Boulder's Eben G. Fine Park welcomes families, tubing enthusiasts for Fourth of July

·3 min read

Jul. 5—Fourth of July revelers floated down Boulder Creek, played pick up games of Spikeball and enjoyed plenty of barbecue at Eben G. Fine Park on Monday.

By midafternoon, numerous cars, trucks and other vehicles had already lined the neighborhood streets leading to the park at 101 Arapahoe Ave. for several blocks.

Although Boulder does not host a formal event at Eben G. Fine Park on the Fourth of July, the site has become a hotspot for residents and visitors alike to cool off in the creek and enjoy a family picnic on the federal holiday.

Nate Roberts, 22, drove up from Denver for the day to go tubing down Boulder Creek through the park.

"It's been really nice all day," Roberts said of the tubing conditions as he prepared to take another float. "Best of the year."

Although tubing has been banned in past years as a result of high water flows, that was not the case Monday and plenty of folks like Roberts took advantage of the ideal current.

"It's a hot day," Roberts said before taking off again.

With high temperatures in the upper 80s, park goers welcomed the sporadic rain that made its way through the Boulder area Monday afternoon.

While college students and other younger revelers flocked to the back of the park, families in red, white and blue attire gathered closer to the park's entrance, where they enjoyed ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, watermelon, baked beans and other traditional Fourth of July fare under the shade of the park's trees.

Some in attendance strummed acoustic guitars as others played impromptu games of Spikeball, which has been likened to a combination of volleyball and four square.

Kayli Karie, who has lived in Boulder for a little more than four years, said she enjoyed coming to the park on the Fourth of July because of its family-friendly environment. She said she was glad to see uniformed police officers in the area.

"It's a nice place to sit by the river," Karie said. "It's a family-oriented area."

For Karie, one of the highlights of the day was the Mexican corn on the cob she ate that included mayonnaise, cheese and Tajin spice.

Since 2013, when outside alcohol was banned from Boulder Reservoir in an effort to try to make the area more family friendly, locals have turned to Eben G. Fine Park as their go-to location for the Fourth of July.

Police officers, some on foot and others on bicycles, patrolled the park Monday at times reminding people of the rules against alcoholic beverages. Department officials said any other details about enforcement activities at the park would not be available until Tuesday.

As people took in the sights and sounds of Eben G. Fine Park on Monday, over 1,000 miles away in Highland Park, Ill., a gunman killed at least six people at a Fourth of July parade.

"I feel very safe right here," Karie said. "The (police department) has been around."