The festivities' finale is the annual Golden fireworks display. The cool air by Clear Creek, away from Denver's bright lights, is the perfect place to watch the bombs bursting in air.

When in the course of human events . . .

For over 45 years, the Golden Lions Club has been the indefatiguable force behind Golden's traditional small-town American Independence Day celebration. For weeks ahead of the big day, Lions in their funky vests are visible about town selling their books of raffle tickets to support this popular event and many other community projects that the Lions have given to Golden over the years. It's rumored that once you pass within 25 feet of a Lion with raffle tickets, it's best just to surrender $5 for raffle tickets, without even thinking of making an escape.

On the big day, the Lions erect food tents and bandstands in Lions Park, and then the festivities begin at noon. There's always live music, face painting for kids and other activities scattered throughout the park. Throughout the afternoon and evening, over 200 raffle prizes will be given away, ending with the announcement of a big cash prize winner just before the fireworks begin at o'dark o'clock. Most of the raffle prizes are donated by local merchants, and one needn't be present to win.

After the festival, the crowd will move out from under the trees in Lions Park to spread their blankets on the ball fields across 10th Street, adjacent to Clear Creek. This is perhaps the best, and certainly most popular, place to watch the display, although you won't be disappointed watching from just about anywhere near downtown Golden.

The City government now shoulders the cost of the fireworks display, but the Lions still provide the volunteer labor and spirit to continue Golden's Independence Day celebration in the 21st century, along with the citizens, local businesses and tourists who make the event possible and fun. Click here to go to the Golden Lions Club website for a schedule of this year's entertainment events.