshead. The event will be covered by High Five Access Media starting at 10:45 a.m., and can be viewed on local cable systems on channel 5. The event will also be streamed on the High Five website.

The past two years, the event went with a “stationary” parade, with displays scattered around the resort villages so socially-distanced guests could wander around.

“We’re excited to bring it back,” parade organizer Laurie Asmussen said. There aren’t many marching bands in this year’s parade, and entries are being accepted until July 1.

Asmussen said organizers would “love” to see people-powered displays, and hopes the parade can be 100% people-powered in the future. But, she added, “We’re not there yet,” adding that it could be difficult for short-staffed businesses to enter the parade and keep the doors open.

For now, “let’s make it a homegrown event and grow it,” she added.

In addition to the parade, there will be the traditional afternoon patriotic concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. There will also be free performances at stages in Lionshead and Vail Village. All the performances will be from noon to 2 p.m.

Tiny and the Big Chill will perform at the stage in Sunbird Plaza in Lionshead. A stage at the corner of Solaris and Meadow Drive in Vail Village will feature a performance by the Sam B Blues Band, and the Evolution Band will play at the same time at a stage at the Lionshead Welcome Center.

The evening in Vail features a 200-drone show instead of fireworks.

Vail Special Events Coordinator Jeremy Gross said the town “went for it” to create the same magnitude of show as a fireworks display. The show will be able to put images and even words in the sky.

“They can get pretty creative,” Gross said, adding that anyone in town who has a good view of the middle part of the front of Vail Mountain should have a good view of the display.

In addition to all the Independence Day-themed events, Vail will host its weekly farmers market Sunday. The annual Vail Lacrosse Shootout will also run through July 4, with most of the games played at Ford Park.

Eagle gets into the fun on July 4, with the annual bike parade. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the lower lot of the town’s medical center. The parade then winds along the town’s bike path to the Brush Creek Pavilion. There will be a couple of bounce houses at the pavilion, and organizers are working to round up a food truck or two.

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