The Southwest can be a tricky spot to view July 4th Fireworks. During an especially dry season, like this year when fire danger is extremely high in all four corners states, it is not unusual for a town or municipality to cancel their fireworks show. That is why most fireworks displays are teamed up with other great events like concerts, rodeos, fairs, sporting events and festivals — so if the fireworks are no show, everyone still has a great time. While the larger cities are in a better position to support huge light shows, we also recommend any one of the dozens of ski areas and mountain resort towns in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, which usually have terrific displays, all the more special because most of the fireworks are launched from the mountain tops. We make special mention of Vail, Colorado, which has some very fine fireworks both on July 4 and New Year’s Eve.
1. Fabulous Phoenix Fourth (Steele Indian School Park – Phoenix, AZ)
Celebrating its 26th year in 2011, Fabulous Phoenix Fourth is hugely popular and attracts more than 100,000 spectators. Folks flock to this to see wonderful things like a flyover of F-15 fighter jets, inflatable rides and a classic car exhibit, as well as the spectacular fireworks show, which start at 9 p.m., reputed to be among the best in the Southwest.
2. Freedom Fourth (Balloon Fiesta Park – Albuquerque, NM)
Freedom Fourth is the biggest fireworks display in the state of New Mexico. The Balloon Fiesta Park is closed the entire week prior in order to prepare for the party. Games, food, drink and fun precede the fireworks show which starts around 9:30 p.m.
3. Roswell UFO Festival and Fireworks (Cielo Grande Park – Roswell, NM)
Strange lights in the sky are nothing new to the folks of Roswell, New Mexico. So it is quite fitting that the Roswell UFO Festival also puts on a spectacular fireworks extravaganza, starting at 9:15 p.m. You can enjoy everything from the alien parade to sci-fi celebrity appearances through the Roswell UFO Festival as well.
4. Fireworks, Music and/or Sports (4 locations – Denver, CO)
There are four great places to see fireworks in Denver. The first is the Fireworks and Colorado Symphony Concert at Civic Center Park (music, light show and concluding fireworks). Coors Field or Invesco Field and Mile High Stadium are two other great places (both fireworks displays follow either a baseball or lacrosse game – so two fun events rolled into one). Finally, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre puts on a great concert, which also has a great view of the downtown fireworks show.
5. Fabulous Fiesta (Park City, Utah)
Park City, Utah, goes all out over the July 4th holiday, with a rodeo, Summer Bash Festival, Utah Symphony Concert, 5K Run, Parade and fantastic fireworks display that starts at 9:15 p.m. at the Park City Mountain Resort.