Column: Golden’s Fourth of July celebration will still be fun even without the fireworks


Let’s start this week’s column out with the good news. The City of Golden will not be burning down to the ground this year due to a rampant fire started by the annual fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

No sense in burying the lead here, right? Yup, this years fireworks display has been canceled. The fire danger is just a little bit too high this year. That’s sort of the bad news in this equation, but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t planning an awesome town celebration.

Even though they are operating on a ‘better safe than sorry” policy this year, our annual Fourth of July all-day celebration will still be happening in Lions Park, which is a pretty good place to hold it considering that it’s sponsored and organized by the Golden Lions Club. That makes it easy to remember.

So, here’s what’s happening. It kicks off with the Star Spangled Banner at 11:15 a.m., and then, the party starts. There will be three bands performing live on stage. The first one is Meniskus playing Rock Nouveau from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Then Ryan Chrys & the Roughcuts bring their brand of Outlaw Country music to the stage from 3 to 6 p.m. The closing act will be the rock band Something Underground playing from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

While all that is going on, you can bring the family for a picnic or just purchase some food and drinks from The American Legion Golden Post 21 or five specialty food trucks or grab a cold Coors from the Lions Clubs famous beer tent, a craft beer from the Golden City Brewery or a glass of wine from Denver’s Urban Winery, Bonacquisti Wines.

One thing that make’s our Golden celebration kind of unique is the annual raffle held all throughout the day. In order to be able to provide the free music and entertainment, the Golden Lions Club always sells raffle tickets. You will see those folks all over town leading up to the event in their gold vests selling tickets, as well as in the park on the day of the event itself.

Proceeds from those ticket sales are used for the most part to fund the event, but any excess goes back into community betterment projects. It is also a great way for the community to support the Lions and what they do to make Golden a terrific place to live. They have used the money for building the public restroom on 12th Street, the dugouts at Ulysses Park and awarding scholarships to seniors at Golden High School.

The tickets cost $5 each or five tickets for $20, and you get a chance to win one of dozens of prizes donated by local merchants as well as the grand prize of $1,000 that’s donated by the Lions Club.

Also, the tickets are printed with coupons that can be used for discounts with local merchants. The best part is that you don’t have to be present to win. You fill out the tickets with your name and contact information, and the club notifies winners.

Winners are announced throughout the day with the grand-prize winner identified at about 9:30 p.m. Usually that’s right before the fireworks, but ...

Lions Park is located at 1300 10th St. here in Golden. That’s pretty much at the far west end of the street, trust me, you can’t miss it.

This is always one of the highlights of the summer for those of us who live here in Golden, and it’s one of those great experiences for the entire family that you don’t want to miss.

Now, that being said, I know for some of you it’s not going to be the Fourth of July without seeing some fireworks. Several others have also been canceled, but the closest displays to Golden happening this year, as of this writing, will be in Arvada at the Stenger Soccer Complex at dusk and in Morrison at Bandimere Speedway at 9:45 p.m.. But, keep in mind that those are also subject to the current weather and fire conditions so be sure to check with their local websites for updates.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at


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