June 26  |  Local Events, Our Communities

Your Guide to Celebrating the Fourth of July in Fort Collins 2020

The Fourth of July is coming up! Although the holiday may look different than most years, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate our country’s independence, both in town and from the comfort of home. And if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that Northern Coloradoans are resilient and creative when it comes to celebrating birthdays, holidays and other events — “social distance” style.

From backyard BBQs to camping, and fireworks shows to ice cream, here are a handful of ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in Fort Collins this year!


Watch Fireworks

Fourth of July Fireworks in Northern Colorado

While the City of Fort Collins has cancelled their usual fireworks show and parade for 2020, there is still an option for viewing fireworks nearby! The City of Berthoud is moving forward with their fireworks show on Friday, July 3. This year, they are launching fireworks from Waggener Park, which means the fireworks can be seen from a greater distance — even from home if you live in the area. Grab your lawn chair and snacks and get ready for the best show on the Front Range. The show starts at dusk!


Make a Recipe from Dinners, Dishes & Desserts

Prepare a special meal at home, with the help of a local blogger. Erin of Dinners, Dishes & Desserts lives in Fort Collins with her (high school sweetheart!) husband and son. They absolutely love the mountains, taking advantage of the hiking trails in the summer, snowshoeing in the winter, and everything in between. Erin never claims to be a chef and started her blog as a place to share her own recipes and branch out to try new things. Her recipe categories range from desserts to snacks to main dishes to drinks, and she does them all so well! She put together a 4th of July Roundup, which includes tons of ideas for Fourth of July recipes, including burgers, salads, dips, lemonade, desserts, and more.


Host a Small BBQ

Ways to Celebrate Fourth of July in Fort Collins, CO

If you feel comfortable, consider hosting a socially distant BBQ in your backyard with family or a small group of friends. Hosting outdoors is a great way to still abide by safety guidelines, while giving you a chance to spend time with some of your favorite people. If you’re looking for some creative ideas, Country Living put together a collection of 4th of July party ideas you can DIY, from crafty decor ideas and games to snack and drink recipes — all with a patriotic flair!


Participate in the 2020 Stars + Stripes Virtual Running Challenge

Although many in-person races have been cancelled this spring and summer, the 2020 Stars + Stripes Virtual Running Challenge will help keep you motivated and active. Throughout the month of July, participants can run or walk the 13-mile, 50-mile or 63-mile distance over the course of many days (or all at once if you’re tackling 13 miles!). Whip out your American flag running shorts, lace up your shoes, and register for this virtual race! Participants will receive a finisher medal, an official Tyvek race bib, a finisher patch and a t-shirt.


Go to a Farmers’ Market

Larimer County Farmers’ Market

Photo Courtesy of Larimer County Farmers’ Market

Most markets are still operating at some capacity! We gathered the most up-to-date information about Northern Colorado farmers’ markets in 2020, featuring details like updated hours, safety protocol and other restrictions to be aware of before you go. All but a couple take place on Saturdays, including Fort Collins Farmers’ Market on Drake, The Berthoud Local Farmers’ Market, Greeley Farmers’ Market at the Depot, Larimer County Farmers’ Market, and Windsor Farmers’ Market.


Grab Burgers from Stuft

Burgers are a quintessential Fourth of July meal. And we can’t think of a better place to get burgers than Stuft, a gourmet burger bar with a sports bar attitude. And, besides the fact that they serve some of the best burgers in the entire state (seriously, they’ve won awards), their three locations in Fort Collins, Windsor and Greeley offer the perfect settings for afternoon drinks on the patio, family dinner and football watch parties. And thankfully, they have opened their doors for both patio and indoor dining! Stuft is also offering curbside pickup, delivery through NoCo Nosh, and takeout if you would prefer to support your favorite local burger joint from home.

Looking for more dining options in Fort Collins? Check out the Old Town Fort Collins restaurants reopening for dine-in services!


Take a Hike

Hiking Near Fort Collins, CO

Hiking is a great way to get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise this Fourth of July weekend! Before you hit the trail, be sure to take a look at some of the recommendations and regulations in place by Larimer County. In short, adhere to the overall rules for recreating in the county, while also remembering trail-specific guidelines, which include: staying on the trail to avoid damage (step off, do not walk off), traveling in a one-way direction if possible, staying 6 feet from those passing you on the trail, and keeping your dog leashed and under control. Above all, avoid crowded trails and areas. Go early in the morning or later in the day and check webcams before you go to see how packed the parking lot is. And remember to be flexible with your plans; if you arrive to find a packed trailhead, think twice before getting out of your car!

Looking for some trails in the area? Check out these hikes near Fort Collins and Loveland. And if you need more guidance (and other ideas for outdoor adventure!), check out our Outdoor Recreation Guide for Summer 2020 in Northern Colorado.


Take Advantage of Fourth of July Sales

The Fourth of July is a notorious time for snagging great deals. So if you’re in the market for some new patio furniture, a new kitchen appliance, or other home decor—now’s the time to go shopping. This year, national stores like Home Depot, REI, Wayfair and more are planning big sales on everything from grills to swimwear. Here’s a great running list from Country Living that you can bookmark for later.


Order a Growler or Six-Pack of Local Beer

Gilded Goat Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of Chris Gallegos via Gilded Goat Brewing

Although business protocol has changed in response to COVID-19, Fort Collins’ love for craft beer has remained strong. In fact, many — if not most — of the breweries in Fort Collins and throughout Northern Colorado have provided to-go beer in cans and growlers throughout the pandemic. Peruse our guide to craft breweries in Fort Collins, pick your favorite, and see if they’re offering growlers or cans to-go!


Treat Yourself to Ice Cream

Ice cream is the perfect summertime treat no matter how old you are! Our local ice cream makers, churners and popsicle creators offer handmade flavors, decadent toppings, tasty collaborations and even cookie ice cream sandwiches. Take a look at the best ice cream destinations in Fort Collins, from Old Town Churn to Walrus Ice Cream.


Go Camping

Camping in Northern Colorado

Spend the holiday amidst the great outdoors! As of June 1, all campgrounds and methods of camping are open in Larimer County, excluding cabins and tipis. All group picnic areas/pavilions, shower houses and swim beaches are closed to public access.

All campgrounds are open in the county, including Horsetooth Reservoir, Carter Lake, Pinewood Reservoir, Flatiron Reservoir and Hermit Park Open Space. All campground restrooms are open. Same-day reservations are allowed during regular business hours but after-hours or walk-up camping is not allowed. Carter Lake Area and Horsetooth allow a maximum of 8 people per site and Hermit Park allows a maximum of 6 people per site. Click here for a complete list of rules and regulations related to camping in Larimer County before you make your reservation.


Take a Scenic Drive

Sometimes it’s nice to take a leisurely drive with no destination in mind. And thankfully, Northern Colorado is perfect for exploring on wheel, as our roads wind through mountain peaks, lakes and gorgeous rock formations. Hit the road and drive along one of these scenic drives in Northern Colorado, from shorter routes you can complete in a couple of hours to multi-state loops covering more than 500 miles. These highways and byways allow you to experience the very best of our state — from the comfort and safety of your car.


Happy Fourth of July!

While the holiday may look a little different this year, we hope you have a fun and safe Independence Day.

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