Happy Fourth of July! Steamboat is one of the best places to celebrate Independence Day and good old American fun, and is the spot of some of my fondest holiday memories. From catching the parade to tubing adventures on the Yampa, barbecue hopping and cocktails on downtown restaurant patios, you’ll find your groove today. Deck out in your red, white and blue, and get ready to celebrate!

Photo by Larry Pierce

Yes, it’s true. Because of high fire danger and hot, dry conditions, we will not have our famed fireworks show this Fourth of July. Any local can attest that Steamboat’s ever-impressive display of pyrotechnics is something to see. I guess we will have to make up for it with a fab Winter Carnival spectacle next February. Luckily, with so many other events, you are sure to have a blast today.

Getting there: Biking or walking are the way to go for all of the Fourth of July events. If you are biking, lights and headlamps will be your best friends on the busy bike path this evening. If you need to drive, note the various road closures.

Fourth of July lineup:

7 – 10 am Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, Little Toots Park, 55 12th St. A full breakfast for $8 will help you start the day off happy.

9:15 am Nordic Combined Roller Ski Race, Lincoln Avenue. Stake out a shady spot early and catch ski racers and athletes blazing down Lincoln Avenue. It will be a hot one, so bring umbrellas and cold libations.

10:00 am  Fourth of July Parade, presented by Yampa Valley Bank, downtown Steamboat on Lincoln Avenue. Steamboat knows how to put on a parade. Come and see this year’s themed “American Legends”.

10:00 am – 7:00 pm Coca Cola Adventure Zone, Steamboat Ski Area. The mountain is extending its hours into the evening with an extravaganza of fun for kids in the base area.

10:00 am – 4:00 pm 16th annual Art on the Mountain. See the work of local and visiting artisans and visit one of the mountain’s restaurants while you are at it. The Paramount is always a fun choice for a breakfast sandwich or one of their monster lunch selections paired with the best french fries in town.

11 am – 1 pm  Pioneer Day Block Party and Community Concert, Tread of Pioneers Museum. I keep hearing about the Routt beer floats here, though I’ve never tried one.

Noon – 3 pm Jumpin’ & Jammin Competition and Community Party, Howelsen Hill. Keep the celebration going while watching Nordic Combined competitors strut their stuff launching off a HS75 meter plastic jump. Whee!

6:30 pm Pro Rodeo, Brent Romick Rodeo Arena

Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers kick off the weekend at Saturday’s free concert at Howelsen Hill

Tube the Yampa:

Today is probably the busiest of the summer on our local stretch of river, when paddle boarders, tubers, kayakers and the occasional swimmer turn the Yampa into a virtual highway. Water shoes are a good idea for the shallow areas where you need to walk your tube. You can bring your own or try Bucking Rainbow or Back Door Sports for an organized adventure.

Keep the river pristine, and be sure to pack out what you bring in. We have a post-holiday cleanup crew, but wouldn’t it be nice if they had little or nothing to do?

Have a rockin’ barbecue: Extend your barbecue this holiday. Without the race to find the perfect spot to see the fireworks, you can relax a little longer with friends and family. Here are a few of my personal favorite crowd-pleasing recipes to serve up:

Ina Garten’s chocolate chunk blondies: What could be more American than chocolate chip cookies? (Apple pie is much more labor intensive). Cook time in my oven is 23 minutes instead of the recommended 30 for the perfect golden brown exterior and gooey interior.

Watermelon Feta Salad: Just seed and cube watermelon and add feta and sprigs of mint. Done!

Hillstone Restaurant’s Kale Salad: Even those who don’t think they like kale love this salad. I sub cashews for peanuts, but both are delicious.

Have a safe and happy 4th!
Jessica Berg is a freelance writer and Suzuki Violin teacher. She first moved to Steamboat after college in the mid ’90s and, after a long hiatus, is happy to call Steamboat home again. She runs a private violin studio out of her Steamboat home and teaches violin with Boulder Suzuki Strings. She holds a degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and loves blogging about mountain life.

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