Telluride 4th of July is truly an old fashioned, small town America celebration. From the early morning hours to long past sunset, the festivities provide endless fun and entertainment for the young and young at heart.
Telluride Plein Air Festival
The week long celebration kicks off wtih the Telluride Plein Air Festival drawing artists from around the country to paint “en plein air” (in the outdoors) and exhibit and sell their work. Their scenes of Telluride and the surrounding areas simultaneously capture the mountain spirit of this special place and celebrate the art of painting outdoors.
The Rundola is an open registration foot race from the base of the gondola in Telluride to the top of the ridge adjacent to the San Sophia mid-station. The race is organized by and benefits the Telluride Foundation.
Runners follow the Telluride Trail (4.600 feet long, 40 feet wide, 13% uphill grade) or can simply bushwack to the finish. The elevation gain is 1,810 feet from start to finish. Participants are grouped by age and gender into categories for the race.
Fourth of July
The Telluride Volunteer Fire Department has been hosting Telluride’s 4th of July celebration for over 100 years. It is an event that will surely not disappoint. In honoring our stars and stripes, the celebration offers something for everyone.
To start the day and pay tribute to the mining heritage of Telluride, a stick of dynamite is lit deep in the mountains surrounding Telluride. This unique wake-up call sends a deep vibration through the Telluride valley at the early hour of 6am. While some visitors sleep through this experience, others simply crack a smile and return to their slumber.
At 11am sharp, fighter jets from the Air Force base in Colorado Springs fly over the town of Telluride. This much anticipated event signals the start of the wacky and wild Main Street parade. Locals and visitors alike don their best homemade costumes to march, dance, skate, or ride past throngs of cheering spectators.
The parade culminates at the entrance to Town Park, where delicious smells lure in countless fans of the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department’s annual barbeque. Here you can experience some of the best barbequed pork and chicken, corn on the cob, coleslaw, rolls, and fresh watermelon around, while supporting the hard-working, volunteer fire department. After you’ve had your fill to eat, wander over to the kid’s games and watch your youngsters participate in the three-legged race, the water-balloon toss, the pie-eating contest, and the highly anticipated trout grab.
Put on by Telluride’s Volunteer Fire Department, the firework show in Telluride is one of the best in the country. Held in the Town Park, the fireworks are displayed in a natural amphitheater, set against the ‘purple mountain majesties’. The majority of viewers lie on their backs on blankets in the Town Park, watching the fireworks explode directly overhead. After the show, enjoy the nightlife of Telluride at one of the local saloons or retire to the Hotel Columbia with visions of stars and stripes dancing in your head.