Business Decoration Contest Winner: True Value
Leadville Legacy Santa Gives Back to Local Children
Holiday Decoration Contest Winners Announced
The Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce has included both a Business and Residential lighting contest in this year’s holiday activities for the community. The business winner has the honor of hosting the travelling trophy, with their business name newly etched on it, for the coming year. The residential contest features 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes including Alco gift cards, dinners from Casa Blanca, and Safeway gift cards donated by the Lions Club. Contest judges weighed criteria such as creative use of materials, creative use of lighting, adherence to the theme “A Rocky Mountain Christmas”, and overall appearance.
The winner of the 2013 Business Lighting contest and recipient of the travelling trophy goes to Bighorn True Value Hardware, 1902 N. Poplar St., with their wonderful, lighted window display. The 2nd place honors go to Cookies with Altitude and 3rd place went to Alpine Ski and Sport. To see a full photo album of entrants click: LINK.
The 1st Place winner of the 2013 Residential Lighting contest and the accompanying prizes go to Veronica and Mathew Mascarenaz who have done a great job lighting up their property at 1790 Hwy 24 S. in Stringtown! The 2nd Place winner is Dale Billips at 626 W. 8th Street and 3rd Place went to Jaime and Jo Ann Stuever at 129 W. 8th Street. To see a full photo album of entrants click: LINK.
Congratulations to the winners and Thank You to all of the Business and Residential Lighting contest participants! The Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce appreciates all of the hard work and creativity everyone put into their displays to continue another great Leadville holiday tradition.
And the Santa Trophy Goes to . . . .Parade Results In
Leadville’s annual Parade of Lights was a big hit with a record number of entrants and attendees, as hundreds lined historic Harrison Avenue for this festive, holiday spectacular!
While temperatures hovered in the mid-teens and a light snow was falling, as the parade judges weighed the criteria for a record 16 entrants in this year’s showdown for the coveted Santa Trophy!
Taken into consideration for the top prizes are creative use of materials, complexity of design, enthusiasm of participants, and overall appearance. And the scores are in!
The 1st place winner of the 2013 Parade of Lights float contest was Friends of the Fish Hatchery with their float “A Colorado Cutthroat Saves Christmas!” Three cheers for the the Friends of the Fish Hatchery who are dedicated to making sure that the Leadville National Fish Hatchery stays open and viable for years to come.
Second place has been awarded to the Lake County School Bus Barn for their very colorfully-decorated bus. The schools made a big showing in the Parade of Lights, from the marching high school band to the kids choir, but that sparkly bus was flashing more than it’s usual “stop” sign! Well done!
And rounding out the parade podium with 3rd place was the Leadville Elementary Chorus, who also had the honor of bringing Santa and Mrs. Claus into town on their float.
This is a group of Leadville choir students from the 21st Century after school program under the direction of music teacher Mr. Hemingson. These children go to school here in Leadville at Pitts and West Park Elementary Schools.
In addition, the judges decided to give an “Honorable Mention” to the Lake County High School Band, who continue to keep the beat going for all Leadville parades, entertaining the crowds along the route. Led by Band Director Jonathan Cole, the LCHS band deserve an extra hooray for playing those instruments in some pretty COLD temperatures. Go Panthers!
The Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce congratulates all the winners and send out a heart-felt thank you to all participants , as well as the many volunteers that helped plan and create this anuual holiday tradition.
Leadville Has Deep-Rooted Jewish History
Today, marks the beginning Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. This year, Hanukkah begins this evening – Wednesday, Nov. 27 and ends in the evening of Thursday, Dec. 5.
In honor of the Hanukkah, Leadville Today wanted to share a few links to help expand your knowledge of Leadville’s Jewish heritage. The first is a radio interview with Leadville’s Bill Korn by Radio Chavura host, Maxwell Rotbart. This is an extensive, well-done interview concerning Leadville’s Jewish heritage and local efforts to preserve that history. The two-part radio interview includes information about the Temple Israel, located at 4th & Pine Streets. There is also some great Jewish music book-ending the interview, so enjoy!
The next link is to the story Leadville Today highlighting the Temple Israel’s renovation and open house held on September 23, 2012. If you haven’t been inside the synagogue yet, put it on your must-do list for next summer.
And finally, readers can find more information by visiting: www.jewishleadville.org. Happy Hanukkah!
It’s LIGHTS ON this Friday in Downtown Leadville
It’s LIGHTS ON in Leadville this Friday, Nov. 29. So be sure to be downtown at 5:30 p.m. on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, as Leadville and Lake County officials will both flip the switches to their holiday lights.
And most will notice an extra special sparkle at City Hall this year as city employees have been sprucing up historic building and welcome everyone to stop by for their open house from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. after the Lighting of the Lights.
Not only will city hall be decorated and have a giant Christmas tree on display, but the displays in the foyer have been refurbished allowing visitors to view memorabilia that has been donated or somehow has found its way to city hall over the years. Hot chocolate and cookies, donated by Safeway, will be served to visitors who stop by to see the decorations and view the displays.
Holiday shoppers will also find many Leadville merchants open later for the festive evening. Businesses will once again be decorating and competing for the coveted traveling holiday decoration trophy!
But this year, local homeowners will also get to join in the friendly competition with a residential decorating contest. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Entry forms for each contest can be obtained from the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce office or online.
Deadline for both business and residential holiday decorating contest is Friday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m.
Be sure to mark the calendar for Saturday, Dec. 7 for the Annual Parade of Lights and visit from Santa! This event is shaping up to be a real action-packed event with lots of special events, sales and contests. More to come on all those festivities in an upcoming post! Stay tuned and in the meantime – get those decorations out and up – it’s GAME ON for LIGHST ON!
Leadville Featured in Christmas Commercials
Have you seen the commercials yet? The ones that feature historic Harrison Avenue and glorious Mounts Elbert and Massive? Well, there’s more than one airing on national networks which feature Leadville and Lake County, so keep an eye out.
The advertising spots are selling Dodge Ram Trucks and Jeeps, which made the local scenery a natural backdrop for the wintery shots.
Dodge Ram Truck Commercial
Film crews were in town on October 17 & 18, and stirred up quite a bit of interest, as well as a little news story of their own when one of their wardrobe trailers skidded off the road up on Leadville’s east side. Fortunately, the snow and cold came right on cue as the “Hauling-a-Huge-Christmas-Tree-Across-the-Country” commercial used historic Harrison Avenue as one of its location shoots.
The crew arrived late Wednesday afternoon, Oct.17, and the economic impact was felt immediately as one Leadville hotel manager reported via social media that “They have taken over our hotels, and we love it!” No doubt, the 48-hour excitement was a welcome burst of business during the in-between summer and ski seasons when lodging occupancy is generally low and restaurants generally slow.
The production crew which was out of Denver and spent much of the first day up on Leadville’s east side, specifically Adelaide Park, up toward Mosquito Pass. Locals who know their hills will no doubt be able to recognize this scene in the commercials as bright red Jeeps convene in a circle, surrounded by brightly lit Christmas trees.
However, it was the irony of the “Wardrobe Malfunction” that had folks talking on social media. After all, when you’re filming a Dodge Ram truck commercial in Ford and Chevy country, and one of the trucks slides off the road, well folks are bound to talk about it. Leadville Today’s Facebook Page hosted a lively, but respectful, conversation about who makes the best truck for the Colorado high country: Dodge, Chevy or Ford? You can weigh in at: LINK.
Regardless, the film crew was quick to recover from Thursday’s “Wardrobe Malfunction” and before sunrise on Friday, they were at it again, this time shooting on historic Harrison Avenue.
The production company drew a small, but hardy crowd of spectators as temperatures were in the ice box and the wind didn’t help either. But the conditions certainly made for the holiday scene the crew was hoping for.
By noon, the gig was up and that HUGE Christmas Tree was seen heading north out of town, on to Loveland Pass for additional filming. Eventually, the giant fir was placed in Denver’s Civic Center Park, donned in all its holiday apparel!
Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair Held Nov. 22 & 23
The Leadville Arts Coalition (LAC) held its annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair in Leadville at the National Mining Museum Convention Center, 117 West 10th Street.
The event offered an amazing assortment of merchandise from local and regional vendors on Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23.
This annual show provides shoppers an opportunity to purchase vendor-produced handcrafted arts, crafts, holiday décor, specialty food items, gift baskets, jewelry, and clothing items for everyone on their holiday lists.
To add to the shopping experience, Friday evening the Mountain Consort provided music. On Saturday morning, the Leadville 4H group sponsored an ornament-making table for kids to produce handmade ornaments. Throughout the show, The TQL Quilt Guild displayed the handmade quilt, “October Sky,” with raffle tickets available for sale. In conjunction with a membership drive, Leadville Arts Coalition members sold wine, Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. A vendor featuring brats and snacks took care of any hunger pains both days.
The LAC urges shoppers to support artists, crafters and other nonprofits by shopping locally at this fair. For over twenty years the Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair has served as the main fund-raiser for the LAC, who promote the arts and arts education in Leadville and Lake County.
Celebrating Leadville’s Talented Musical Artists
Last June 22, the historic Tabor Opera House in association with Leadville Today hosted the first Talent at The Tabor. Now, that’s not to say that this was the first talent show ever hosted at the historic venue, but maybe the first in many years.
The whole idea started with an email from opera house owner Sharon Bland. She had sent along some information about the historic posters that volunteers had found underneath some old linoleum on the third floor of the iconic building. The over-sized advertisements from the glory days of the Leadville theater had been restored and framed. Sharon and husband Bill were planning a community event to unveil the old posters. READ MORE on this story: LINK
During a conversation concerning the posters, Sharon shared there was also a smaller poster uncovered that highlighted a local talent show from the 1960s. Hmmmmm, the light bulb went off and before long the Tabor Opera House and Leadville Today were making plans to produce the first Talent at The Tabor.
Word went out about auditions, and everyone was pleasantly surprised when local performers not only showed up, but brought their “A” game, a level of talent far beyond what was expected. The rest is history!
It didn’t take long before other behind-the-scene talent signed on for the event. So a big thank you to the following folks: Kathy Albers signed on to be Stage Manager for the event and the Bland’s son-in-law Ted Cumpston generously agreed to do the audio engineering for the performances. George Benson coordinated the lighting and Marc Cumpston and Cody Smith came on as stage hands. Hats off to the group of volunteers dressed in historic costumes who usher in a packed house to their seats on performance night. Of course the man who wove the whole night together was emcee Bill Bland.
Jim Morris with Red Wolf Studios graciously agreed to record the performances. While it would have been great to share the entire performance in one shot, it was too long to upload in one file. So here are the individual performances from the first (with hopefully of many to come) Talent at the Tabor! Enjoy!
Colin McFee – Talent at The Tabor
Jennifer Stevens – Talent at The Tabor
Simon Stevens - Talent at The Tabor
Cloud City Twirlers - Talent at The Tabor
Talus Schreiber - Talent at The Tabor
Sara Collier - Talent at The Tabor
Brooke Shutte - Talent at The Tabor
Brian Copley - Talent at The Tabor
Old Memories, New Fun at Restored Sixth Street Gym
Sixth. Street. Gym.
These three little words conjure up fond memories for anyone who has lived in Leadville, or visited for that matter. It has been a local gathering place for over 90 years! This historic building may be located at 124 East Sixth Street, but it’s just as much a part of Leadville’s heritage as some of the gems on historic Harrison Avenue.
For natives, there are memories of the roller skating rink, the swimming pool, and the Chamber of Commerce Grand Balls once held in the iconic building.
More recently, the gym has welcomed some of the world’s top athletes, as the Leadville Trail 100 has utilized the facility for pre-race inspiration and post-race accolades for over 30 years.
Today, Leadville’s youngest residents have learned gymnastics and archery in the old gym. And it’s still used by church groups for weddings, quinceañeras and Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations. And let’s not forget the annual Used Book Sale put on by the Friends of the Lake County Public Library or the annual Pumpkin Patch!
Yes, the Sixth Street Gym is a mainstay in Leadville. And now with recent improvements, it stands tall and proud with all its former glory.
Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that the Sixth Street Gym was described as a crumbling, unsafe facility with poor infrastructure. It’s use was becoming questionable and major repairs just weren’t in the county coffers at that time.
Fortunately, monies from the Colorado State Historical Fund put a new roof on it in 2008. That certainly kept the building from deteriorating any further.
Then in the winter of 2012, the terrible news of burst pipes actually turned lemons into lemonade when the insurance claim actually helped save the iconic sports hall.
According to Lake County Public Works Director Brad Palmer, when the pipes burst in the gym in Februray 2012, the floors and sub floor were completely wrecked.
“Once we peeled off the top floor and discovered that the sub-floor was also compromised, the floor was stripped down to the bones and re-built. While we had the floor off, we replaced all of the old pipes under the floor, so that we don’t have that problem again,” said Palmer in an interview with Leadville Today.
Now it’s been beautifully restored to its former squeaky sneaker glory. And because the State Historical Society was still in the driver’s seat when it came to any work being done on the building due to their roof funding, everything had to be done old-school original.
“The historical society required that when we took out a #2 Maple, we put back in a #2 Maple,” explained Palmer regarding the wood the floor was rebuilt with matching up with what was originally used when the gym was first constructed in the 1920s.
Included in other repairs with the remodel was the stack for the new boiler. A bigger boiler required a bigger stack which was eventually approved by the historical society and is now in place to efficiently heat the space.
Of course, anytime you’re excavating something in Leadville, some interesting artifacts are bound to show up.
“We found some interesting artifacts, including a 1928 newspaper, old bottles, some other cool stuff,” said Palmer.
The county is planning some kind of celebration, maybe this week, so stay tuned. The gym should be back open by early November, as local maintenance crews learn about how to care for this special floor and finish up other “punch list” items.
But is It Built Leadville Tough?
Last Thursday and Friday, Oct. 17 & 18, Leadville and Lake County, Colo. provided the backdrop for a national truck commercial. The recent snow and cold came right on cue as the “Hauling-a-Christmas-Tree-Across-the-Country” commercial used historic Harrison Avenue as one of its location spots.
The crew arrived late Wednesday evening, and the economic impact was felt immediately as one Leadville hotel manager reported via social media that “They have taken over our hotels, and we love it!” No doubt, the albeit 48-hour, excitement was welcome business during the in-between season of summer and skiing, when lodging occupancy is generally lower.
The production crew out of Denver was filming on behalf of the Dodge Ram truck folks. Without giving too much away, the commercial’s concept is the reliability of a Ram Truck to haul this HUGE Christmas tree across the country, through towns like Leadville.
On Thursday, the crew spent much of the day filming up on Leadville’s east side, specifically Adelaide Park up toward Mosquito Pass. Locals who know their hills will no doubt be able to recognize this scene should it make the cut for the holiday commercial, scheduled to air this season.
But the irony of Thursday afternoon’s “Wardrobe Malfunction” as first reported by Leadville Today, did not go amiss with the large population of truck-loving locals. After the reports of the crew’s wardrobe trailer skidding off the icy eastside pathway took off, Leadville Today’s Facebook Page hosted a lively (respectful) discussion about who makes the best truck for the Colorado high country: Dodge, Chevy or Ford? Join the discussion: LINK.
Regardless, the film crew was quick to recover from Thursday’s “wardrobe malfunction,” and before sunrise on Friday, they were back out filming at the Leadville/Lake County Airport. Bet that allowed for some awesome footage as the sun’s first light hit the two highest peaks in Colorado!
But ultimately it was the final location that most would like to be showcased in the commercial’s final cut: historic Harrison Avenue. Still early on Friday monring, the production company drew a small, but hardy crowd of spectators as temperatures were in the ice box. The wind didn’t help either.
But those conditions certainly made for the holiday scene the crew was hoping for, and by the end of the third shot, everyone was starting to get into the Christmas spirit.
Video of the Ram and the Christmas Tree
By noon, the gig was up and that HUGE Christmas Tree was seen heading north out of town, on to Loveland Pass for additional filming. Eventually, the giant fir will be placed at some high school in Denver (no one seemed to know which one) to be decorated for Christmas!
So that’s a wrap for the Dodge Ram commercial in #Leadville. The advertisement is supposed to air sometime this holiday season. So, no doubt, it’ll be here – along with all the other Christmas commercials – before you can sing O Tannenbaum!!
Mary Jo Copper Wins Again in Ford Country
“It couldna happened to a nicer person,” is what many Leadville locals have been saying when they hear the news about Leadville’s Mary Jo Copper winning a new Ford Fiesta automobile in a recent online contest.
And no doubt, it’s exactly the same thing that they said about Copper when 50 years ago, Mary Jo won her first Ford contest!
“Yeah, Mom called last Monday,” recounted her son Paul Copper in a recent interview with Leadville Today, “She said, ‘I thought I’d call you and be the first to let you know I won!’ It’s pretty cool she’s won two Fords.”
Back in August 1963, (Paul) Copper explained, his mother she won a Ford Station Wagon in a Coca Cola contest. “The station wagon was loaded up with all kinds of camping goods and sporting equipment,” said Copper. “There was baseball gloves, bats and baseballs and camping goods, tents and folding tables, a ton of stuff.”
Certainly it just the kind of stuff the active Copper family could use, not to mention the Bill’s Sporting Goods Store which they owned for more than 60 years in Leadville.
Copper’s winning ticket this time around was drawn by former Denver Bronco linebacker Randy Gradishar. As reported on the Phil Long Ford in Denver’s Facebook Page:
In 1963 Mary Jo Copper entered a contest with Coca-Cola to win a new Ford Station Wagon. She won. 50 years later she entered a contest with Phil Long Ford of Denver to win a new Fiesta. She won again. 2 new Fords in 50 years-it’s a cool story, and a really great lady. Congratulations, Mary Jo Copper on your new Ford Fiesta! — with Kevin Shaughnessy at Phil Long Ford Denver.
Meet The Artist: Michael Musselwhite
The Leadville Arts Coalition (LAC) and Leomyka Gallery presented another Meet the Artist event on Saturday, Oct. 19. The featured artist was Michael Musselwhite.
A sculptor, jeweler, and woodworker, Musselwhite does it all, mostly with items he has found, combing old mines, settlements, scrap piles and auctions. He adds to his self-described “junk yard” and finds creative new purposes for his treasures. Many of his sculptures are functional pieces of art: weather vanes, gates and garden sculptures.
Whether he has uses Leadville turquoise for a beautiful pendant, or a unique sculpture, Michael creates something of beauty. He calls himself an avid rock hound, and plans to show some of his jewelry pieces at Leomyka Gallery, located at 601 Harrison Avenue. Expect to see a variety of work, including large sculptures.
Musselwhite and his wife Edie consider Leadville their hometown, and still maintain a strong connection, while they reside on the Purgatory River, near Hoehne, Colo. Musselwhite spent time in Leadville after graduating from Colorado State University. He did contract mining in various local mines, and attained a degree in Metals Technology from Colorado Mountain College, Timberline Campus.
Musselwhite’s creations will be available for sale at the show and through November at the local art gallery at 6th & Harrison. The evening included refreshments, provided by caterer Ruth Jacobs.
Tree of Sharing Kicks Off the Giving Season!
It’s that time of year: Tree of Sharing! This popular holiday program gets underway today with its first step: identifying those children who may be at risk of being forgotten at this special time of year.
Parent Registration forms will go home with Lake County School students today and tomorrow (Oct. 14 & 15). The request forms will also be available for pick-up starting Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Lake County Health and Human Services. Deadline for registration is November 1. Completed forms can be left at any Lake County Schools front offices in a Tree of Sharing drop-box or Lake County Health and Human Services.
The program will again this year be under the auspices of the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation. Please contact Karen Rinehart at 719-486-7135 if you have questions, would like to make a donation or volunteer.
About the Tree of Sharing
Last year donations from the community helped brighten Christmas for over 600 children. This year’s mission is Helping Children have a Happy Holiday Season
The Tree of Sharing Project does not receive government funding. The project’s success is dependent on the generosity of Lake County residents, services and private organizations.
This year the program anticipates serving 600 children ranging from newborns to 17 years of age with gifts of toys, books and warm outerwear. Any monetary contribution would be greatly appreciated so that the “elves” can purchase gifts. Checks may be written to St. Vincent Hospital Foundation / Tree of Sharing and mailed to 822 W 4th St. Leadville, CO 80461.
You may also go to leadvillehospital.org and click on the “give” button in the top right buttons and make a credit card donation. Please note that it is for Tree of Sharing. If you would like to volunteer, at any level, on Tree of Sharing please contact Karen Rinehart: 719-486-7135.
Thank you in advance for all your time and efforts to help make this a special holiday season for Lake County children.
En Espanol: Tree of Sharing
Formularios de Registración para Padres estarán disponibles comenzando el martes 15 de octubre en Lake County Health and Human Services y llegarán a casa con los estudiantes de las escuelas de Lake County el 14 y el 15 de octubre.
Ultimo día para registrarse es el primero de noviembre. Formularios completos se pueden dejar en las oficinas centrales de las escuelas en la caja designada Tree of Sharing o en Lake County Health and Human Services.
“American Pickers” Clamor to Cloud City for Collectibles
The TV show “American Pickers” was in Leadville yesterday looking for a few good “honey holes” in The Cloud City. And it was “mission accomplished” by the time the snow from Sunday night’s first, in-town dusting had melted away.
That same snow delayed the crew’s arrival in town as their famous “Antique Archaeology” van got stuck in the snow on Independence Pass en route to Leadville.
One of the show’s local stops was the historic Tabor Opera House owned by Sharon and Bill Bland. As most local know, the Blands are in the process of selling the opera house, in addition to many items from the Furman Estate (Sharon’s Mother, Evelyn Furman passed away in 2011). The Blands had been in the process of an Estate Sale this summer, when word was out that “American Pickers” would be coming through Colorado and looking for a few good “honey holes,” a nickname given for “picks” that contain amazing objects.
“We figured that the show would be a good way to get the word out about the sale of the opera house,” said Sharon Bland. “Maybe someone would see the show, and be interested in buying the Tabor, and carrying on the renovation work Mother (and the Blands) started.”
For those who may not be familiar with the show, “American Pickers” is a documentary series airing on the History Channel which explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’. The high profile show follows two of the most skilled pickers in the business, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they embark on an epic road trip across the US.
The show follows the pickers in their “Antique Archaeology” van, as they go on a mission in search of America’s most fascinating and valuable antiques – treasures that have been long forgotten in junkyards, barns and yes, even historic opera houses.
Once the crew arrived, the business of tv-making was underway, and there wasn’t much room for local media types who might spill the beans on what deals were leveraged on the historic stage. In fact, photos with the show’s two stars – Frank & Mike – were off limits. Guess, picking involves some pretty top-secret situations!
Fortunately, in today’s world of social media sharing, it didn’t take long for photos of the famous van and the show’s stars to start popping up online. Leadville Today has been sharing those on Facebook. Come, join the conversation!
The Colorado episode will air sometime next year and hopefully include some of the Leadville picks . Although for those who are familiar with the show, it might not come as much of a surprise to see a lot of footage of the Independence Pass debacle (did they call Danielle for help?) than what treasures may have been plucked from the bowels of the Tabor. Stay tuned to Leadville Today for scheduling details.
Hot Wheels Coming to The Cloud City Tomorrow
The Colorado Grand®, a vintage car rally celebrating its 25th anniversary, will be making a stop in Leadville tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 20, from 12:30 – 3 p.m.
The Leadville stopover, which will be by The Delaware Hotel, offers an opportunity of a lifetime to see and photograph vintage race cars. En route from Salida to Vail, the cars will motor into Leadville and park on East 7th St. at Harrison Ave.
Spectators are invited to see them free of charge. Entrants from around the world will include pre-WWII Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Porsche, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Maserati, Allard, and such exotic names as Amilcar, Cisitalia, Squire, Delahaye, and Talbot-Lago. US models from Chrysler, Packard and Kurtis are also part of the lineup.
The Colorado Grand® is an annual charity tour for 1960 and earlier sports and race cars of distinction. Every September at the peak of the fall color season approximately 85 vintage cars motor 1,000 miles in five days through the Rockies in a relaxed, non-competitive event.
The event generates about $300,000 annually for small Colorado charities and Western Slope towns as well as college scholarships to graduating high-school seniors in those towns. Current charities include the Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation, the Robert Sutherland Foundation, Flight for Life, CASA, and medical facilities in small towns.
Shamrocks and Aspens: It’s St. Pat’s In September
There are certain things that happen up in Leadville to signal that autumn is here: the kids go back to school, the leaves start to change – quickly, and the September St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held. Wait, what?! Isn’t St. Patrick’s Day in March?
Well, Leadville likes to celebrate its Irish heritage TWICE a year. Besides March weather can be pretty cold and snowy for a proper parade, so why not do it again the third Saturday in March?!
September’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts at noon at the top of Capitol Hill (in front of the mining museum) and marches down historic Harrison Avenue and straight into the Silver Dollar Saloon, Leadville’s Irish bar.
The great thing about September’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is that you never really know what’s going to happen. Some celebrations are unforgettable. Like the time the three bagpipe bands from the Front Range made the trip up. These musicians usually play the bigger parades for the real St. Patrick’s Day, but in September pure Irish luck prevails and the celebration is on! That year, during the procession’s usual stop in front of the Lake County Courthouse, all three bands played Amazing Grace. There wasn’t a dry eye on Harrison Avenue as the drums and bagpipes echoed across a perfect fall day, aspens ablaze amid Colorado’s two highest peaks.
Other the years it seemed that the parade might not happen at all due to a lack of funds or clashing Irish personalities. There was one year when the parade marched a reverse route, starting at the south end of the avenue; it didn’t catch on. Not only were people confused about where to meet before the parade, but the procession also had a hard time marching past the saloon with all the good Irish whiskey!
All marchers are welcome with the procession meeting in front of the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum on W. 9th Street just before noon. The popular Queen City Bag Pipe Band will be marching in the parade and play some great Irish tunes at the Silver Dollar Saloon. So, grad your shillelagh, pull on that green sweater and head up to Leadville for September’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Slainte!
Labor Day Weekend Veterans Tribute Planned
This Labor Day Weekend, Leadville will welcome veterans from around the U.S. and from all branches of services for the inaugural Two-Mile High Veterans Weekend, August 30 – 31. To mark the service of these American heroes, the community has planned several activities, including a kick-off event at the Tabor Opera House, a Veterans Memorial Wall Tribute and a free evening of Celtic music at the Tabor Opera House for veterans and their families.
Major General Larry Nicholson and his former State Department advisor J.K. Weston served tours together in Fallujah, Iraq, and Helmand, Afghanistan.
General Nicholson was wounded by a rocket attack at Camp Fallujah in September 2004. After recovering from his wounds at Bethesda Naval Military Hospital, he returned to Iraq to complete his tour. In 2006 and 2007, he served again in Fallujah as the commanding officer of the 5th Marine Regiment. Weston represented the State Department in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2010.
After returning home, they considered how to mark the service of veterans from all branches. Many troops expressed interest in an informal get-together. They chose Colorado because Weston has family roots in the Rocky Mountain region, and Leadville because it is home to Lance Corporal Nick Palmer, who was killed in action in Fallujah in December 2004. Palmer was part of Nicholson’s Marine regiment. Rather than organize a reunion in a big city, Nicholson and Weston decided Leadville would be an ideal venue because of its strong ties to veterans; its historic setting, characters and stories; and because the city is a symbol of resilience and reinvention with a beautiful Rocky Mountain backdrop.
Friday, Aug. 30
- 7 p.m. – Kick-off Event at the historic Tabor Opera House: welcome and opening remarks by Leadville Mayor Jaime Stuever; introduction of the local VFW; featured speaker Major General Larry Nicholson; and recognition for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. Everyone is invited to attend this free event and show their support for our veterans.
Saturday, Aug. 30
- Morning – Free time to explore Leadville and Lake County
- Afternoon – Lunch and hiking at Turquoise Lake
- 4 p.m. – Lake County Veterans Memorial Wall Tribute at Evergreen Cemetery with Nick Palmer’s family
- 5:30 p.m. – Gather at the Silver Dollar Saloon for dinner and drinks.
- 7 p.m. – The FEAST Celtic Band will perform at The Historic Tabor Opera House; free admission for veterans and their families; tickets available to the general public at a cost of $15 for adults, children younger than 14 get in free.
Visitors may wish to include a trip to nearby Camp Hale, training site for the 10th Mountain Division during World War II. Interpretive signs at Camp Hale and at a monument at the entrance to Ski Cooper detail the history of these soldiers.
Friends of Library Host Presentation Wednesday Night
The Friends of Lake County Public Library are hosting another great program this week – this one’s tomorrow – Wednesday, August 28. Isabel Suppe’, the author of Starry Night will present a slide show and talk about her experience of climbing in the Andes at 6:30 p.m. in the AMAX room at the library. Included in the discussion, Suppe’ will explain the accident that led to her writing of the book.
The program is free, but donations will be gladly accepted.