Races, music, fireworks, parades, hot air balloons and more!
The Fourth of July is a day to salute our country and enjoy spectacular red-white-and blue fun in Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, Colo. The merriment includes a firehouse pancake breakfast, one-third marathon (run, walk or crawl!), parade, great food, old-fashioned games, concerts, hot air balloon rally, and, of course, fireworks.
The first event of the day is the glorious, early morning launch of hot air balloons at Jorgensen Park from 5:30 – 6 a.m. The 32nd annual hot air balloon rally, hosted by The Trough Restaurant, features launches each morning from July 2 – 4.
Later in the day on July 4, the 61st Annual Gunnison Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration kicks off at the park at 4 p.m. with live music by The Grant Farm, a beer garden, food court and kids activities such as face painting, a bouncy house and Slip ‘N Slides all organized by the City of Gunnison.
Guitarist Tyler Grant was a member of The Drew Emmitt Band and The Emmitt-Nershi Band until 2010 when he formed The Grant Farm with drummer Chris Misner, also of the Drew Emmitt Band and Bill Nershi’s Blue Planet. The quartet is completed by Adrian “Ace” Engfer on bass and Sean Foley on keyboards and has earned a following for their Rocky Mountain rock ’n’ roll.
Military veterans will be honored just before the fireworks fly at 9:15 p.m. Donations are encouraged to cover costs and raise money for Rotary projects.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/308672829219212/?context=create or contact the City of Gunnison at (970) 901-6215.
CRESTED BUTTE & MT. CRESTED BUTTE
Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte also pull out all the stops to celebrate Independence Day. Forget making breakfast and attend the Crested Butte Fire & EMS Department’s Pancake Breakfast from 7 – 10 a.m. at the fire station Butte. A food court with an abundance of tasty treats opens at 10 a.m., plus there are numerous restaurants and coffee shops to satisfy a wide range of tastes.
Or look more to your athletic side at the 44th Annual Gothic to Crested Butte Run, Walk or Crawl 1/3 Marathon beginning at 8 a.m. in Gothic, winding through the aspen woods and meadows to Mt. Crested Butte and ending in downtown Crested Butte. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) based in Gothic. Online registration is available at www.active.com or go to www.rmbl.org for a registration form and information. There is a cap of 500 runners.
Expect funky, fun and good-natured laughter as people line Crested Butte’s Elk Avenue at least four deep to take in the spectacle of the July 4th parade, which begins at 11 a.m. For example, scientists, staff and friends of RMBL have built a reputation for wearing outfits created from skunk cabbage leaves. If getting wet isn’t your idea of fun, stay away from the first block of Elk Avenue because after the parade it turns into the wet zone for a big water fight complete with a fire truck.
Stick around for live music by the local band Dr. Robert immediately after the parade followed by a Stryder Cup bike race for little ones at 1 p.m. and old-fashioned games for all ages (sawdust coin hunt, hot dog eating contest and pie eating contest) from 1:30 – 3 p.m. on Elk Avenue and Third Street.
A free patriotic concert by Boston Brass, one of the world’s best brass ensembles, begins at 4 p.m. on the Crested Butte Center for the Arts’ outdoor stage and is the kickoff for the Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF), which runs from July 4 – Aug. 12.
The day ends in style with a free outdoor concert and fireworks at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, made possible by the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, Town of Mt. Crested Butte, CBMR and Mt. Crested Butte Town Center Community Association. Amber Leigh and her band will play from 7 – 9:30 p.m., take a break for fireworks, and return to the stage and perform until 10:15 p.m.
For more information, go to the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce’s website,
www.cbchamber.com/4th-of-july, or call (800) 545-4505.
VISITOR INFORMATION & PERSONALIZED VACATION PACKAGES
To find out more about other events in Gunnison County or to book personalized vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s toll-free line, (800) 814-8893, or visit www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com. Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta or follow us on www.twitter.com/gcbta. Air access to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is provided by United Airlines year-round and by American Airlines in the winter.
ABOUT GUNNISON-CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO
Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.
Gunnison, county seat and a real western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional fields. Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.
Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butte is 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.
Marble is located in the Upper Crystal River Valley along the Elk Mountains and is the gateway to nearby Crystal, home to one of the most photographed mill sites in the country. Marble has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the Yule Marble Quarry.
In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks. Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.