GUNNISON-CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO (June 14, 2011) — With Fourth of July falling on a Monday this year, there are plenty of ways to salute our country and enjoy spectacular red-white-and blue long weekend in Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, Colo. There is fun for all ages including a gallery crawl, concerts, performances of “Oklahoma,” farmers ’ markets, a one-third marathon, a parade, a pancake feed, fireworks, hot air balloon rally and more.


  • July 1 – First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music, Various Galleries & Locations, Gunnison
  • July 1 – Fridays @ 5 at the Gunnison Art Center, Live Music on the Courtyard
  • July 1 – 2 – Gunnison Valley Observatory Open for Public Viewing, Gunnison
  • July 1 – 2 – “Oklahoma!” Presented by CB Mountain Theatre, Mallardi Cabaret
  • July 2 – Gunnison Farmers’ Market, Virginia Avenue & Main Street
  • July 2 – 4 – 4th of July Hot Air Balloon Rally, Jorgensen Park, Gunnison
  • July 3 – Crested Butte Farmers’ Market, Elk Avenue & First Street
  • July 3 – “ART” Rageous Day of the Arts presented by Arts Alliance of the East River Valley, Crested Butte Center for the Arts
  • July 3 – Sundays @ 6 Concert Presented by the Gunnison Arts Center, Legion Park
  • July 3 – Fireworks Presented by the Town of Crested Butte
  • July 4 – Crested Butte Fire & EMS Department Pancake Breakfast, Crested Butte Fire Station
  • July 4 – 43rd Annual Gothic to Crested Butte Run, Walk or Crawl 1/3 Marathon
  • July 4 – Parade, Food, Live Entertainment & Old-Fashioned Games, Elk Avenue, Crested Butte
  • July 4 – Patriotic Concert by Boston Brass presented by Crested Butte Music Festival, Crested Butte

Center for the Arts Outdoor Stage

July 4 – Concert by Orgone & Fireworks presented by the Town of Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte Mountain Resort Outdoor Stage

July 4 – Gunnison Rotary’s 60th Annual Fireworks (live music, food and fireworks), Jorgensen Park

July 1 & 2

The weekend kicks off with a focus on the arts, including Gunnison’s First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music from 5 – 8 p.m. and live entertainment on Gunnison Arts Center’s outdoor courtyard during Fridays @ 5 on July 1. Crested Butte Mountain Theatre will be presenting “Oklahoma” on July 1 – 2 at Mallardi Cabaret, and you also can check out the night skies with Colorado’s largest public research-quality telescope at the Gunnison Valley Observatory on these evenings.

The 31st annual 4th of July Hot Air Balloon Ascension will be hosted by The Trough Restaurant. Balloons launch from Gunnison’s Jorgensen Park between 5:30 – 6 a.m. from July 2 – 4.

The Gunnison Farmers’ Market on July 2 is the place to find fruits and vegetables grown in the area and more at Virginia and Main Street from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

July 3

The Crested Butte Farmers’ Market is a prime spot to shop for produce grown in the area, canned and handcrafted goods, and baked items on Elk Avenue between First and Second Streets from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

It’s another big day for the arts on July 3 with The Arts Alliance of the East River Valley’s second annual “ART” Rageous Day of the Arts at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Some activities are free and others require admission or registration costs.

  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Touch a Truck by Trailhead Children’s Discovery Museum
  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Live Art Demonstrations & Booths by Artists of the West Elks
  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon – Dance Performance by Crested Butte Dance Collective
  • 1 – 3 p.m. – Hip Hop Classes by Crested Butte School of Dance
  • 3 – 4 p.m. – Documentary Film by Crested Butte Film Festival
  • 4 – 5:30 p.m. – Allan Ivy Photography Slide Show by Gunnison Arts Center
  • 6 – 7:30 p.m. – Adam Freed Exhibit & Reception by Crested Butte Center for the Arts
  • 7:30 – 9 p.m. – Boston Brass Concert by Crested Butte Music Festival
  • 9:30 – 10 p.m. – Fireworks by the Town of Crested Butte

The Gunnison Arts Center also will host a free Sundays @ 6 concert featuring the Tornado Rider Band at Legion Park in Gunnison starting at 6 p.m.

July 4 – Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte

Crested Butte & Mt. Crested Butte pull out all the stops to celebrate Independence Day. The day kicks off with getting a full belly at the Crested Butte Fire & EMS Department’s Pancake Breakfast from 7 – 10 a.m. at the fire station in Crested Butte.

Or look more to your athletic side at the 43rd Annual Gothic to Crested Butte Run, Walk or Crawl 1/3 Marathon beginning at 8 a.m. in Gothic, winding through the aspen woods and meadows to Mt. Crested Butte and ending in downtown Crested Butte. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) based in Gothic. Online registration is available at or go to for a registration form and information.

Expect funky, fun and good-natured laughter as people line Crested Butte’s Elk Avenue at least four deep to take in the spectacle of the July 4th parade, which begins at 11 a.m. Former Crested Butte Mayor Alan Bernholtz and friends are known to create floats that wow the crowd with action such as costumed characters skiing down a water slide through a ring of fire or zooming down a zipline. Scientists, staff and friends of Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory have built a reputation for wearing outfits created from skunk cabbage leaves. If getting wet isn’t your idea of fun, stay away from the first block of Elk Avenue because after the parade it turns into the wet zone for a big water fight complete with a fire truck.

Stick around downtown for live music, a food court and old-fashioned games after the parade.

As part of the Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF), a free patriotic concert by Boston Brass, one of the world’s best brass ensembles, begins at 4 p.m. on the Crested Butte Center for the Arts’ outdoor stage.

Don’t go anywhere as this is followed by a free Alpenglow concert hosted by Crested Butte Center for the Arts at 5:30 p.m. featuring Colorado-based Julie Bryan and her band The Last Flight, known for their success in merging blues, country, classic rock and modern pop-rock styles for a multigenerational appeal. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics or purchase food and beverage on-site at Alpenglow.

There’s no shortage of chances to hear great music with a free outdoor concert featuring Orgone on tap at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort kicking off at 8 p.m. and followed by fireworks presented by the Town of Mt. Crested Butte at 9:20 p.m. The band is known to take concert-goers on a musical journey from the sound of Los Angeles to horn and percussion driven Lagos to a New York club and to the raw sounds of New Orleans and will play a final set after the fireworks. The concert is presented by the Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce.

July 4 – Gunnison

The south end of the valley also has its share of Independence Day fun planned. Thousands of locals and visitors make the annual pilgrimage to the Gunnison Rotary Club’s fireworks celebration, which raises funds for college scholarships and local charitable causes. In honor of the 60th anniversary of the celebration, Rotary is planning its largest fireworks display ever.

All the festivities will be held at Jorgensen Park, with live music a beer garden and food court launching at 4:30 p.m. At dusk, a look back 60 years into the past reveals Gunnison as it was in 1951 by Dr. Duane Vandenbusche, an entertaining local historian and professor at Western State College of Colorado. Military veterans will be honored just before the fireworks fly at 9:15 p.m. Donations are encouraged to cover costs and raise money for Rotary projects.


To find out more about other events in Gunnison County or to book personalized vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s toll-free line, (800) 814-8893, or visit Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at or follow us on

Air access to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is provided by United Airlines year-round and by American Airlines in the winter.


Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.

Gunnison, county seat and a real western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional fields. Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.

Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butte is 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.

Marble is located in the Upper Crystal River Valley along the Elk Mountains and is the gateway to nearby Crystal, home to one of the most photographed mill sites in the country. Marble has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the Yule Marble Quarry.

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks. Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

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