Celebrate the Fourth of July in Commerce City

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By The Staff

COMMERCE CITY – An estimated 10,000 people participated in Commerce City’s 4th Fest event in 2008.

This year, organizers are prepared to host another huge July 4 celebration, with a full evening of fun, food, free family activities and one of the biggest fireworks shows in the state.

The event, sponsored by the city of Commerce City and the Colorado Rapids, is a free outdoor festival that takes place at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on 60th Avenue just east of Quebec Parkway.

Family activities will be available just south of the stadium, in the VIP East and West parking lots and in the stadium cantina. There will be a family activity zone, a main stage with live bands and much more.

Starting the day is a Wild Walk at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Sponsored by Commerce City and the refuge, 6k/1-mile walks will be every hour, 9 a.m.-noon, to view the prairie plants and wildlife. Call 303-289-0930 to reserve your spot.

At 5 p.m. the excitement begins outside Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Bring the whole family and enjoy a variety of free activities at the stadium’s south end. The fun includes a climbing wall, handheld stilts, Legos station, suncatcher and beading stations, quad trampoline and giant inflatables. New this year is a mechanical bull, an activity that is sure to be hit with kids of all ages.

Rosy Rosebud the clown and a 9-foot-tall Uncle Sam will be part of the crowd, and live entertainment includes a variety of bands playing music from jazz to ’80s music and more. Don’t miss Top Hogs, an amazing live animal act whose pigs have been featured at many local events and on TV shows.

The Rapids play the Chicago Fire at 7 p.m., followed by the largest fireworks display in the state, which can be seen from throughout the complex. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. and will be set to patriotic music.

Parking lots around the Rapids soccer stadium and Civic Center open at 4 p.m.; family activities and entertainment are available 5 to 9 p.m. Parking and activities are free.

Parking entrances are at 56th Avenue and Valentia Street and along Quebec Parkway at 60th and 64th avenues. East 56th Avenue will be closed beginning at 8:30 p.m.; all parking after 8:30 p.m. will be routed to the dirt lot at 62nd and Quebec.

For information on 4th Fest activities, visit www.4thfestcolorado.com or call Commerce City Parks and Recreation at 303-289-3760.