It’s tough to choose our favorite holiday. Christmas is great, but it doesn’t involve costumes like on Halloween or going out like on New Year’s Eve or fireworks like on the Fourth of July. In fact, now that we think of it, July 4 in Durango involves all of those things and more: costumes, concerts, fireworks, parades and a big, ol’ party.
Here’s your guide to having the best July 4 in Durango:
Breakfast and a run? Don’t worry; there’s plenty of time to let those pancakes settle before you set out on the 5k Fun Run/Walk. The all-American gourmet breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the all-ages fun run starts at 9 a.m., both at Rotary Park.
Cool off on the Animas River during Mild to Wild Rafting’s 4th of July River Parade! This annual tradition is a parade of rafts filled with crazy-costumed rafters that flows through downtown Durango. The best part is there are five times to either participate or watch from the riverbanks: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. There’s even a prize for best costume, so be sure to wear your most patriotic attire !
Next up on the itinerary of FUN? The Family Fun Picnic! Activities kick off at noon at Buckley Park. There, you can listen to readings from our nation’s founding documents, enjoy live music, get your fill of killer food and drinks (all proceeds benefit Build Homes for Heroes). There will also be two free concerts at Rotary Park: The Southwest Civic Winds Jazz Band will play at 3 p.m. followed by a performance by the Southwest Civic Winds Concert Band at 4 p.m.
For July 4 in Durango, there’s one event that’s second only to the actual fireworks display to mark the occasion: the annual Stars and Stripes Parade along Main Avenue. The parade starts at 6 p.m. at College Drive and will end at 12th Street.
Immediately after the parade, head over to Main Avenue and 11th for the annual Durango Street Dance. Get you groove on or scoot your boot or whatever kind of dancing (within reason) you want to do during the street dance, which ends just after 9 p.m. Then it’s time for…
Yup! It’s not the Fourth of July in Durango (or anywhere) without fireworks. The show starts at about 9:15 p.m., and you’ll find great views on any downtown cross street facing west.
Not that you’re lacking for things to do in Durango for July 4, but there’s another type of celebration going on this week: a celebration of our independent businesses. Durango has an amazing community of locally owned businesses that make and sell it all: Breweries tapping their craft beer, artists selling paintings, sculptures and jewelry, chocolatiers selling artisanal chocolates, local wineries pouring their special blends — we could go on and on.
Durango Independents Week will run July 1-7 to celebrate Durango’s spirit of entrepreneurship and community. Local First, a nonprofit that serves local, independent businesses in La Plata County, is the organization behind the local Independents Week as part of the larger, nationwide movement to “recognize the importance of economic democracy and community self-determination.”
So how to you participate? Pick up a La Plata Passport at the July 1 Durango Farmer’s Market, located in the parking lot of the First National Bank of Durango, or during the July 4 Street Parade, sign the Declaration of Independents, and look for the red, white and blue sidewalk decals of participating local, independent businesses. For every $5 you spend, you get a stamp, and if you get five stamps, you’ll be entered to win a $200 cash prize! (Passports must be submitted by July 7 for the prize.)
The week of July 4 is the perfect time to visit Durango. Clearly, we have a lot of fun stuff happening, plus all the usual great summer activities: tubing on the Animas, mountain biking, hiking, you name it. If you’re looking at Durango hotels for your trip, stay with us at the Durango Quality Inn! We’re consistently rated one of the best hotels in Durango, so book your room at the Quality Inn Durango today!