LITTLETON, Colo. --- The parking lot at Chatfield Reservoir is full, and sun shelters line the sand parameter of the lake -- it's clear that residents are taking advantage of the first Independence Day in more than a year with fewer public health restrictions.
"Being inside for a whole year ...it really gets to you, so we all need this," Brandon Baca said.
Baca spent Saturday with his wife, children and father at the reservoir.
"It's great seeing my children out here playing, enjoying themselves," he said.
In addition to celebrating freedom, Coloradans can also take pride that the state reached President Biden's vaccination goal a day early.
On Saturday, Governor Jared Polis announced seventy percent of Colorado residents 18 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
For Baca, the news is particularly exciting. His father, Johnny, spent nearly two months battling COVID-19 on a ventilator.
"The doctors gave him a five percent chance to live," Baca said.
"Oh, I praise the Lord everyday. He kept me here," the elder Baca said. "I got the vaccine too. I didn't want to get that stuff again."
While Colorado has reached the milestone set by the President Biden, health officials say other states are falling behind because of the delta variant and lagging vaccination rates.
On Thursday, the Biden administration announced the launch of surge response teams to help.
The teams will use federal resources to help nationwide vaccination efforts in communities experiencing spread of the delta variant or at-risk of spreading it.