Published: June 29, 2023
outdoor program

As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, here are some tips and things to keep in mind.

1. Watch a Night Sky Drone Show at Folsom Field

Fireworks are illegal in Boulder. But you can enjoy Folsom Field’s 4th of July Spectacular: a Night Sky Drone Show in place of traditional fireworks. Gates open at 7 p.m., and the event features live music.

If you want to celebrate July 4th with a traditional fireworks show, you can attend an event in the surrounding communities. Check out the City of Louisville fireworks on July 4 at the Coal Creek Golf Course. Or celebrate a day early on July 3 in Erie with a firework show at the Erie Community Park.

Reminder: Fireworks not only pose a significant fire risk, but they also can cause a significant noise disruption to your neighbors and our community.

Boulder laws prohibit all fireworks, including items like sparklers, snaps, snakes, bottle rockets, Roman candles and smoke bombs, in addition to fireworks that leave the ground or explode. Possible legal penalties include:

  • Fines up to $2,650

  • Court fees

  • Possible arson charges

  • Possible jail time

  • Liability for property or personal injury damages

You will also be referred to Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution

Even if you don’t possess or discharge fireworks, you may be held responsible for fireworks used by roommates and guests. Unused fireworks can be brought to the city of Boulder Public Safety Building at 1805 33rd St. without penalty. 

A reminder that Student Legal Services is available to help with legal issues if you do receive a citation. Call 303-492-6813 or visit their office at UMC 311 to schedule an appointment.

2. Be aware of city ordinances 

Common citations that students living off campus get are for noise, trash or a nuisance party ticket. Remember to keep music speakers inside and clean up your garbage, because you can get a ticket at any time of the day or night for excessive noise or for having trash on your property.

Other Boulder ordinances and common issues include: 

  • Alcohol offenses: You can receive a ticket for serving alcohol to a minor or if guests of your party are drinking alcohol in a public area, like the sidewalk in front of your property.

  • Nuisance party: Any gathering of two or more people can be deemed a nuisance for violations that include having a keg in outdoor spaces visible to the public, public or private property damage, brawling and obstructing streets or sidewalks.  

  • Outdoor furniture restriction: In the University Hill area, it is prohibited to keep or store any upholstered indoor furniture, including chairs, couches and mattresses, outside in any porch, front or side yard, or any back yard not on an alley.

  • Littering: Keep your neighborhood clean and reduce your impact on the environment and local wildlife by picking up your trash. Clean up immediately after any gatherings to avoid trash-related citations.

Students who are planning a party are strongly encouraged to register with Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations. Once you’ve registered your party, the police will call you with a warning if they receive a complaint and you will have 20 minutes to shut things down. And party registration is free! Registering your party doesn’t guarantee you won’t get a ticket, so be aware of city ordinances and take steps to ensure the police don’t get called.

To learn more about ordinances and avoiding citations, connect with Student Legal Services or Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations.

Important reminder: Students who call 911 in an alcohol- or drug-related emergency, stay with the person in need and cooperate with first responders may be protected from university sanctions and criminal prosecution under CU’s Amnesty Policy and Colorado’s 911 Good Samaritan Law.

3. Enjoy outdoor recreation

Boulder is wonderful for exploring the outdoors during the summer. Plus, getting outside benefits your health and overall well-being. Prepare for the harsh Colorado sun and high altitude to avoid dehydration and sunburns. The Apothecary at Wardenburg Health Center carries many over-the-counter products, like insect repellent, sunscreen and hydrating beverages.

  • Hydrate: The combination of the sun and altitude can deplete your body and leave you dehydrated. Remember to drink at least one liter (32 oz.) of water every two hours while hiking, biking or exercising outdoors. If you’re bringing a furry companion, pack extra water for them. 

  • Wear sunscreen: Sunburns can happen quickly at a higher altitude. Even when there is cloud cover, you can still experience sunburns. Make a habit of applying sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 before spending time outside, and reapply your sunscreen every two hours for maximum protection. 

  • Prevent bug bites: Avoid mosquito and tick bites by applying insect repellent before venturing outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using an insect repellent registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Follow the directions on the label for safe and effective results. If you are using sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first.

Get important trail information and regulations for the Boulder area by downloading the Trails App and visiting the city's Open Space and Mountain Parks page and the county's Open Space Parks & Trails Listing page.

If you plan to hike, stay on the designated trail and pick up all trash and dog waste. Be sure to follow all rules and regulations, which are critical in protecting visitors, wildlife and our beautiful parks and trails. Check out additional hiking tips or visit the Outdoor Pursuits office in the main Rec Center to get recommendations and rent equipment.

4. Look out for yourself and others

Remember to look out for yourself, your friends and fellow Buffs. If you choose to drink or use other substances, ensure that everyone makes it home safely with these party smart tips.