By Raetta Holdman

DENVER (CBS4) – When you turn 10, you need a big party. At least that’s the thinking for the Civic Center Conservancy as it expands the hours for Independence Eve presented by Anadarko. The park will open for business at 4 p.m. with expanded beer and wine gardens and even more food trucks than in year’s past.

(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

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“We’re actually going to close down the length of 14th Street here on the south side of Civic Center Park,” said Civic Center Conservancy Scott Robson. “That’ll be lined with food trucks and some eclectic wares.”

(credit: CBS)

You’ll also still find food trucks along Broadway on the east side of the park as well as in the Greek Amphitheater and next to the Seal Pond.

The Conservancy has also added a kids play area and a bungy jump.

(credit: CBS)

And that’s not all that’s getting bigger and better. The concert will start at 5 p.m., kicking off with three Colorado bands: Alright Alright, Jen Korte & The Loss and Chris Daniels and The Kings. Each band will play a set of about 45 minutes leading up to a speaking program at 8:15 p.m.

Then the Colorado Symphony returns to Civic Center Park for the first time in six years. The symphony plans a performance of patriotic music featuring Broadway star Alli Mauzey.

For the Conservancy, growing Independence Eve to the event it’s become is an important part of its role for the park.

“The event continues to be free, it continues to be the most family friendly event of its size in Colorado,” Robson said. “You come out, roll out a blanket and enjoy a longer afternoon of entertainment.”

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(credit: Evan Semón/ CBS4)

Robson says getting those 100,000 people into the park is important in many ways.

“To bring a diverse crowd, many of whom have never visited Civic Center Park, and expose them to this historic space, what is Denver’s only national historic landmark, expose them to the history, the architecture, the lights and, really, the family feel of the event fits our mission perfectly.”

(credit: Evan Semón/CBS4)

But the Conservancy also knows it’s about giving the people what they want.

“We continue to get such great feedback on the combination show. We have of fireworks above the City County Building but also the light show on the architecture of the City County building has proven to be just incredibly popular. We’re not going to mess with that.”

And Robson loves being in the park all day on the 3rd of July.

“To watch the crowd build slowly throughout the day is quite amazing. However, without a doubt, my favorite part is that silence between the when the Colorado Symphony ends and the first firework bursts in the air and the ooos and aahs erupt from the crowd.

“It’s that moment I think that just highlights what the day is about, everyone together as one celebrating, not just fireworks but community.”

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Raetta Holdman