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History Colorado celebrates the Centennial State’s 147th birthday with a free daylong festival on Aug. 1

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Posted at 12:04 PM, Jul 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-31 15:05:45-04

On Aug. 1, 2023, the History Colorado Center in Denver is hosting the definitive birthday party for Colorado featuring more than 20 attractions that combine to create a free celebration worthy of the Centennial State and the Mile High City. In addition to this momentous occasion in the heart of downtown Denver, History Colorado’s museums across the state are joining in on the celebration of Colorful Colorado.

This means that whether visitors go to the History Colorado Center, the Center for Colorado Women’s History in Denver, El Pueblo History Museum, Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin in Leadville, Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center, Trinidad History Museum, or the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose they can explore Colorado’s shared history and celebrate the 147th birthday of the Centennial State for free.

Denver7 is a proud partner of History Colorado and the Colorado Day celebration.

Locations, visitor hours, and entertainment offerings for History Colorado museums statewidecan be found here.

In addition to the more than fifteen interactive exhibitions that span four floors at the History Colorado Center, guests can experience:

  • Living History and cultural demonstration including gold panning, vaquero bullwhip cracking and trick roping, and a traditional Chinese Lion Dance performed by members of Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu
  • Free face painting and a sidewalk-chalk artist
  • An alpaca petting zoo
  • Major mascots including Bernie from the Avs, Dinger with the Rockies, Miles of Denver Broncos fame, and NBA Champion Rocky from the Denver Nuggets
  • Musical guests including Swallow Hill Music, the taiko drumming/hip-hop hybrid: Cultural Mixtape, harpist Annastézhaa, bagpiper Michael Lancaster, Trent Campbell’s Electrorado, and Alex Keiser's Colorado Bamb

Guests’ free access to the museum also allows them to explore exhibitions such as:

  • Revolt 1680-2180: Runners+Gliders - See how modern technology pairs with millennia old Ancestral pueblo pottery to create a multisensory experience that spans time and tells a powerful story of Indigenous persistence
  • REVEALED: John Fielder’s Favorite Place - Journey from peak to peak, pinnacle to spire, and creek to creek alongside John Fielder, the premier landscape photographer of the Centennial State, to the place he feels is the most sublime in all of Colorado
  • The Sand Creek Massacre: The Betrayal that Changed Cheyenne and Arapaho People Forever - explore the living culture of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, two separate Tribes with distinct histories that were bound together forever after the tragedy at Sand Creek
  • Colorado Stories - From the mountains to the plains to the plateaus, Colorado’s people are as diverse as the places they call home. Colorado Stories is a community-based suite of exhibitions with media- and artifact-rich galleries exploring the many ways Coloradans have created community
  • Denver A-Z - Discover the heart, the art, the whimsy, and the energy of Denver's people, places, and moments in this lighthearted and immersive exhibit
  • Living West - A highly interactive exhibit that explores how Colorado's environment has shaped human history, while at the same time, people's choices have shaped the land

The Colorado Day Celebration at the History Colorado Center is a free event but RSVP is required.
The History Colorado Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 1200 N. Broadway in the heart of Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District.

Beyond the free programing throughout Colorado Day, the History Colorado Center, in partnership with Fever, is presenting a candlelight concert the evening of Aug. 1, 2023 at 7 p.m. This multi-sensory musical experience, performed by the Range Ensemble string quartet band, is the perfect way to end your celebration of the Centennial State’s 147th birthday. With a range from classic jams like “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver to “Colorado Bluebird Sky” by String Cheese Incident, the Colorado Day setlist has something in mind for everyone and tickets are currently on sale and coupon code CODAY2023 can be applied at checkout for $5 off!

In addition to the amazing festivities at the History Colorado Center, the Center for Colorado Women’s History is located at 1310 Bannock St. and is hosting activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. including:

  • Crafts, music, face painting, and balloon art
  • Free tours of the historic house museum
  • An exhibition opening for its Victory Garden
  • A puppy adoption booth
  • A pie eating contest

Parking meters are available near both museums along Broadway, Bannock, and Lincoln Streets, with covered parking is available at the Art Garage (1268 Lincoln St.) and the Cultural Center Complex Garage (65 W. 12th Ave.). Additionally, several RTD transit routes serve the History Colorado Center and the Center for Colorado Women’s History.
Information about accessibility at the History Colorado Center is available here.

About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 nonprofit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 143-year-old institution that operates 11 museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation which provides technical assistance, educational opportunities, and other access to archaeology and historic preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund, which is one of the nation’s largest state funded preservation programs of its kind. More than 70 percent of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state. Additionally, the offices of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer are part of History Colorado.

History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. They serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and 10 other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.

This article was paid for through an in-kind partnership.