City of Aurora Fourth of July Spectacular 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., July 4, Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Pkwy. Free. Call 303-739-7000 for more information. Grab your favorite (only) Lee Greenwood album and apple pie because it’s the most American weekend of the year. The city of Aurora is helping to ring in this year’s Fourth of July celebration with a bunting-coated bundle of activities and, of course, self-propelled incendiary devices at the Aurora Municipal Center this Saturday. Seeing as fireworks are technically illegal within city limits, it might behoove you to check out the family-friendly, city-sponsored version of those little gunpowder rockets instead of dealing with a hefty, financial wet blanket compliments of a citation from the fireworks patrol. And, naturally, come for the fireworks and stay for the hot dog eating contest — for all we know, Aurora has its very own Joey Chestnut lurking among us, just waiting to take the world of competitive eating by storm. Music will be provided by “America’s Got Talent” finalist Emily West.
The Colorado Symphony’s Family Friendly Fourth of July 7 p.m. July 4, Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, 6350 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Greenwood Village. Tickets start at $15. If you’re in the mood for something other than the mandatory gamut of nationalistic notes from the likes of The Boss, Whitney Houston and, of course, Mr. Lee Greenwood, The Colorado Symphony is here to fill that patriotic head space. Complete with a fireworks display that could rival that classic scene from “The Sandlot,” the state symphony will be blaring modern tunes from everyone’s — literally, everyone’s — favorite movie ever, “Frozen,” as well as selections from other works in the Pixar catalogue. Prepare those “Let It Go” high notes now — not that you really need any additional practice after the past two years of daily reminders. There will also be themes from “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” as well as tips of the hat to “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “God Bless America,” and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
“Jaws” at Film on the Rocks Music starts at 5:30 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m., July 7, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Pkwy, Morrison. General admission tickets are $12 and can be purchased at axs.com. This is one of those rare moments when we’re super-duper, wicked, extremely thankful that Colorado is a landlocked state. Watching Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic surrounded by mountains, rock and an unbeatable view of the Denver skyline is much, much more enjoyable than watching it say, well, really anywhere else. Relive the fear that saw beach-goers all but evaporate from east coast sandpits 40 years ago, and feel your palms moisten when those iconic string notes swell in number. Just don’t be that guy that tells the swimmers to get away — we all know what happens, chief. And again, Kansas, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico: you folks have never seemed so nice.
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 3 & 4, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 5, Denver’s Cherry Creek North Shopping District, from Second to Third avenues, between Clayton and Steele streets. Visit cherrycreekartsfestival.com or follow @CherryArts on Twitter for more information. Long before there was ever even the inkling of an Aurora Arts Festival, there was The Cherry Creek Arts Festival. While Aurora is slowly but surely pulling itself up by the artisanal boot straps in the world of art and theater, the city has a pretty good prototype — as far as festivals are concerned — just on the other side of the tracks to the west. Now spanning across six streets, the CCAF has evolved into a cultural bastion of art, music, dance, food and liquor. We’re definitely going to be checking out the nearly 20 food vendors located on Culinary Avenue, with particular attention being paid to the Alpine Sausage Company and The Goods food truck. With so much else going on across such a vast swath of the Cherry Creek neighborhood, it’s best to consult the festival’s website or follow updates on Twitter to find something that meets your fancy.