4 Fort Collins Fourth of July ideas to please the patriotic

Graham Shapley

The Fourth of July is fast approaching, the time for the firework-laden festival of barbecued patriotism. Unfortunately for explosion enthusiasts, private use of fireworks is illegal in Fort Collins, meaning that law-abiding citizens will have to find something else to do if they want to stay in town.

Here are a few ideas to fill the evening of Independence Day in Fort Collins.


  1. Fort Collins Parade and Fireworks

The City of Fort Collins itself is putting on a celebration, as it does every year, including a parade which will start at 10 a.m. and travel west along Mountain Avenue to Jackson Avenue. 

The parade will surely feature a wealth of patriotic performers, including marching bands and floats and plenty of candy to throw at onlookers.

Traditionally, no Fourth of July is complete without a good fireworks show. Fort Collins holds its annual show in City Park, on the north side of Mulberry Street, a bit west of campus. Families and friends will be laying out blankets and breaking out the snacks to watch Fort Collins blow up!

Musical guests including the Fort Collins Symphony will perform in City Park starting at 3 p.m. Fireworks are expected to start around 9:45 provided that the weather holds up.

  1. “Independence Day” at the Lyric

The classic alien-invasion movie starring the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, and Bill Pullman is coming back to the big screen at the Lyric’s outdoor theatre. The film takes itself simultaneously a little too seriously and not seriously enough, but it’s a fantastic bit of 90’s action with the right amount of cheese to go with it.

Tickets are $7 for general admission and $5 for seniors and students.

  1. Binge “Stranger Things” Season 3

Nostalgia for the 1980s has come back in full force, and Stranger Things, Netflix’s original sci-fi/horror mashup paying homage to the decade, has been at the forefront of it. For introverts, a new show to binge as the fireworks sound outside is a godsend, and the latest chapter in the Stranger Things saga is a worthy candidate.

Stranger Things is releasing on Netflix on July 4.

  1. Stay home with the pets

The Fourth of July can be a taxing holiday for anyone who is easily startled, and dogs and other pets typically fall into that category. Staying home to calm stressed pets is a noble pursuit, and after everything they do for us, they certainly deserve it.

Even though fireworks (yes, even sparklers and snakes) are illegal to use, many are likely to ignore that law and put on their own private shows. Fewer complaints and firework-related fires were reported last year, but the number isn’t zero.


Be careful and party responsibly.

Collegian reporter Graham Shapley can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @shapleygraham.