Stay & Play: 4th of July Week in Durango!

This 4th of July, "We Want You" to stay and play in Durango to enjoy a town-wide week of festivities. The town of Durango is celebrating the 4th of July with a week of events including concerts, dance parties, movies in the park, the Stars & Stripes 4th of July Parade, the 4th of July Street Dance & Drone Show, artists showcase, food & drink, a 5k race, a Homes for Heroes picnic, the True Western Roundup, and more. The 4th of July festivities in Durango offer something for everyone!

Event Schedule:

Friday, June 30th, 2023:

• The Burroughs at Animas City Theatre | 8:00 pm - until | Doors open at 7:00 pm
From humble beginnings covering soul standards in their unlikely hometown of Greeley, Colorado, The Burroughs have traversed a decade of growth and reinvention to become a band that defies odds and transcends categorization. Since 2013, the 9-piece act has lit up stages around the country with their trademark brand of “sweaty soul music,” an invitation for audiences to dance, celebrate, and connect under a unifying and infectious groove. Tickets are $20 advance purchase. Click here for more information.

Saturday, July 1st, 2023:

• A Taste of Independence at the La Plata Fairgrounds & Event Center | 12 - 3 pm
Kick off your Independence Day weekend with family and friends at the La Plata County Fair Grounds & Event Center for the first-ever Taste of Independence: A Celebration of La Plata County’s Independent Food Trucks.  Enjoy delectable dishes from The Soup Palette, Crazy Coop, Ty’s Texas BBQ, Tacos La Carranza, or the Cairo Cafe. Choose an ice cream from the Ice Cream Lady - or enter the pie-eating contest for dessert! This event is free to attend. Participants buy their lunch from the vendors. Click here for more information.

• Oscar’s Café Pie Eating Contest at La Plata County Fairgrounds | 2:30 pm
If you’ve eaten at Oscar’s Cafe here in Durango, then you’ve seen the HUGE pies behind the counter. (And if you haven’t eaten there, you should). Oscar’s Cafe is bringing pies to the La Plata County Fairground for a pie-eating contest at 2:30 pm on Saturday, July 1. Come early and eat lunch at the Taste of Independence Celebration of La Plata County Food Trucks, stay and watch the fun. Or if you think you’ve got what it takes, enter the pie-eating contest! Twelve pies, twelve competitors. 1st, 2nd & 3rd place prizes. $10 entry fee for the contest. Competitors must be 12 years or older. Competitors under 18 need a parent or guardian’s consent. All competitors must sign a waiver. Click here to register to be a competitor. This event is free to spectate, $10 entry fee to compete.

• Watermelon Eating Contest at 11th Street Station | 4 - 6 pm
It’s not summer until you have had watermelon! Join us at 11th Street Station at 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 1, to watch - or compete - in the watermelon eating contest sponsored by 11th Street Station and the Durango Business Improvement District.  Eight contestants will be accepted for each of the three age categories: at 4:00 pm Ages 6 & under, at 4:30 pm Ages 7 to 15, and at 5:00 pm 16 and over. This is a tournament-style competition, with two people competing against each other.  Round 1: 4 groups of 2 competitors. Winners advance to Round 2: 2 groups of 2 competitors.  Winners advance to round 3, where 1 person will be the winner and one will be the runner-up.  Prizes for the 1st and 2nd places. Early registration is strongly encouraged! Registration will end when all 8 spots per age category are claimed or 15 minutes before the start. To register, text Carmen at 970-749-7204 with your name and age range. Must show up at least 15 minutes before the start time for the age range to check-in. Contestants under 18 years need a parent or guardian’s consent. This event is free to spectate.

• KSUT Presents: The 18th Annual Party in the Park | 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
KSUT Presents is pleased to announce the 18th Annual Party in the Park on July 1, presenting 3-time Grammy award-winning Los Angeles-based band Ozomatli, with an opening set by DJ I-Gene. The funk, salsa, jazz, reggae, and the hip-hop-influenced band recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary by releasing their ninth studio album, Marching On, to much fan and critical praise. They have been inspiring and energizing audiences across the globe since 1995, and we are thrilled to have them here in Durango this summer. More information and tickets can be found on the KSUT Presents website. Tickets for this event are $25 advance purchase.

• Live Concert and Silent Disco at 11th Street Station | 9 - 11 pm
Enjoy live music, a silent disco, and all that 11th Street Station has to offer. 11th Street Station is a culinary collective with a progressive vision and a nod to the location’s past. From the 1920s through the 1970s, the corner of Main Avenue and 11th Street was home to locally owned and operated auto repair shops and fuel stations. The food trucks and food trailers parked here now aren’t here for service; they’re here to serve you. Seven small, but robust food truck options encircle the original service station now turned Ernie’s Bar, which pours craft brews, libations, coffee and more. From tacos to pizza, sushi to Thai cuisine, and gourmet sliders, 11th Street Station’s independent food truck kitchens can cure any craving.

• The Gasoline Lollipops & Dreem Machine at Animas City Theatre | 8:00 pm - until | Doors open at 7:00 pm
Frontman, Clay Rose was raised between an outlaw, truck-driving father in the mountains of Colorado and a country song-writing mama in the sticks outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Clay’s penchant for open roads and troublemaking are the backbone of the Gas Pops’ sound. Gasoline Lollipops are three-time winners of Colorado Daily’s “Best Local Band” award and two-time winners of Denver Westword’s “Best Country Band” award. Fresh out of the legendary Dockside Studio in Lafayette, Louisiana, Gasoline Lollipops are promoting their new album, All The Misery Money Can Buy, which pursues happiness and the American Dream to the end of the rainbow and chokes on a pot of gold.  Gas Pops collaborated with Clay’s song-writing Mama, Donna Farar (“Last Thing I Needed” recorded by Willie Nelson and Chris Stapleton) to create this politically-charged union of soul music and Southern rock. Tickets are $20 advance purchase. Click here for more information.

Sunday, July 2nd, 2023: 

• Breakfast in Durango (Various Locations) | 6:30 - 11:00 am
Can you cite patriotic facts without using your cell phone? Visit any of these fun (and delicious) restaurants on Sunday morning for a great breakfast and a patriotic challenge. Earn an American flag or a free re-fill on your coffee/tea by singing a verse of the Star Spangled Banner, naming 7 presidents, or all the US states that begin with the letter A. Each restaurant has a different challenge, a different prize, and different operating hours. Participating locations include Hermosa Café, Denny’s, Durango Bagel, Love and Juice, Magpies, the VFW Hall, and Old Tymer’s Café.

• Durango Breakfast at VFW Post 4031 | 9 - 11 am
Enjoy breakfast at VFW Post 4031 on Sunday morning. As yesterday's defenders of freedom, we at VFW Post 4031 want to welcome today's military service members into our ranks and become part of our elite group.  Our common bond is the battlefield, whether it is service in the Persian Gulf, Vietnam, Korea, Kosovo, the war on terrorism, or peace-keeping expeditionary campaigns. Your courage and sacrifice have made a difference in preserving and defending world peace. We are dedicated to the support of our most important National Asset.... our veterans. Please join us and contribute to our efforts to support our local veterans and their families. We are Veterans helping Veterans.

• Ice Cream Social at VFW Post 4031 | 5 - 7 pm
Stroll down the Animas River Trail and stop at Rotary Park for a Sunday evening dinner and concert.
The VFW Hall is hosting an Ice Cream Social in conjunction with the Southwest Civic Winds Jazz Concert. Prices: $3 Hot dog, $1 Chips, $1 Soda, and $2 Ice cream.

• Southwest Civic Winds Concert at Rotary Park | 6:30 - 8 pm
Buy your dinner and dessert at the VFW hall and walk across the lane to Rotary Park to listen to the Southwest Civic Winds Jazz Concert.  Bring a chair or a blanket for the grass and enjoy a Sunday evening concert by the river. This event is free.

Monday, July 3rd, 2023:

• July is for Pie! Baking Contest at EsoTerra Ciderworks | 3 pm
EsoTerra Ciderworks is all about apples! Bakers in the junior (under 18) and senior (18 or over) categories will submit a fresh-baked apple pie to be judged by area chefs. Once the winners have been selected, EsoTerra will serve $3 “taste” plates. Come early to see the beautiful designs before the pies are cut.  Stay to taste the wonderful results! More information coming soon.

• Movies in the Park at Buckley Park | 7 - 9 pm
Watch the classic movie, Sandlot, on a 20’ movie screen! Bring your blankets, chairs, family, and friends to enjoy a night at the movies together at Buckley Park. Prior to the movie, enjoy live music by Drama Club and juggling and circus acts by Durango Aerial Arts and Acrobatics. The music begins at 7:00 pm. The movie will begin 15 minutes after sunset. This event is free. Popcorn and sodas are available for purchase.

Tuesday, July 4th, 2023:

• All-American Gourmet Breakfast at Rotary Park | 7:30 – 10:30 am
Brought to you by The Rotary Club of Durango and the Daybreak Rotary Club. Scrambled eggs, green chili eggs, sausage, pancakes, fruit topping, biscuits, and gravy will be served. Tickets may be purchased online or by using the QR code on posters around town or from a local Rotary Member. Adult ticket price is $13 presale or $15 after July 1. Children 5-12 $6 presale or $8 after July 1. Children under 5 are free. 

• Freedom 5K Run, Stroll & Walk at Rotary Park | 9 - 11 am
Join the City of Durango’s Parks and Recreation Department and start your 4th of July festivities on the right foot. Bring your whole family and all of your friends to participate and dress to celebrate Independence Day!  All ages are welcome to run, walk, stroll, or stride this festive 5K along the scenic Animas River Trail. The race begins at 9:00 am at Rotary Park. Participants are encouraged to dress in creative and patriotic attire.  Prizes will be distributed for first place in 3 categories: 12 & under, 13-18, and over 18 years of age.  Participants must check in at the Freedom 5K race tent between 8:15 am and 8:45 am. Click here for additional information. This event is free.

• Southwest Civic Winds Patriotic Concert at Rotary Park | 9:15 – 10:45 am
Bring a lawn chair or blanket to Rotary Park to listen to the Southwest Civic Winds Concert. This full concert band plays toe-tapping patriotic music. You will feel like you are in the right place to enjoy and celebrate Independence Day! This event is free.

• Building Homes for Heroes BBQ & Bands Picnic at Buckley Park | 12 - 4:30 pm
Presented by Fastsigns Durango and Local News Network and benefitting Building Homes for Heroes. Bring a blanket or a chair to Buckley Park for a mid-day picnic.  Burgers, hot dogs, and soft drinks are on the menu. A beer garden featuring Ska Brewing and Steamworks is also available.  Vinyl Lust will play live music from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, followed by Kirk James from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.  Activities for all ages include face painting, henna tattoos, Ruby Balloon, and a great cornhole tournament. This event is free. Participants may purchase the picnic items.

• Stars & Stripes 4th of July Parade on Main Avenue | 5:00 - 5:45 pm
Line up early on Main Avenue for the annual Stars & Stripes Parade! The Parade starts at College (6th Street) and Main Avenue at 5:00 pm and ends at 13th Street, just past Buckley Park. Expect bands, singers, cyclists, horses, fire engines, imaginative floats, and more!  Bring a small American flag to waive and stand at attention when the VFW Color Guard passes by. Judges and announcers will be on the 800 block of Main by the Main Street Mall. Click here for information on entering the parade. This event is free to spectate. $5 entry fee for parade floats.

• Street Dance, Dinner & Drone Show at the Transit Center | 6:30 pm
After the parade, head straight for the Transit Center to celebrate into the night. Desert Child is back as the headline band and is sure to have everyone on their feet and dancing. At 6:00 pm, Six Dollar String Band will start the party. The beer garden and food trucks open at 6:30 pm. Featuring the Ska Brewing Beer Garden, food trucks, Ruby Balloon, Henna Tattooing, Corn Hole, face painting, and more! At 7:45 pm, Desert Child will take the stage and play until 9:15 pm when the drone show begins. Arrive to eat and dance, and stay for the drone show! This event is free. Participants may buy their dinner from one of the vendors.

• 4th of July Drone Show at the Transit Center | 9:15 - 10 pm
Pixis Drones will light up the evening skies with a drone show specially designed to highlight Durango and La Plata County. The launch zone is Greenmount Cemetery. For the most dazzling display, spectators are encouraged to watch from the Durango Transit Center, the site of the Street Dance and Dinner. Spectators should be able to see the show clearly anywhere in this corridor: 6th Street to 9th Street between Camino del Rio and East 3rd Avenue. Music for the drone show will be played over the speakers at the Transit Center. Additionally, spectators will be able to connect with the soundtrack on their phones. More information on how to access the music coming soon. This event is free.

Wednesday, July 5th, 2023:

• True Western Roundup at the La Plata County Fairgrounds | 6:30 - 11 pm
True Western Roundup is brought to you by the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, TBK Bank, and many other impressive businesses. We are very excited to have come together to showcase the working ranch activities of the American Cowboy and Cowgirl. True Western Roundup is proud to promote and preserve our Western heritage in a positive family atmosphere, and we hope you enjoy our events. Click here for more information

4th of July Stars & Stripes Parade

Red, White & Blue Selfie Contest:

Are you ready to celebrate the 4th of July in Durango?  Show us by taking a Selfie wearing red, white, and blue at one of the 15 designated locations around town, upload it to Instagram, and tag @VisitDurango. Each week one of the entries will win a $100 gift card.  The contest runs June 6 - July 4; winners are announced each Friday.  For more information and the locations, click here.

4th of July Sweepstakes:

The 4th of July Staycation and Vacation Sweepstakes have ended! Stay tuned for an announcement about the winners. 

Durango residents can enter the 4th of July Staycation Sweepstakes, and people across the country can enter the 4th of July Vacation Sweepstakes.  Both prize packs include a two-night stay at a downtown Durango hotel, two days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner at locally owned restaurants, a $500 downtown Durango shopping spree, four passes to the Durango Hot Springs, four tickets to the Bar D Wranglers Cowboy Music Show & Supper, and four VIP seats at the Durango 4th of July Parade.