There’s nothing more all-American than a small town 4th of July celebration. In Saratoga, Wyoming that includes a hometown parade, amazing fireworks, an incredible juried art show, a street dance, live music and so much more. Not to mention a wide variety of outstanding restaurants and food vendors. Here’s a list of 10 reasons to celebrate 4th of July weekend in Saratoga:
1. Festival of the Arts
This 2-day art show features 62 juried pieces and 18 craft booths. It is considered one of best in the region and “holds it’s own against any other show”. $25,000 is awarded in prize money in the following 5 categories: 3D, 2D oil, 2D all other mediums, Photography, and Mixed Media (fiber arts, wood carvings, baskets, pottery, etc.). Attendees may also vote for People’s Choice. Hosted by Laura M Gallery, this annual art show is free to attend, with donations accepted. Proceeds help support art in the community.
When: Saturday, July 6th • 10am to 5pm & Sunday, July 7th • 10am to 4pm
Where: Platte Valley Community Center
2. Saratoga Days Street Dance
The party begins at noon on Saturday, July 6th in downtown Saratoga–where there will be plenty of food, drinks, entertainment and fun! Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy free live music from 3pm to 10pm. Headlining this year’s show is Wyoming’s own Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band! Opening acts include Bakerville from NOWHERE, Oklahoma and the reunion of Saratoga’s hometown band, Rimrock!! Nightlife will be in full swing afterward at the Wolf Hotel, Duke’s Bar & Grill and the Rustic Bar.
When: Saturday, July 6th • Noon to 10pm
Where: Downtown Saratoga, Wyoming
3. Independence Day Festivities
Kick off the 4th of July with a free pancake breakfast at the fire station. Volunteer fire fighters will be flipping cakes from 6am – 10am on Spring Street. Then grab your lawn chair and get a seat for the annual Fourth of July Parade. The parade starts at 11am on Highway 130 and Walnut Street, travels north for 4 blocks to Bridge Street and then turns west onto Bridge Street. Stick around for the Old Fashioned Bake Auction immediately following the parade. Then head over to Veteran’s Island for the American Legion Barbecue from Noon to 2:30pm, a Kid’s Art Experience from 1pm-2:30pm and live music by Bakerville from NOWHERE, Oklahoma beginning at 2pm. There’s also a Corn Hole Tournament at Firewater Public House that begins a 1pm. For more information about these events, contact the Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce. Fireworks begin at dusk and are best seen from the Whistle Pig parking lot at the south end of Saratoga or east along the Pic Pike Road.
When: Thursday, July 4th • 6am to 10pm
Where: Saratoga, Wyoming
4. Live Music at Firewater and Duke’s
Firewater Public House invites you to hang out on the deck and enjoy the music! From 5pm to 10pm on Friday, July 5th, Firewater will host 6 different bands: Tie Hack, The Woodpile, Shawn Hess, Speed the Pilgrim, Hunter Hicks and Kid Brother. And they will be cooking up some delicious smoked chicken, ribs and pork butt. The party continues at Duke’s Bar and Grill with Bakerville from NOWHERE, Oklahoma. Music and dancing begin at 10pm.
When: Friday, July 5th • 5pm to 2am
Where: Firewater Public House and Duke’s Bar & Grill
5. Awesome Restaurants
For a small town, Saratoga has a lot of places to get great meals. The Historic Wolf Hotel & Restaurant is known for their mouth-watering prime rib and steaks. Their salad bar can’t be beat! Be sure to check out the saloon and vintage photos that line the walls of this historic hotel. Firewater Public House makes some the best burgers and sandwiches around. The Shrimp Poboy is one of my favorites! Duke’s Bar & Grill serves delicious Mexican food, pizza, wings and burgers. The portions are plentiful at Duke’s, so bring your appetite! Bella’s Bistro is an upscale Italian restaurant, serving outstanding pasta and seafood dishes. For pizza and calzones, try the Grumpy Italian. I recommend the J. W. Hugus and Sweet Marie’s Bakeshop for breakfast. And of course, no trip to Saratoga would be complete without ice cream from Lollypop’s!
6. Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair
Stop by the Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair at the Saratoga Museum for fresh produce and crafts. This family-friendly, open-air market begins Wednesday, July 3rd from 3pm to 6pm. It will continue to be at the Museum every Wednesday through mid-October. Mimi’s Taco Truck will be there too! Plan to visit the Saratoga Museum before the farmer’s market. They have three new exhibits this year: Fishing, Women’s Suffrage and Agriculture. Admission is free.
When: Every Wednesday beginning July 3rd • 3pm to 6pm
Where: Saratoga Museum
7. Guided Fishing and Float Trips
One of the best experiences in Saratoga is floating and fishing the Upper North Platte River. The section of river flowing through Saratoga is a “Premier Blue Ribbon Wild Trout Stream” with 4,000 catchable fish per mile. The water has been high this week. But as soon as it drops and clears, the fishing will be awesome! Hack’s Tackle and Outfitters offer 1/2 and full-day scenic float trips, guided fishing trips, raft and canoe rentals and shuttles. Wyoming Women Anglers specialize in women’s fly fishing adventures. They offer private fishing lessons, 1/2 and full day guided fishing trips and scenic hike/fish trips. It’s a good idea to make reservations 48-hour in advance if you interested in booking a trip.
8. Saratoga’s “Hobo” Hot Pools
Relax and rejuvenate in Saratoga’s hot spring pools. Free and open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, these mineral hot spring pools are the ultimate for healthy relaxation. The Hot Pools are located at the east end of Walnut Street, behind the Saratoga Municipal Swimming Pool. Water temperatures range from 101 to 110 degrees; the Lobster Pot is a steamy 120 degrees. The “Not-So-Hot” Pool offers cooler temperatures. The Town of Saratoga regularly posts current temperatures. Restrooms, changing, and shower facilities are available on the premises. Remember to pack your swimsuits and towels!
When: 7 Days a Week • 24 Hours a Day
Where: East end of Walnut Street
9. Saratoga’s Outdoor Swimming Pool
This is the perfect place to take the kids and cool off. Located in front of the Saratoga Hot Pools, it is one of the few remaining outdoor pools in Wyoming. It is open June through early-September, 7 days a week, weather permitting. The rates are $5 per person ages 13-64; $4 per person ages 2-12; free for everyone under 2 and over 65. Floaties, kickboards, swimsuits and towels are available to rent for $1 each.
When: June – early September • Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Noon to 8pm & Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday Noon to 6pm
Where: East end of Walnut Street
10. Downtown Art Galleries and Shopping
Spend the day exploring downtown Saratoga, where you’ll find western clothing, souvenirs and gifts, outdoor gear, art galleries and many other hand-crafted items and rare finds. Shop the Laura M Gallery for fine art, furs, fashion clothing and home on the range wear. If ever a store evoked the dressy casual style of the west, it’s Saratoga’s Laura M. And be sure to stop by Koyoty Sports. They just added 80 new guns on consignment and 19 new styles of cowboy boots for men and women. There’s something for everyone in Saratoga!
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