History abounds at Golden's Autumn Fest

A season for learning at museum complex


For everything there is a season, and autumn has become the season for immersive learning in downtown Golden.

On Oct. 2, the Golden History Museum & Park hosted its second annual Autumn Festival, as more than 2,000 attendees discovered an array of things to learn and do on both sides of Clear Creek.

In the history park, families experienced a taste of 19th-century living with the one-room schoolhouse, the blacksmith shop, the heritage gardens and more. By the museum building, children ran around the fire trucks and participated in arts and crafts.

Nathan Richie, director of the Golden History Museum & Park, said the museum started the event last year because it wanted to host a big, free, family-oriented event. He thanked the dozens of nonprofits, cultural partners and volunteers who made the event possible.

As her 3-year-old son was feeding the history park’s chickens, Heather Ashour said she appreciated how spread out all the activities were. It made for a nice walk, and it was easier to navigate without a crowd of people congested in one place, she described.

She said her two youngsters were having lots of fun, describing how it was difficult to pull them away from the fire trucks and the manual washing station.

“I like that it’s free … and they have activities for all ages,” she continued.

From the park, visitors could hear the distant beat of drums, and hundreds gathered in the museum parking lot to experience the music and dancing of various American Indian tribes.

Accompanied by the Westminster-based intertribal drum group Cozad Jrs, Broomfield’s Phillip Gover, his family and dancers shared their stories and dances with the attendees. The dancers invited attendees to join them for their social dances.

Gover said he and his friends have performed at other events, and always “dance for those who can’t dance.” He said it’s important for intertribal dancers to tell their own stories, so people can understand their tribes’ cultures and histories.

He thought the Autumn Fest crowd had good energy, saying attendees were respectful and genuine.

Denver’s Steve LaPointe, who served as the group’s emcee, said: “It’s been a joy. Golden folk are great.”

While eating their lunch from the crepe food truck outside the museum, Rosie Davenport and Annette Konoske-Graf described how they stumbled onto the event while hanging out in Golden. They went through all the activities and stations, collecting all the stamps to earn them temporary tattoos. The two, who are in their 30s, joked how they were probably the oldest ones to do so.

“The kids are loving it,” Konoske-Graf said, “but so are the adults.”

golden, history, museum, park, autumn fest, 2022


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