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Bighorn Sheep viewing at season best

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Georgetown Festival Promises Fall Family Fun

PRESS RELEASE – Few animals evoke Colorado’s rugged and unforgiving mountains like the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Yet the vertical terrain that keeps sheep safe from predators also limits opportunities for Coloradans to view and appreciate Colorado’s state animal.
A happy exception for wildlife watchers is Georgetown, where the Town of Georgetown, the Georgetown Trust and Gateway Visitor Center, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) are finalizing preparations for the 8th Annual Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Festival.  The festival is timed to coincide with the sheep’s head-banging mating season. This year’s event will take place on November 9.
“Georgetown is one of the few places in Colorado you are almost guaranteed to see bighorn sheep, particularly during breeding season in November and December,” says Mary McCormac, Education Coordinator for the northeast region at CPW. While weather forecasts could discourage potential festival participation, McCormac cautions, “Weather in Georgetown can be beautiful when Denver forecasters predict snow.  We strongly encourage folks to call Georgetown directly before heading out if they are concerned about weather conditions.”  Please call the Georgetown Gateway Visitor Center for current weather conditions: 303-569-2405.
Trained CPW volunteers armed with binoculars and spotting scopes will be on hand to help viewers locate the sheep, as well as offer a cup of hot cider or cocoa and a brief lesson on these majestic mammals at the Bighorn Sheep Viewing Station and Gateway Visitor Center.  A horse and buggy ride for $5/person includes free admission to all Georgetown museums. As a special opportunity this year, the Georgetown Loop Railroad has added two special runs of their historic train tours, which will include CPW Volunteer Sheep Guides who will provide programming on tours. Train departs at 11:30am and 1:30pm and tickets range from $18.95 – $33.95/ person. Friends and families will enjoy the FREE educational presentations and numerous activities provided throughout the day.
Activities:
–Kids make sheep horns of your own to take home and get your face painted like a sheep – showcase all in the parade led by CPW’s mascot, Elbert the Ram
–Learn about bighorn behavior while dancing the bighorn sheep hokey pokey with Elbert immediately following the parade
–Sit by the fire with a cup of cocoa, make s’mores, listen to music, and visit partner organizations and Georgetown merchant booths in the park
–Try Tommyknocker’s own bighorn sheep brew, Butt Head Bock Lager at Lucha’s or Troia’s or sample a specialty brew of Golden Ram coffee at Bierstadt Books & Beans
–Purchase a commemorative festival pint glass at participating merchants
–Enjoy a 2-hour guided hike around Georgetown
Presentations:
11 am: Bighorn Sheep of Georgetown
2 pm: Living in Moose Country
Festival Activities Guide:
Pick up a schedule on-site at the Gateway Visitor Center or the Georgetown Community Center or at the CPW office at 6060 Broadway, Denver.  All of these events are free.
Georgetown is located just less than an hour west of Denver on I-70. Programs and activities take place in several venues throughout town, but most are on 6th Street. Be sure to plan time to visit the numerous art galleries and unique shops where artisans and shop owners will showcase their wildlife-related art, gifts, crafts and other merchandise.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all of Colorado’s wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. For more information go to cpw.state.co.us.
For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

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