Experience the Wild West firsthand
Take a step back in the past and experience the Wild West firsthand at Golden’s very own Buffalo Bill Days! This event dates back to the 1940s as a trail ride up Lookout Mountain to Buffalo Bill’s grave. The Buffalo Bill Days Committee has expanded the activities through the years and it is now the largest community festival held in Golden. This year’s activities included Cody’s Wild West, the “Best of the West” theme Parade, Muttin’ Bustin’, live music, a classic car show, a golf tournament, and food and merchandise vendors. All these and more came together to make a large community event in Golden in honor of Buffalo Bill himself. The festival events started on Thursday, July 25 and continued all weekend through Sunday, July 28, 2019.
Best of the West Parade
A tradition for nearly 50 years, the Buffalo Bill Days parade is a point of pride for Golden and one of their greatest events. The parade runs south along Washington Avenue from 9th Street before turning down 13th Street. Visitors were sure to get here early because, with about 80 different entries of collectible cars, creative floats, fire engines, more horses than you can count, and local performing groups, they wanted to have a clear view of the entire thing. The Best of the West Parade began at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Each day featured a different selection of live music. Musical Entertainment took place in Parfet Park at 10th and Washington Avenue.
Guests and locals alike couldn’t wait for the car show along Washington Avenue on Sunday. The show featured classic and muscle cars. During the car show, there was food and drinks served nearby in Parfet Park along with free musical entertainment. The car show ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Founded in 1859
Founded in 1859, Golden is an idyllic former gold rush town nestled between North and South Table Mountains and the spectacular foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Originally named “Golden City” it became the capital of the federally recognized Colorado Territory in 1862. The Territorial legislature met here until 1867 in a handful of different buildings, most notably the Loveland Block at the corner of Washington and 12th Streets. When Colorado became a state in 1876, locals were outraged when Denver snagged the title of state capitol, but the loss of name distinction did nothing to slow Golden’s growth.
The Last “Flat Place”
At the city’s center lies Clear Creek, once known as Cannonball Creek for its cannonball sized river rocks used in the Armory Building. Golden City became known as the last “flat place” before the Rockies, and it soon became a supply center for miners headed to find gold in the western mountains.
Several factors influenced the town’s growth: miners’ supply needs, agriculture, and industries. With Golden as a former gold rush town, industries popped up to support the incoming miners and their families. Coors Brewery set up shop in 1873 also contributing to the population growth. Golden’s agriculture flourishes in the rich soil of Clear Creek Valley and has been the center of Golden’s commerce since the City was founded. The rich clay deposits found at Fossil Trace Golf Club are another factor for the city’s growing popularity.
A Center of Intellectual Development
While industry was booming, the city was also becoming an important center of intellectual development as the home to the Colorado School of Mines established in 1870. Other historical sites include the gravesite of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Foothills Art Center, Boettcher Mansion, Calvary Church, 9th, 12th and East Street Historic districts, and the Colorado Railroad Museum.
Golden History Walking Tour
Now, you can discover Golden’s history on the Golden History Walking Tour. Put together by the Golden History Museum, the free, downloadable tour directs you to 16 historic spots in Golden as it winds one-and-a-half miles past beautiful homes, stone buildings, gardens, a re-created historic farm and school yard, and – most popular with kids – a historic chicken coop filled with heritage chickens you can feed for a quarter.
To access the free tour, go to: https://www.goldenhistory.org/learn-do/walkingtour/ You can printout your own copy of the various stops, or navigate using your smartphone and the customized Google map available at the link.
Golden maintains its authenticity through long-standing traditions like Buffalo Bill Days and Olde Golden Christmas. Its small town feel can be experienced during the summer street festivals, farmers’ market and meandering down Washington Avenue any time of year.
For more information, contact the Golden Visitors Center, at 1010 Washington Ave, Golden, CO 80401.