Fourth of July, Telluride Style

My favorite Fourth of July parade float in Telluride was the one where D.J. Harry and his friends recreated the scene from Cool Hand Luke where the prisoners take bets that Paul Newman can eat 50 eggs. It was sort of disgusting, and certainly an obscure cinematic reference that was lost on most of the people watching the parade, but it was just the sort of offbeat humor that makes Telluride so much fun on the Fourth.

Independence Day in Telluride isn’t just about fireworks and flyovers (although the F-16 fighter planes buzzing the tiny box canyon is about as thrilling as you can imagine); it’s about cutting loose from convention. It’s the one time where people from all walks of life, the Harley Davidson crews, the war vets, the thespians, the kids, dogs, and politicians perched in convertibles, the rich, the poor and the ski bums who come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, mingle on the town’s main street and celebrate this very special place in their own unique ways. And sometimes that means eating 50 eggs.

This year promises to be more fun than ever. The weather forecast is perfect, and on Sunday, the Telluride Historical Museum is also unveiling its new outdoor mining exhibit in style, with free beer and live music by the band Funktier. (Did they say FREE BEER?) The Museum serves up root beer floats every 4th of July, an old fashioned treat and the perfect complement to the firemen’s barbecue in Town Park. The barbecue starts midday on Monday, the 4th, and the root beer floats start fizzing around 2 p.m. at the Museum. And don’t forget your blanket, because the fireworks start when it gets dark and it can get pretty chilly in the mountains after the sun sets.