Durango knows how to do holidays. Most of the time there’s costumes, and there’s almost always a parade — sometimes on Main Avenue, sometimes on the Animas River, sometimes both. But the Fourth of July in Durango involves the best of the best of all holidays: pancakes, parades, costumes, concerts, fireworks and a big, ol’ street dance (except no Santa and no trick-or-treating). So here’s your guide to having the best July 4 in Durango:
Breakfast and Fun Run
Eating and jogging? Don’t worry; there’s plenty of time to digest those pancakes (carb-loading, anyone?) before you set out on the 5k Fun Run/Walk. The All-American Gourmet Breakfast will be served from 7:30-10:30 a.m., and the free all-ages fun run starts at 9 a.m., both at Rotary Park. Arrive by 8:45 a.m. to register for the run. There will also be live music and a reading of historical documents at the park.
July 4 River Parade
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 get on the river or watch from the banks: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Kids get a Fourth of July souvenir, and there’s even a prize for best costume, so be sure to wear your most patriotic getup!
Family Fun Picnic
Next up on the list of things to do for Fourth 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 entertainment by Cannondolls and Pete Giuliani, and 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: Southwest Civic Winds’ Concert Band will play at 10:15 a.m. followed by a performance by the Southwest Civic Winds Jaxx Band at 11:30 a.m.
Stars and Stripes Parade
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…
It’s not the Fourth of July in Durango (or anywhere for that matter) without something exploding — preferably 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 the Fourth of July, 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 Local First Passport on Saturday, June 30, at Local First’s booth at the Durango Farmer’s Market, located in the parking lot of the First National Bank of Durango, or anytime between July 1-7 at Local First, Maria’s Bookshop, Smiley Cafe, ACE Kroegers Hardware, Sante, Wagon Wheel Liquor, Animas Trading Co., Urban Market, The Durango Welcome Center, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, Salt 360 Float Studio, The Soup Palette, the Spaaah Shop or the La Plata County Humane Society.
For every purchase you make, you get a stamp, and for every five stamps you collect, you’ll be entered to win one of the awesome prizes! Passports must be submitted by Monday, July 9, and winners will be chosen on Wednesday, July 11.
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.
Speaking of supporting local businesses, the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites is under new, local ownership! If you’re looking at Durango hotels for your trip, stay with us! We’re consistently rated one of the best hotels in Durango, so book your room at the Econo Lodge Durango today!