Iron Horse Park, on the Fort Carson base, gets things started with The Fourth on the Third. It runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday with live music, food, inflatables, a giant slide and bungee trampoline and giveaways, followed by fireworks against Cheyenne Mountain. Call 526-4494 for more.
Area festivities on the 4th include:
Memorial Park, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave. The Fabulous July 4th Patriotic Celebration features a grand fireworks display, with cannons from the Fort Carson 4th Artillery Division and sounds from the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. Music begins at 5 p.m. with local acts. The Philharmonic takes the stage at 8. Call 884-2110 or visit csphilharmonic.org. (This show repeats at Woodland Park Middle School as the Symphony Above the Clouds at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.)
Memorial Park, Corner of Park Street and Lake Avenue, Woodland Park. Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a fishing contest, bike parade, music, kids' activities and food. Call 686-0705.
Rock Ledge Ranch, 30th Street and Gateway Road. Family Fourth Independence Day Celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features pony and wagon rides, carnival games, recitations of the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address, in addition to a Civil War encampment and Buffalo Soldiers. Call 578-6777 or visit rockledgeranch.com.
Soda Springs Park, 1016 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs. Buffalo Bar-B-Q runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Sunday and features music, barbecued buffalo, old West re-enactments, Native American dancers, food and crafts. Fireworks go from 9 to 10 p.m. Call 685-9655 and 685-1444.
Sky Sox Stadium, 4385 Tutt Blvd. The Independence Day Extravaganza features large fireworks displays after the 7:05 p.m. games on July 4 and 5. Call 591-7699 or visit skysox.com.
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, 4218 County Road 3A, Cañon City. Fourth of July Celebrations run 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. through Sunday and feature music, face painting, fireworks and free mini American flags. Visit royalgorgebridge.com or call 888/333-5597.
Downtown Cripple Creek. Cripple Creek 4th of July Celebration begins at 11 a.m. Friday and continues Saturday, with a fireworks display at dark, both nights. Event includes food, crafts, a beer garden, petting zoo, bike parade, watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests. Go to visitcripplecreek.com.