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The Salida Community Center and Rotary Club of Salida invite everyone to the annual FREE Fourth of July celebration in Riverside Park.

A family-friendly event for all ages

The Salida Community Center and Rotary Club of Salida host the 2023 July 4 Riverside Park celebration. Courtesy image

The theme of the 2023 event is “United We Stand – Divided We Fall” yet it extends beyond traditional patriotism. According to Salida Community Center Director Elaine Allemang “this is all about celebrating family and our caring community.”

Allemang also believes in “all-local”. Every one of the performances will be given by local talent who have loyal followings in Salida and around the county. Riverside Park’s shady greens and large stage will be given over to the event and East Sackett Ave. will be “soft closed” to parking and regular traffic, while still allowing for emergency access.

Free parking is available in the large lot past the F Street bridge, just across the river.

Event partners, The Rotary Club of Salida will serve beer and wine and all proceeds benefit their programs and those of the Salida Community Center. Recyclable aluminum cups will be provided this year and eventgoers are encouraged to help keep Salida “green”.

Fourth Annual Lighted Bike Parade

Not to be missed is the Lighted Bike Parade at 9:00 p.m. just ahead of the planned fireworks show. “Over 200 mostly local riders of all ages are expected this year,” said organizer Nicole Balun. Costumes, decorated bikes, and of course, creative lighting will be featured.

Safety is also a key. “There will be a police escort for the riders as well as police presence at key intersections” added Balun. Paradegoers and their leashed pets are encouraged to keep to the sidewalks to allow everyone to have a safe and fun ride.

Lighted bicycle cruises F Street in Salida after the fireworks on July 4 2020. Merrell Bergin photo

Pick your spot and watch the riders as they move from the F Street turnaround to East Sackett Avenue, on to E Street then south to Fifth Street, over to F Street, north to Third then west to G Street and down to Sackett, finishing at F and Sackett.

Wait…there’s food and a Bounce House too

Multiple food vendors offering a variety of cuisine will be on hand. They’ll make sure that there are plenty of options for a hearty meal or just an add-on to your own picnic. “Expect to see Smoke ‘N Dawgs, Peaks ‘N Pitas, Taqueria Cinco de Mayo, and Gigi’s Betchin Chick-N,” added Allemang.

And, she told Ark Valley Voice that the 1949, ever-so-retro-cool, Blue Truck Ice Cream will also have their frozen treats to smooth out palates on a summer’s evening.

And, so far, fireworks are a “go”

According to Brandon Evans, of the Salida Fire Department, the fireworks display on “S” Mountain is set for 9:30 p.m.

Event lineup – music, dance and more from Noon onward

Thanks to generous sponsors, nonstop events are planned.

  • 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. Salida Circus – Might be “silks”, acrobatics or stilt walkers, always entertaining
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. MC and DJ Deano Maes hosts wildly popular Karaoke for adults and kids alike
  • 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Blue Recluse – Five-piece, power blues band, playing a wide range of blues, rhythm and blues, and country blues
  • 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Minds in Motion Dance – High-energy kids in motion
  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Salida Din – Hard Rock by Salida musicians Martin Epp, Danny Shuford, Toby Dunn and Danny Byars
  • 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Santa Rios – The Santana cover band “authentically recreates tunes that span Santana’s amazing career, featuring three percussionists, piano, organ, bass, and of course, Guitarlos!”
  • 9:00 p.m. Lighted Bike Parade
  • 9:30 p.m. Fireworks (conditions permitting)

Planning ahead

Salida Community Center Director Elaine Allemang has put out the call for more volunteers from the community to help with the event, especially from 3:30 p.m. onward. “It takes many people to pull this off and we’re stretched.” Allemang said.

“We’re already looking ahead to 2024 and hope for even more games and contests for all ages, but that takes people willing to give a share of their holiday for the good of the community.” Those interested can reach Allemang at 719-539-3351 or

Eventgoers are reminded that weather conditions change rapidly; dress in layers, wear sunscreen, a hat, and have rain gear. Also, for the health and safety of everyone, dogs are not permitted in Riverside Park. You’re asked to leave Fido and Fifi safely at home, away from crowds and fireworks. The event is free and open to the public.

Featured image: Patriotic colors dominated the crowd apparel at Riverside Park at a past July Fourth holiday event.