Celebrate the Fourth of July surrounded by the majesty of the San Juan Mountains!
So, you may be wondering..."What to do in Colorado on the Fourth what with the fireworks cancelled?" Well, you've come to the right place! Long before fireworks were a prevalent part of the Independence day celebration, Ouray has provided a full day of family fun and entertainment, and this year may well be one of the best yet.....fireworks or not!
Ouray and the surrounding towns in Southwest Colorado provide a truly original experience on the Fourth of July. Virtually unchanged since its birth in the 1800's, this tiny mountain town provides an historic taste of our countries special day. Traditions in Ouray on the fourth have lasted through the years, changing only slightly.
First thing in the morning, join your fellow running enthusiasts at Fellin Park for the Ourayce 10K, part of the Ouray 2012 Race series. The race will finish up just in time to converge on Main Street, which will be closed at 10:00 am for the annual Fourth of July Parade. Cheer for all of the different organizations and individuals marching, or, enter yourself!
After the parade, the fun is just beginning. Family fun and games start at 11:00 am, and are an all day event at Fellin Park. The Ouray Elks, among others will be offering great barbeque options, from burgers and brats to some of the best ribs ever. If you're looking for an escape from the outdoor activities, all of the restaurants and shops will be open and ready to provide you with a great experience of small town hospitality and good cheer.
Highway 550 will close down for the second time of the day at 2:00 pm when the annual water fights commence. A tradition started in the late 1800's, with as many rocks as there was water shooting from the fire hoses, these hearty miners stood for up to an hour against each other with no protection but a ladies bathing cap. These days, competitions are timed and teams wear protective gear, limiting the number of injuries but certainly not the amount of fun audiences have watching competitors push their endurance to the limits.
Dinner is a difficult decision in Ouray on the Fourth of July. All of the local restaurants offer a fabulous variety of dining options with the celebratory air of the day. Enjoy margaritas on the deck, or prime rib in an old fashioned saloon.
The Wright Opera House will be offering a free viewing of ET at 4:00 pm, and 6:00 pm, which is a great way to wind down after a day of frivolity and fun.
Of course, the night isn't over yet! Not by a long shot! Also starting at 4:00 pm, Mike Gwinn and the North Fork flyers will begin a free concert in the park! All of the activities and booths open throughout the day will stay open at Fellin Park until the JEEP GLOW PARADE at 9:00 pm. Bring your Jeep to the Ouray “Switzerland of America” Overlook on Hwy 550 at 8:15 to line up for the “glow” parade, starting at 9:00 PM. Glow sticks and decorations provided by the Ouray Chamber Resort Association. Donations accepted.
Whether this is the first or the fiftieth time you experience the Fourth of July in Ouray, it will be a day to remember!