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Independence Eve: Things to know if you're headed to Denver's Civic Center Park for music & fireworks

CBS4's Michelle Griego & Dominic Garcia Are Hosting Independence Eve
CBS4's Michelle Griego & Dominic Garcia Are Hosting Independence Eve 02:20

Independence Eve is back! The Civic Center Conservancy is again hosting the free concert and fireworks show at Civic Center Park in Denver.

The gates will open at 4 p.m. Sunday with food trucks and bars open in the park.

CBS News Colorado's Michelle Griego and Dominic Garcia are the hosts for the concert beginning at 5 p.m.

With the music still playing, the evening ends with its traditional bang -- a fireworks finale off the top of the Denver City & County Building, accompanied by a synchronized light show. (Please be aware that these are not the large aerial fireworks you can see in rural or suburban locales. Given the dense urban environment in which this display takes place -- as well as the rooftop launch pad -- regulations require the use of close proximate pyrotechnics like you would see at a stadium or downtown on New Year's Eve.)

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Dave Masters

After two years with no show in the park, the nonprofit Civic Center Conservancy has worked hard to bring it back. CBS News Colorado is pleased to return as a partner this year.

What's Different This Year
Like other large events, you will go through a security screening. The entire park is fenced so look for entrances on Broadway near Colfax Ave and 14th Ave. You can still bring outside food but no outside drinks of any kind, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, will be allowed. There will be water stations in the park. Please visit www.independenceeve.com for a full list of permitted and prohibited items to ease your entry into the event.

Where To Park
There are several available parking garages and surface lots near Civic Center Park. The Cultural Center Complex Garage at 12th and Broadway will be open. There are also several surface lots in the area. Metered street parking is also available nearby, but be sure to follow no parking signs and meter time limits.

If you don't want to find a place to park, consider taking the RTD Light Rail, a cab, Uber or Lyft. The closest Light Rail stop is on the 16th Street Mall at 16th and California. You can get off there and walk the rest of the way or take the FREE 16th Street Mall Shuttle.

If you're a cyclist, considering riding to the park. Bike racks will be available on the north and south sides of Civic Center Park.

If you choose to come on a scooter, be aware that you are not allowed to bring it into the park.

What Streets Will Be Closed?
Bannock and Cherokee between 14th Avenue Parkway and Colfax (including the Bannock Street bike lane) as well as 14th Avenue Parkway from Delaware to Broadway (including the 14th Avenue bike lane).

Broadway will be closed between Colfax and 14th Avenue for the event this year. A close-in drop-off location will be accessible from eastbound Colfax in front of the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax. Wheelchair-accessible entrances to the park are available at the corner of Colfax and Broadway as well as the Broadway/east side of Civic Center, where there are paved ramps into the center of the park.

Where To Sit
Seating is first-come, first-served on the lawn of the Civic Center Park all the way up to the west steps of the Capitol. The fireworks will be visible above the roof of the City and County Building.

The building will also be a backdrop for an amazing light show so you will want to sit where you can see the building as well as the fireworks overhead. Your best bet is to plan to come early, enjoy the beer gardens and have dinner in the park.

What To Bring
Make a night of it and bring your appetite! There will 14 food trucks on 14th Ave and bars all around the park. Bring a blanket to sit on. Low-slung, collapsible chairs not in a bag are permitted for those unable to sit on the ground. These are subject to search.

Small soft-sided coolers and bags will be allowed in the event as will food for personal consumption only. All food must be in a clear plastic bag (one gallon or less), fruit and vegetables must be sliced, only plastic utensils will be allowed.

For a full list of Permitted and Prohibited Items, please visit www.independenceeve.com.

As always in Colorado, bring a fleece because as you know when the sun goes down it can get a little chilly. Feel free to bring your favorite camera to capture all your memories of this patriotic night. Please leave those tall chairs and huge umbrellas at home. Personal fireworks and glass water bottles are strictly prohibited.

Food Vendors
The food trucks will be grouped in pods along 14th Ave on the south side of the park. This year's delicious local vendors are: Heckin' Good Bubble Tea, OG Burgers, Dude Bro Taco, Chuey FU's Latin Asian Grub, Original By Greeks, Mile High Kona Ice, El Cubanaso, Still Smokin' BBQ Joint, Crock Spot, Pierogies Factory, Downtown Fingers, Denver Taco Truck and Rocky Mountain Slices.

Beer, Wine and Other Beverages
Even though you cannot bring your own drinks, you'll find bars throughout the park selling non-alcoholic beverages as well beer, win and other options with alcohol. Water stations will be on-site to fill your non-glass water bottles.

What Is The Civic Center Conservancy?
Civic Center Conservancy is an independent nonprofit dedicated to keeping Denver's Civic Center Park active and thriving for all.

We are thrilled to produce Independence Eve for our community and we can use your support to keep this event and all our programs and initiatives going.

The Conservancy attracts people to the park, supports the park's upkeep and ensures it meets the needs of anyone who gathers there for today and for the future. Learn more about our work, support our mission and explore our calendar of events at www.civiccenterpark.org.

Cue The Music

The music starts at 5 p.m. leading up to the stage program and the Colorado Symphony. Expect fireworks about 9:30 p.m.

Joel Ansett moved to Denver in 2014 and started playing every local open mic he could find. He has since found fans all over the country with more than 20 million streams online, a song placed in Marvel's "The Punisher" , and the title of "songwriter to watch" from The Huffington Post. The songs combine folk and R&B to great effect, and beyond the genre, Artist Review wrote: "This music is soul therapy."

River Spell is a new Colorado-based folk/rock jam band that delivers immersive grooves and contemplative lyricism with a timeless, yet innovative blend of sounds. In a live setting, River Spell uses improvisation and energetic reciprocity to cater to a powerful and authentic music experience.

Jen Korte blew into Colorado from Austin, Texas in 2005. She came guided by the momentum of Americana and Caribbean rhythms, a prowess for distinctively intricate guitar lines, and the grit and power of a Western storm in her voice. Since forming her Denver-based band, The Loss, Korte has been mesmerizing audiences at festivals and concerts across Colorado, for over a decade. The band features "golden-throated" Jessica DeNicola, whose unassuming, fluid harmonies are in perfect contrast to Korte's uniquely sultry voice and confident rhythmic guitar. Korte and DeNicola are also joined by an impeccably steady bassist and drummer duo, Andy Bercaw (White Fudge, The Dirty Femmes, Ragin Cajun Doug Kershaw, Brent Loveday) and Neil Mitchell (Champagne Charlie, US Tygers, The Dendrites, The Dirty Femmes).
Together, The Loss fuses a spellbinding swell of masterfully crafted medleys with persistent rhythmic pulses reflective of Korte's Texan/Puerto Rican heritage.

Brothers of Brass has already grown to be one of the premier street bands in the country, but now we are trying to take it to the stage. Having already played some of Denver's finest stages, and having released our first full length album "Street Life Vol. I" last year, we are now on a mission to bring our music to stages across the U.S. and the world at large! With influences ranging from R&B to southern brass and psychedelic jam rock to trap hip hop, Brothers of Brass boasts a wide musical lexicon with a little something for everyone, stay tuned!!!

Dragondeer is a Denver band that has fused a number of musical styles to concoct their own
blend of psychedelic blues, retro funk, soul and rock-n-roll. This is real "glass is half full" kind of band whose music is filled with positivity. Their goal is to get the crowd up and dancing early in the evening. Follow them on Instagram and on Spotify.

The Colorado Symphony returns to Civic Center Park, excited to be with a huge live audience of the years of the pandemic. Resident Conductor Christopher Dragon promises an exciting evening of Americana music along with some film favorites from John Williams. There's even a special guest, Colorado's own Sierra Boggess. She originated the role of "Ariel" in Disney's Broadway production of "The Little Mermaid" and re-invented the role of "Christine" in "Phantom of the Opera."

HOW TO WATCH
Stream the concert live at CBS News Colorado. You can watch it on Pluto TV on Channel 1025,
at CBSColorado.com or through any connected app. The stream begins at 5 p.m. with those fireworks expected about 9:30 p.m. 

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