Golden turned 150 years old this summer, and I had staked out one sweet spot to watch the parade –- confirmed by the two guys who, after casting about aimlessly for a bit, planted themselves directly in front of me, out in the street, ruining mine and everyone else’s photos for the remainder of the evening.
So before I begin a review of the festivities, I’d like to begin with a review of politeness. If everyone else in the world was acting like you were, what sort of state would the world find itself in? Enough said.
A lovely golden dance troupe is marred by photographers who put themselves in the way for the entirety of the parade.
Golden was founded on June 16, 1869, as part of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. It was not, however, named Golden for the gold rush. It was named Golden in honor of Thomas Golden,one of the earliest prospectors in the area. From 1862 – 67, Golden served as the capital of the Colorado territory, before it was moved 15 miles away to Denver.
The 150 year celebration parade was a mixed bag. Highlights included a gold painted dance troupe, the Mines mascot and donkey, old-fashioned bicycle riders, a kid in a drum line with a massive bloody tissue hanging out of his nose, and the man himself, whose grave overlooks our fair city, Buffalo Bill.
Unfortunately, lowlights were also to be had in abundance. First prize for worst float ever probably goes to the truck with torn white plastic and crumpled paper bags stuck to it. I think it was supposed to be a mountain. Runner up goes to all those who just drove a company car in the parade as advertising. And perhaps most astounding to me, who admittedly hasn’t been to a parade in years, was the utter lack of candy throwing! Not a single sweet treat was thrown! This is especially horrifying considering Golden is the birthplace of the Jolly Rancher! Now I’ll shake my head and chuckle at the poor little tikes who have to wear a helmet while their parents push them in a stroller down the sidewalk; but friends and enemies, when throwing candy at a parade has become too dangerous (and that was the reason I overheard being given, as the staging area was just outside my house), then we, as a society, have just gone too far with this safety business. Let’s reconsider.
Terrible mountain "float"
Cake and lasers were promised in Lions park after the parade. I doubted whether I'd get any though, when I saw the cake line double wrapped around the park. Happily, the city made good on its promises. I got both cake & ice cream, and the cake was truly delicious!
The lasers, however, were a bit of a disappointment. I think most of the audience members arrived expecting something akin to a Pink Floyd laser show. What we got were stagnant illustrations on a little screen, blocked by the projector. Oh well. On the whole it was a small town celebratory success. Especially the cake.
Although another 150 year celebration won’t be rolling around here again ever, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed all the fun. One of the reasons I love living in historic downtown Golden is that there’s always something going on (that I can walk to). Every Friday night in August Parfet Park, at 10th and Washington, will be hosting family friendly music and movies, for FREE. On Tuesdays, Clear Creek History Park will be demonstrating old-timey activities like ice cream making and pioneer games, for FREE. Every Saturday all summer the Public Library parking lot hosts Golden Farmers Market, for FREE (unless you want to buy something).
And coming up, July 22-26, the famed Buffalo Bill Days. That's five days of Buffalo Bill activities! Granted, I don't know who goes to some of these events, like the Golf Awards Buffet or the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon. But I'm pretty excited about Saturday's Best of the West Parade beginning at 10am. The afternoon will be filled with western entertainments such as sharp-shooting, fast draw, and a beard and moustache contest.
So if you're looking for some small town, old-timey fun to do on the cheap, you'll probably see me in Golden.