With the Fourth of July hitting smack in the middle of the week this year, Summit County residents and guests can look forward to extra-long celebrations with activity-laden weekends flanking Independence Day on both ends.Here is your guide to find out what's going on this weekend through July 5; and pick up next Friday's Scene and Weekender to find out how to round out the festivities July 6-8. With fire bans in effect across the state, all local fireworks displays have been cancelled. But fireworks or no fireworks, there's still more to do over the Fourth of July in Summit County than a single family can handle. It's the best place to celebrate Independence Day bathed in cool mountain air.
Fourth of July week in Frisco starts out with a celebratory dose of history on Founder's Day at the Historic Park and Museum tomorrow. If it's Old West, it's Founders Day - and that means anything from live burro rides and gold panning to costumed reenactments, plus interpretive museum tours. Performances by the acclaimed National Repertory Orchestra, the Woodies and more round out this holiday celebration treasured by locals and visitors alike. On Wednesday, the Fourth of July festivities start with an 8 a.m. pancake breakfast supporting the Summit Tigers at 3rd Avenue and Grand, followed by the Kid's Fishing Derby at Meadow Creek Pond at 9 a.m. Get to the Historic Park Gazebo by 10 a.m. to enjoy the Summit Concert Band and you'll also end up in the heart of the action for the Main Street parade, which follows at 12:30 p.m. Other live entertainment includes the March Fourth Marching Band, ending at the Historic Park Gazebo, and Jakarta for the 7:15 p.m. finale at Marina Park on Frisco Bay, located at 900 E. Main Street. Chris Collins - Summit County's John Denver look-alike, sound-alike - will also perform Wednesday at the Foote's Rest craft show on Main Street after the parade, as well as on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 in the Summit Daily parking lot.The M4 Marching Band promises to be an exciting show, although five-piece percussion and seven-part brass sections make up the group, it is anything but traditional, featuring also electric bass, guitar and vocals. "The show will take you on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the gypsy camps of eastern Europe to the African jungle by way of Brazil, echoing the deepest grooves of American funk, rock and jazz then boiling it all together in cinematic fashion," the band assured. Vocalist and bassist Isaac Points' Jakarta Band is "Denver's hottest old-school funk and R&B band," with music ranging from soul, hip hop and disco to soft rock. In his more than 35 year career, the "funk expert" has opened for Stanley Clark and Herbie Hancock, played base with Chuck Berry and Tony Bennett and taken part in USO tours with Joe Clemons. On Thursday, wind down with a concert at the Frisco Historic Park Gazebo from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. with Al Chesis and The Delta Sonics, which was named the "best blues band in Denver" by the Westword's 2011 Music Showcase. The outdoor show is part of the free Concert in the Park series, which runs Thursday nights through August 16 this summer.
Independence Day kicks off early in Breckenridge with the 10K trail run starting at 7:30 a.m. and finishing in time for the day's festivities. The ever-popular Main Street parade begins at 9:30 a.m. with more than 800 "Firecracker 50" mountain bike racers leading the procession. Folks interested in a good seat and a good cause can perch parade-side at the Garden Party at the Barney Ford House Museum for $40 in advance or $75 the day of and reduced prices for kids. Funds benefit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. Or, take the kids to get down and dirty on Main Street before washing them off at the kids' water fights with the Red, White and Blue from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Over at the Fuqua Livery Stable on E. Washington, there will be a sidewalk chalk art contest, kids' projects and a ceramics sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the Arts District's 9th annual celebration. Far View Horse Rescue is offering pony rides from noon to 3 p.m. on Main Street near Blue River Plaza for $5 donations, which support rehabilitation and placement of rescued horses.Breck's Independence Day celebration will also include a high-altitude air show at 11:30 a.m. New this year, the show will feature individual tricks by pilot Gary Rower of Breckenridge. "Nobody's ever done a show this high into the High Country," Rower said. The show is over Peaks 9 and 10, visible from Main Street.At 2 p.m. the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, a national act at the heart of the country-rock and American-roots movements, will rock the crowd with a free concert at the Riverwalk Center. With chart-topping hits like "Mr. Bojangles," the multiple Grammy-winning group continues to grow their list of accolades, including induction of their groundbreaking album, "Will the Circle be Unbroken?" into the U.S. Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame. People pay good money to see the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, but on Follow that with the wildly popular National Repertory Orchestra Patriotic Celebration at 8:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center. "One of the most touching parts of the event is when Carl Topilow ... directs the National Repertory Orchestra in each branch of the military's anthem and has members of that branch stand up as their song is being played," said marketing director Julie Chandler. The concert is free out on the lawn, with indoor seating starting at 8 p.m. for those who purchased tickets on June 27. If all that isn't enough, chase your Fourth with some cycling at Bike Week, which starts on Thursday and runs through July 8. Check out www.breckbikeweek.com for more information.
Tonight, Dillon launches a week of summer fun with a free 7 p.m. concert by the Nacho Men at the Dillon Amphitheatre. Back by popular demand, the Nacho Men serve up anything from street corner acapella to '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s tunes, swing and disco, replete with costume changes and a comedy shtick. Don't miss the farmers market in town earlier in the day, which this week features live music by The Grinz. In addition, "The Hysterical History of the Trojan War" by the young thespians of the Lake Dillon Foundation for the Performing Arts debuts at the Dillon Amphitheatre Friday, with showings at 10 and 11 a.m.On Saturday night, Dillon welcomes General Michael Gould, Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, as the guest speaker at its annual tribute to the men, women and families of the armed forces at 7 p.m. at the amphitheatre.Saturday is also the culmination of the five-day J/24 National Regatta, in which international competitors battle it out with one another and the winds of Lake Dillon. Check out the sailing races during the day over a picnic at Marina Park, and then head to the Amphitheater for the nighttime entertainment. "The Dillon Amphitheatre has had a new state of the art sound system installed, so while the view remains terrific, the sound will only get better," said Dillon events manager Matt Miano. On the Fourth of July itself, wake up to the "Highest Air Show Over Water" by pilot Gary Rower at 9:30 a.m., followed by the rousing patriotic tributes of the National Repertory Orchestra at the Dillon Amphitheatre at 10 a.m. Dillon's annual Fourth of July celebration follows, featuring a bike parade for children, bocce tournament, pie and watermelon eating contests and more starting at Town Park at noon. Then it's back to the Amphitheatre at 5 p.m. for Doo Wop Denny, whose one-man act and feel-good covers have engendered something akin to a cult following, followed by "a gourmet smorgasbord" of rock 'n' roll, country and disco served up by the local Summit County act, Eyes Wide Open. If you're still up for action Thursday, hop on the amphitheatre stage yourself for country dancing with Mike "Tex" DeGarie. The event is free of charge and includes basic instruction followed by open dancing from 6 - 8 p.m. "We have a diverse line-up that really offers something for everyone, "Miano concluded. That's why people enjoy spending the Fourth in Dillon.
Copper is offering a unique alternative to its canceled fireworks show at this year's Three Ring Weekend, which runs today through Sunday. Saturday night's entertainment is instead a Glow Show featuring glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark face and body paint and LED poi-spinning performers. "We aim to create a memorable experience for our younger guests despite the unfortunate cancellation of the fireworks show," said spokesperson Katherine Bush. Among more than a dozen activities spanning the three-day event, some of the more popular are Saturday's earth-friendly, kid-powered Primp My Parade at 10 a.m., where kids decorate their bikes, skateboards and scooters with reused supplies before parading them around the village, as well as free face painting and hula hoop workshops. "There's no shortage of ways to fill your weekend," Bush said, inviting active visitors to test their Independence Day endurance at the 6th annual Trail 10K and Copper Half Marathon/5K races, which start at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Friday night's entertainment is Spin Cycle with DJ Laundry from 5-7 p.m. on the Burning Stones Plaza Main Stage, followed by a showing of the movie, "Hoot," at dusk. Headlining Burning Stones from 6-8 p.m. Saturday is AfroZep and its titillating fusion of African music and Led Zeppelin. New to the Three Ring Weekend this year is Flobots.org, a non-profit organization that aims to connect young people with music. Partnering with Copper for the Conscious Carnival portion of the event, Flobots.org will offer a Jam Tent where kids write original songs using a range of instruments, a Youth on Record booth with computer stations for creating digital music and a Word-O-Matic station where children write theme-based poems and spoken word pieces. Then on Saturday night, participants can share their work at the audience-driven "Everybody's Got Talent" performance at 5 p.m. Saturday also features the Big Wheel Rally, back for a second year, from 1-2 p.m. in the Burning Stone Plaza. Kids ages 3 - 8 race for a $15 entry fee, followed by teams of grown-up kids for $65. Other Three Ring highlights are the WOW bubbles that children can climb inside and maneuver around a shallow pool and a solar powered bubble tower where real bubbles float in the air, providing endless entertainment. Nature's Raptors education program will be on hand as well as Eric and Angelyne, the Amazing DEAF Cattle Dog, to share their inspiring stories. The event culminates with kids' activities on Sunday followed by an awards ceremony at 11:45 a.m. for the 10K, half marathon and 5K races.Also on Saturday, Woodward Camp at Copper will hold its first ever Summer Snow Jam, located at Copper's summer Playground Terrain Park above the Center Village base area, from 1:30-4 p.m. The top skier and snowboarder will walk away with a Copper season pass for the 12/13 season. Check out www.coppercolorado.com for more info.
It's fun for the whole family on America's birthday at Keystone, starting with a fishing derby for children ages 13 and under with Summit Fly Fishing. Bring tackle but no barbs or bait for this free event, which takes place on Keystone's 5-acre lake in Lakeside Village. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the derby starts at 9 a.m., with a raffle and live music rounding out the fun. Afterwards, the kids swap fishing poles for bikes, trikes and wagons and pedal over to the 10 a.m. decorating party, where each child receives streamers, stickers and beads to doctor their rides before parading through the village. "Now in its tenth year, the Keystone Fourth of July Bike Parade is a local staple and one of our most popular holiday activities," said Keystone spokeswoman, Laura Parquette. "Last year almost 300 children joined us for the parade." All of this takes place in the midst of a Keystone block party; then Jeremy Dion takes the stage at 5:45 p.m. for a free evening concert in Lakeside Village. Ongoing summer kids' activities make for a fun weekend leading up to the Fourth in Keystone, too. Kidtopia Kids Theatre presents "The Prince," opening today at the Quaking Aspen Amphitheatre. Tickets to the original family musical from the Lake Dillon Theatre Company are $5 and shows are at 10:30 a.m. and noon. From 3-7 p.m., take the River Run Gondola to Summit House for Keystone's Friday Afternoon Club, where you can self-entertain with games of horseshoes, corn hole, ladder ball and bocce ball while listening to live music by the Luv Brothers. Kidtopia Kidfest runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow featuring a free petting zoo, train rides, caricature artist, bounce houses, crafts, face painters and balloon artists with special entertainment by juggling act Sven Jorgensen. That evening, the first of two acrylic painting classes in the Canvas and Cocktails series takes place at Warren Station. Doors open at 6 p.m. and painting starts at 7; tickets are $42 in advance and $45 at the door. Free children's activities also abound at Tuesday's Kids Discovery Day in River Run Village Tuesday, featuring the Connie and Company Kids Magic Show at 11 a.m. plus face painters and a bounce house. Other fun activity options at Keystone include summer snow tubing at 11,460 feet, paddle boating, golfing, guided horseback riding and mountain biking.