(credit: Evan Semón/CBS4)
This is the sixth year for Independence Eve presented by Anadarko, a fabulous free concert, light show and fireworks finale in Civic Center Park on July 3.
The program begins at 8 p.m. as CBS4’s Jim Benemann hosts the evening. This year Gina Bauza from Metropolitan State University of Denver will perform the National Anthem. Colorado funk sensation Funkiphino will kick off the evening, and the 101st Army Concert Band from Colorado’s Buckley Air Force Base will provide the patriotic music that culminates in the fireworks finale. The City and County Building serves as the canvas for a light show synchronized to the music.
The nonprofit Civic Center Conservancy produces the event, working hard year-long to bring the annual tradition to life. Anadarko has supported the concert and fireworks show since its inception. CBS4 Denver is pleased to return as a partner this year joining other community partners such the City & County of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, VISIT DENVER, Xcel Energy, Comcast, Major League Soccer, Southwest Airlines and The Denver Post.
Where to park
Love fireworks but not so wild about the crowds? $75 will get you a ticket for a party on The Deck @ 101 at the Denver Post Building, 101 W. Colfax Avenue. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes not only the best view of fireworks but also heavy appetizers as well as beer and wine. Purchase your tickets before they sell out here.
Where to park
There are several available parking garages and surface lots near Civic Center Park. The closest garage is at 12th and Broadway, near the Denver Art Museum, and you can expect to pay about $5. Also nearby are several surface lots owned by Central Parking system and Time Park. Street parking is also available in the surrounding neighborhood – just be sure to follow all no parking signs and meter time limits.
(credit: Evan Semón/CBS4)
How to get there
If you don’t want to find a place to park, consider taking the RTD Light Rail, a cab or Uber. The closest Light Rail stop is on the 16th Street Mall at 16th and California. You can get off there and take the FREE 16th Street Mall Shuttle or walk the rest of the way. It is not very far.
If you’re a cyclist, considering riding to the park or using one of the city’s B-cycles. There will be additional bike racks set up on the north and south sides of the park, both in the plaza between the Denver Art Museum and Denver Central Library, as well as the plaza outside the Webb Municipal Office Building.
What streets will be closed?
Bannock and Cherokee between 14th Avenue Parkway and Colfax as well as 14th from Cherokee to Broadway. Broadway will close at 6 p.m. from 19th Ave. to 13th Ave. for the event allowing for more foot access to park and between Civic Center and the State Capitol. A close-in drop-off location will be accessible from eastbound Colfax in front of the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax.
Where to sit
Seating is first-come, first-served on the lawn of the Civic Center Park all the way up to the west steps of the Capitol. The fireworks will be visible above the roof of the City and County Building. The building will also be a back drop for an amazing light show so you will want to sit where you can see the building as well as the fireworks overhead. Your best bet is to plan to come early and have dinner in the park.
What to bring
Make a night of it, and pack a picnic dinner. There will also be several food trucks on hand. Bring a blanket to sit on or low-sitting camp chairs. Keep in mind if you sit up too high in a chair you will be blocking the view for the people around you. As always in Colorado, bring a fleece because as you know when the sun goes down it can get a little chilly. Feel free to bring your favorite camera to capture all your memories of this patriotic night. Please leave those tall chairs and huge umbrellas at home, and remember, glass bottles and personal fireworks are strictly prohibited.
Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs, The Steuben’s Food Truck, The Biscuit Bus, CrockSpot, Fat Sully’s Slice Truck, Moe’s Original BBQ Truck, OG Burgers, Still Smokin Fusion BBQ, Aiko Pops, Coaches Scoop Frozen Desserts, The Denver Cupcake Truck, Summer Snow Shaved Ice
What is the Civic Center Conservancy?
Formed in 2004, the Civic Center Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the City and County of Denver restore, enhance and activate Civic Center Park. Through programs such as the Tuesday and Thursday Civic Center EATS Outdoor Café, the free Civic Center MOVES fitness series, the free summer Bike-In Movie Series and Independence Eve; advocacy around design, infrastructure and policy issues; fundraising for capital improvements, activities and initiatives that support and revitalize the park, the Civic Center Conservancy aims to elevate and sustain Civic Center Park as Denver’s vibrant, iconic community and cultural hub. The Conservancy has a formal cooperative agreement with the City and County of Denver designating it as the official fundraising vehicle for Civic Center Park.
Cue The Music
Expect an evening of fun and patriotic music from the stage at Civic Center Park.
Gina Bauza will perform the National Anthem to kick off the fireworks show. Gina served four years in the Air Force and is now studying opera at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She sang for Air Force events while stationed in Germany and performed with “Tops In Blue,” an Air Force entertainment unit.
Funkiphino is a big Colorado band with an even bigger sound. It’s an 11-piece jazz band featuring horns, drums, congas, keyboards and three vocalists who pump the energy into the music. That, in turn, invariably gets the audience up and moving. A Funkiphino concert usually becomes one crazy dance party. The band plays a variety of music from funk and classic R&B to the entire world of American jazz – from fusion to high energy. You simply can’t help but move to the beat of Funkiphino.
101st Army Concert Band is the largest ensemble in the 101st Army Band. It performs a variety of music from large-scale formal concert band pieces to the kind of patriotic music and marches perfect to accompany fireworks. The band is part of the Colorado Army National Guard and acts a musical ambassador not only for the state of Colorado but also the United States Army.