OK, it’s time for me to toot the horn for our city of Golden here. It’s Summer, that means warm weather and every small town in America has some kind of town festival going on. I remember back …
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OK, it’s time for me to toot the horn for our city of Golden here. It’s Summer, that means warm weather and every small town in America has some kind of town festival going on. I remember back when I was a kid and visiting my family in the Chicago area. They lived in a north area suburb that had Northbrook Days. It was fun. They had a park with amusement rides, games, kind of a carnival type of thing going on for a weekend. Over the years I’ve been to lots of those but I’ll be honest here, none of them hold a candle to what we put on in Golden, Colorado.
First of all, our summer festival isn’t named after our town, it’s named after one of the most flamboyant and legendary figures of the Old West. Of course I’m talking about Buffalo Bill Days. It will be happening from Thursday, July 25 through Sunday, July 28 this year.
It’s a festival with a lot of history. Originally, back in the 1940’s, it was an annual horseback ride up the trails on Lookout Mountain by the Buffalo Bill Saddle Club to his grave to commemorate him. In the 1960’s it sort of morphed into a town activity to promote Golden. It went from having a parade downtown to a festival with lots of activities, bands, rides for the kids and then added an arts and crafts show and golf tournament to the mix. So far, so good. But that really isn’t much different than most other town festivals across the country.
Then a few years ago, the whole thing ramped up a few notches. I think we all know that in addition to being a colorful western character, Buffalo Bill Cody was an unrivaled showman and entertainer. He put together one of the most extravagant shows in history and then traveled around the world with it. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was on a scale that nobody had ever seen before. The guy had enough charisma to get “Wild Bill” Hickok, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull and Geronimo all to perform in his show, included a heard of live buffalo and often ended with a live reenactment of Custer’s Last Stand.
Well, Buffalo Bill Days here in Golden wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t offer something like that to cap off the festivities, would it? So Monarch Productions has put together what they call Cody’s Wild West Show, and it will be performing live on Saturday, July 27 at 12:30 p.m. at the Lions Park Ball Fields.
The show will feature the Pikes Peak Rangerettes, an all-female precision horseback riding team, The Southern Colorado Al Kaly Shrine Mule Train joins the Grand Opening flag ceremony with a live American Bald Eagle from HawkQuest, amazing ground and aerial sharp shooting by Little Sure Shot, Annie Oakley. There will be traditional hoop dancing to songs of their elders, by award-winning Native American dancers Team Bearsheart with a traditional prayer performed by Chief Iron Tail. Rejoining Cody’s Wild West again this year will be sharp shooter Johnny Baker, laying waste to a multitude of ground targets.
New this year from Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, is the 7th Infantry Mounted Color Guard in 1870s uniforms. The Denver & District Pipe Band, with an Irish and Highland dance corps will also join the show. Providing the live music from the late 1800’s will be The Capitol City Brass Band. Of course you need a grand finale, so how about a gun fight? This year the Central City Wild Bunch helps Col. Cody defeat the bad guys in “Cody Saves The Day!”
Yeah, Northbrook Days never had anything like that, although my grandmother did see the original Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Chicago when she was a little girl.
There’s plenty more live entertainment, a parade, music, car show, arts and crafts as well as the annual golf tournament and you can find out the entire schedule at www.buffalobilldays.com. Most of the action happens in Parfet Park at 10th Street and Washington Avenue. The general hours are Friday, 5-10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.- 10 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The golf tournament happens on Thursday, 1:30 p.m. shotgun start at Applewood Golf Course… One more thing. It’s all free to attend!
John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at email@example.com
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