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Competitions and Events

10 Mountain-Town Independence Day Celebrations To Make Your Patriotic Heart Swell

Here’s where to celebrate ’Murica in view of the slopes this holiday weekend with live music, good eats, and (in most cases) fireworks shows.

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It’s that most American time of year when we gather to watch colors light up the sky, listen to good music, and enjoy a cold brew with friends and family. The only thing that could make it even sweeter is to do it in a mountain backdrop.

Many ski resorts—or their respective mountain towns—host 4th of July celebrations complete with live music, fireworks, and other fun family activities (fire juggling, anyone?). Although a few have cancelled the fireworks due to fire danger, there are still many locales hosting 4th of July gatherings both with and without the lights display. 

Killington Fireworks
Killington’s annual 4th of July Celebration returns this weekend with a parade, raffle, music, and fireworks. Photo: Courtesy of Killington Resort

Here’s a list of the bigger events taking place at or near ski resorts across the good ol’ US of A this holiday weekend. Events are subject to change due to fire danger, so check the linked websites for updates.

• Town of Killington 4th of July Celebration, Killington, Vt.

Enter your own float into the Independence Day Parade, join the raffle for a chance to win a Killington season pass, test your skills during the belly flop contest, or just listen to live music and stay for the fireworks that will light up with sky over town.

• 4th of July in Park City Parade and Fireworks, Park City, Utah

A Main Street parade and pancake breakfast kick off the festivities in this ski town, followed by a free outdoor concert in Canyons Village and a fireworks show over the slopes. Settle into the beer garden, nosh on some BBQ, and settle in for the light show extravaganza that begins at nightfall.

• 4th of July Celebration, Taos, N.M.

Fortify with a pancake breakfast in historic Taos Plaza then stake your claim on a good spot to jam out to Los Lobos and watch fireworks at Kit Carson Park. The concert is free but reservations are required.

• Independence Day Celebration, Snowshoe, W.Va.

It’s an entire weekend’s-worth of celebrating the nation’s independence at Snowshoe, starting on July 2 with live music, fire juggling, crafts, and more, and a mountaintop fireworks display after dark on July 3. 

• 35th Annual Salute to the USA, Avon, Colo.

Nestled at the base of Beaver Creek Resort, the town of Avon’s Nottingham Park hosts a formidable July 4th event with plenty of family-friendly activities—face painters, balloon sculptors, bounce houses, and carnival food—capped by live music in the evening. Everything but the fireworks, which have been postponed for now due to fire danger.

• 4th of July Festivities & Fireworks, Whitefish, Mont.

Boasting a spectacular fireworks display launched off a barge from the middle of Whitefish Lake, this light show is one of the best in ski country. Come early and rent a paddleboard or kayak or just lounge on Whitefish Lake beach and soak in the vibe.

• 4th of July Events, Jackson, Wyo.

This quintessential small-town celebration has it all: pancake breakfast, parade, live music—including a performance by the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra—plus a rodeo and a reenactment of a Western shootout in Town Square. It’s enough to make up for the fact the fireworks were cancelled due to county fire restrictions.

• 4th of July, Crested Butte, Colo.

Another charming small-town Independence Day fete, the town of Crested Butte hosts a parade down main drag Elk avenue that reportedly ends in a massive water fight, a crafts market, and a huge fireworks display with Mt. Crested Butte in the background. 

• Summer Music Festival, Holiday Valley, N.Y.

Ellicottville’s annual Summer Music Festival is a guise for a patriotic weekend of music, food, and brews at Holiday Valley. There’s a pet parade followed by two days of music performances, the highlights of which include the Buffalo Philharmonic and the lead singer of Boston. A fireworks show lights up over the slopes after dark on the 4th.

• Independence Day Celebration, Breckenridge, Colo.

Like down the road in Avon, fireworks are also prohibited due to fire conditions, but Breck’s show will go on with an arts festival, a 10K race, a parade, and live music—including a twilight performance by the National Repertory Orchestra. 

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