Fourth of July parades, fireworks and events around Routt County |

Fourth of July parades, fireworks and events around Routt County

Jo and Jim Stanko will lead this year's Fourth of July Parade as grand marshals.

— Growing up in Steamboat Springs, longtime resident Jim Stanko remembers Fourth of July as one of the biggest holidays in town.

Dances were held, the rodeo was a main event and the combination of the local parade and fireworks was a cherished memory for all ages.

"I think the atmosphere is still the same, even though a lot has changed," said Stanko, who help put on the fireworks display through the late 1980s with the American Legion. "Everyone — the ranchers, farmers and townsfolk — would come to town to celebrate. It was a big deal. I think we still have that here."

Remaining true to Steamboat's historic roots derived from the ranching community, Fourth of July brings together a celebration of the Independence Day and Cowboys' Roundup Days with a wide variety of events all weekend long.

Fourth of July Parades

For Steamboat's parade of floats that characterize the many personalities of the area, Stanko and his wife, Jo, were selected as grand marshals of the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with the theme "Blaze of Glory — Fireworks and Freedom." The two were selected for their commitment to the historic and agricultural facets within the community.

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Jo Stanko was a teacher at Strawberry Park and Soda Creek Elementary Schools and is part of the Community Agricultural Alliance, a member of the Routt County Cattle Women and has served on a number of boards on the local, state and national level. Meanwhile, Jim Stanko has served on the Tread of Pioneers Museum board for 23 years, taught classes at Colorado Mountain College, co-authored a local historic book and is heavily involved with the American Legion, to name a few of their endeavors.

"I think that we both come from families that try to make things better with a philosophy that you can't have people read your mind, so you have to share your ideas and your own views," said Jo Stanko. "If you're going to complain, you better come up with a cure because it does no good to sit around and gripe about things if it's not working."

About 30 miles south of Steamboat Springs, Yampa will host a Fourth of July Parade at 1 p.m. near River Park featuring horseback riders, classic cars and floats. Shortly after the parade will be the town’s 13th annual "My Town Community Picnic" in Yackey Park behind the Yampa-Egeria Historical Society museum. The picnic will run from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be a Watermelon Crawl Game, along with pork sandwich or hotdogs, coleslaw, beans, chips, cake and beverages. Music will be by Green Ridge Ramblers, and there will be a special appearance by Miss Rose Karow. Across the street from the picnic, at the lot North of Montgomery's, will be the 5th annual Rockin’ Oldies Classic Car Show.

Following Country Road 129, Hahns Peak Village will also have a parade on Main Street beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade will be followed by a craft fair and ice cream social at the schoolhouse.


If conditions are right this year, the team of 20 volunteers will launch a 24-inch, 500-pound firework which has never been done before on July 4. Scott Borden has choreographed the firework's launching program to music, which will be broadcast to ESPN 98.9 (, so those at home can listen as they watch the fireworks show from anywhere in town.

"This is one of the largest fireworks displays in Colorado. Those folks that come from out of town will not be disappointed," said Tim Borden, who coordinates Steamboat Springs Fourth of July fireworks display.

Launching from five different sites, Borden said the show is designed to maximize viewing areas so everyone can have an optimal view.

Borden explain it's unlikely there is another handmade shell this big in Colorado due to the difficulty in transportation. In fact, this particular firework needs Federal Aviation Administration approval. Reaching high into the sky, the firework will enter into the Bob Adams Air Field and Yampa Valley Airport (HDN) flight air space, which is why a 'NOTAM' alert — notice to airmen — will be issued to inform pilots to avoid approaching the airport from the south or east side between 9 and 10 p.m.

Where to watch the fireworks:

Over Steamboat Lake — Hahns Peak Roadhouse, 9:30 p.m.

After the fireworks, the Hahns Peak Roadhouse (60880 Routt C.R. 129) will have a celebration featuring the Yer State Birds.

In Yampa at dawn following the horse race and community picnic.

Follow Highway 131 south for about 27 miles.

Not only can locals and visitors celebrate the Fourth of July at various parades and firework events in the area, they can also experience more through the music, arts and cultural traditions also happening this weekend.

Steamboat traditions

In Steamboat the morning will start off with the pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at Little Toots Park before the Cross Country Nordic Combined Roller Ski Race and the Steamboat Sprint — a 400-yard dash on Lincoln Avenue — gets the parade energy rolling. In Yampa, there will also be a pancake breakfast at the Ladies Aid Hall (83 East 1st St.) from 7 to 10:30 a.m.

Following the parade down Lincoln Avenue, the Pioneer Day Block Party — a local tradition — will be hosted by the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

Across the street, at the United Methodist Church, will be the Strawberry Festival at 1 p.m., featuring fresh strawberries, ice cream and lemonade, with funds benefiting the UMC Missions Team Projects.

A major component to Steamboat's heritage is its western roots. Visitors and locals can see what ranch life truly involves by witnessing the finesse and skill riders exercise for the Pro Rodeo Series, which will take place at the Brent Romick Arena. On Friday, the events featuring bull riding, bronc riding, roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and kids’ events — including the calf and ram scrambles — will start at 7:30 p.m. Rodeo events will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

Tips for an enjoyable Fourth

• Plan which events you want to attend and how you will get there.

• If you must drive downtown Saturday, carpool; parking will be limited.

• Bike if at all possible. Traffic will be heavy, and the best way to get around and find parking would be to bike.

• Park near a free bus stop. The free bus is running all weekend and is a great way to get around town.

• Wear plenty of sunscreen — you are closer to the sun than you think — and bring lots of bug spray.

Fireworks viewing locations

• Howelsen Hill: Bring blankets and chairs. There are many places to sit near Howelsen or even by the baseball fields and volleyball courts

• Brent Romick Rodeo Arena

• Little Toots Park near the Bud Werner Memorial Library

• Colorado Mountain College parking lot

• Anywhere along the Yampa River, including the plethora of restaurants there, most of which have outdoor seating.