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Golden loves a good party, and we host several every year, thanks to hard work on the part of the Chamber of Commerce, our service clubs, and countless enthusiastic community volunteers.
January: Colorado Cowboy Gathering
2017 Dates: 1/19 – 22
Golden has become home to the annual Colorado Cowboy Gathering which has grown over the last two decades into a four-day event celebrating the cowboy life and culture. Well-known and lesser-known cowboys (and girls) educate, entertain, and enlighten the public with poetry, song, and verse. Attendees can experience an authentic chuckwagon meal cooked on site at the American Mountaineering Center in cast iron pots and dutch ovens at a real chuckwagon. Themed Session Matinee programs are plentiful for the kids. The Gathering is a real family event. www.ColoradoCowboyGathering.com
February: The Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF)
2017 Dates: 2/23 – 25
The CEFF includes local and national feature length and short films for all ages, thought-provoking dialogue, festival celebrations for both filmmakers and audience members, children’s films, a filmmaker forum, and information from a variety of environmental groups. The festival presents informative and entertaining films that explore interconnected ecological, social, and economic themes. Audiences have the opportunity to be more than passive viewers – they will leave inspired, surprised, motivated, entertained, and transformed. www.ceff.net
February: Buffalo Bill Birthday Celebration
Approximately the 3rd weekend in February
Buffalo Bill is so popular around these parts that Golden celebrates his birthday three times! At the Buffalo Rose and the Rock Rest Lodge, living history performers in authentic western wear depict Buffalo Bill and the western characters associated with him. Costume contests, birthday cake, and music complete the party atmosphere. The Buffalo Bill Museum has contests and games, too.
March: Hall of Mountaineering Excellence Gala & Induction Ceremony
The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum celebrates legendary mountaineers at an annual gala. Climbers who have made significant contributions to mountaineering both past and present are formally recognized with an induction ceremony into the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence. Dining, entertainment, and a program are all part of recognizing the lives and achievements of the selected individuals. www.mountaineeringmuseum.org
April: Colorado School of Mines E-Days
Fireworks in April…..it must be E-Days. Every spring the Colorado School of Mines students unwind and celebrate Engineer’s Days for three days. Activities include Casino Night, an ore-cart pull, field day, soap box derby, musical performances, a car show, a carnival, a cardboard boat race at Clear Creek, and more. The whole event culminates with the fireworks which the whole community can enjoy. www.mines.edu/Traditions
April: Golden Family Easter
The Downtown Merchants Association and the Kiwanis Club work together to make the Saturday before Easter a fun community event. The day starts with a brief and very intense Easter Egg Hunt in Parfet Park. The crowd then strolls up and down Washington Avenue, meeting the Easter Bunny and various other characters (Mother Goose sometimes makes an appearance). Cart rides drawn by Newfoundland dogs are popular with little children.
April: Elevation Belly Dance Extravaganza
World-class belly dancers demonstrate and teach American Tribal Style Belly Dance. Dance classes, lectures, and unique merchandise are all a part of this four-day annual event which takes place at the American Mountaineering Center and the Buffalo Rose Events Center. www.elevationbellydance.com
April/May: Taste of Golden
This event showcases Golden’s local restaurants and catering services, including its breweries, micro-brews, and distilleries. A Silent Auction and live music add to the festivities. www.goldencochamber.org
May – October: Golden Cruise
Last Tuesday of the month, May – October
The family friendly Golden Cruise ride starts and finishes in the Farmer’s Market parking lot just west of the Golden Library. New Belgium Brewing Company serves up their fabulous Fat Tire Amber Ale. What’s new this year, is that under the auspices of Golden Community Commons, volunteers from Golden’s nonprofit organizations will be helping out with set-up, tear-down and acting as course safety marshals in exchange for a cut of the beer proceeds. This is a great chance to support all the fine folks doing wonderful things in our town, so grab your kids and some friends and join us on the last Tuesday of the month from April through October!
May: Ladies Only Sample Tour
Every year the majority of shops in Historic Downtown Golden participate in the Ladies Only Sample Tour which is a great girls’ night out. Purchase a bracelet packet and follow the historic district map to visit participating Golden stores and receive a free sample at each establishment. Once you’ve had a taste of the unique shopping experiences Golden offers, you’ll want to come back to take advantage of the savings in the coupon book that comes with the packet. The event is very popular and is typically sold-out. www.ladiesonlysampletour.com
May: The Golden Games
Outdoor enthusiasts gather in Golden for this annual national training event to watch or participate in kayaking, fly fishing, stand up paddleboards, and slacklining competition. With more than 100 competitors and a festival-like atmosphere, the Games become more popular each year. The event is held the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. www.thegoldengames.com
May – October: Super Cruise Nights
2017 Dates: 5/6, 6/3, 7/1, 8/5, 9/2, 10/7
A large group of classic car owners converges on Golden the first Saturday of every month, May through October. They meet in the afternoon, in the South Golden Road area. Many gather near the Sonic Drive-In, an appropriate place for classic cars, but there are far too many to fit in that one space, so you’ll find them all up and down South Golden Road. At 7:30, they form a parade and cruise to downtown Golden. The cars are incredible, and people really enjoy walking around, looking at them, and talking with the owners. www.goldensupercruise.com
June: Golden Music Festival (formerly called the Summer Solstice)
Celebrate summer at the Golden Music Festival on June 10-12, 2016. Bring a blanket and sit on the rustic hillside amphitheater in Golden’s Clear Creek History Park for one of the region’s top bluegrass festivals. Local beer and food will be available.
First Friday Street Fairs
In June, July, and August, one block of Washington Avenue is closed off for a street fair. Various Golden restaurants set up booths and offer “tastes,” and MillerCoors beers are available. 303-279-3113.
June – early October: Golden Farmers Market
2017 Dates: 6/3, 6/10, 6/17, 6/24, 7/1, 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 8/5, 8/12, 8/19, 8/26, 9/2, 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7
(Every weekend except the last weekend in July, Buffalo Bill Days)
The Farmers Market has been running for several years now, and has been a huge success. It’s a good place for Saturday breakfast and lunch from late spring through mid-fall. Vendors sell local produce, flowers, plants, and prepared food. The market is held in the parking lot next to the Golden Public Library. Since it’s right next to Clear Creek, many people include a Creek walk as part of their experience.
4th of July in Lions Park
The Golden Lions Club puts on a great community party every 4th of July in Lions Park. The event includes free rides for children and free live music. People come with picnics or buy food from the vendors. The Golden Civic Foundation and the City contribute financially to the events, and the Lions sell raffle tickets so people can win prizes contributed by local merchants. The day culminates in a great fireworks display. www.goldenlionsclub.org
July: Buffalo Bill Days
2017 Dates: 7/27 – 30
Scheduled every year for the last weekend in July, Buffalo Bill Days starts on Thursday with a golf tournament at Fossil Trace, and continues on Friday night with rides and vendors in Parfet Park. On Saturday morning, the Volunteer Fire Department provides a fund-raising pancake breakfast. A big parade through the downtown area follows, with many Golden businesses and non-profit organizations participating, plus a few organizations from the surrounding metro area. A stage in Parfet Park hosts live music all weekend. Learn more about it at the Buffalo Bill Days web site: www.buffalobilldays.com
August: Movies and Music in the Park
Fridays in August the City of Golden presents live music and outdoor films for families to enjoy in Lions Park, on 10th Street. Families can bring a picnic dinner and settle in for an evening’s entertainment under the stars.
August: Mountain Melodies Music Festival
Every year the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave sponsors a festival highlighting both established and new musical talent from the Front Range. String and bluegrass bands entertain for free. Visitors can bring their own picnic or buy food at the full café located in the Museum Gift Shop. www.buffalobill.org
August: Fine Arts Festival
The Golden Fine Arts Festival, an August event, has grown in both size and prestige every year. The event is located on 11th Street, next to the Clear Creek History Park. Admission is free, and includes live music and a children’s art center. Food vendors are available, as well as free horse-drawn carriage rides. Many area organizations offer special events to tie in with the festival, such as the arts and crafts exhibits at the Clear Creek History Park. www.goldenfineartsfestival.org
September: Thomas the Tank Engine Visits the Railroad Museum
For three weekends every September, Thomas the Tank Engine, the star of a popular children’s show, visits the Colorado Railroad Museum. The event is wildly popular and draws thousands of children. www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org
October: “Knock Your Boots Off” Beer Tasting and Chili Cook-Off
The month of October and chili just seem to go together! Sponsored by Coors Distributing Company and the Golden Chamber of Commerce, Goldenites have been perfecting their chili recipes for this annual event. Plenty of beer provided by Coors helps cool down your taste buds from sampling the chili made by local competitors. Store specials, entertainment, and downtown festivities complete the event. www.goldencochamber.org
October: Halloween Crazy Days
The Golden Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants Association offer safe trick-or-treating every Halloween. Children are invited to come downtown after school, walk Washington Avenue to show off their costumes, and visit the stores for a special treat. Participants as well as spectators add to the fun of this community event. www.goldencochamber.org
Golden Civic Foundation Auction
This annual event is hugely supported by the community: businesses, non-profits, and individuals donate items for auction, and hundreds show up to bid at the auction. The reason this event is so popular? Because 100% of the money made at this auction is given away to Golden’s schools, museums, cultural organizations, and other non-profit organizations. www.goldencivicfoundation.org
November and December: The Polar Express
Late November through late December (Subject to confirmation by the Railroad Museum)
This event debuted at the Railroad Museum in 2014, and was an immediate sell-out. Such popularity means that the Polar Express will be with us for many years to come. Families love sipping hot chocolate as dancing chefs tell the story of The Polar Express. Afterwards, they enjoy a train ride which includes many delights and surprises.
2016 Date: 12/2
This event started many years ago when a hundred or so locals gathered near the Foothills Art Center to walk down Washington Avenue carrying candles and singing Christmas songs. Word has spread throughout Colorado, and now thousands show up, still carrying candles and still singing, and still walking downhill from Foothills to the Visitors Center. When the group reaches the Creek, the Mayor flips a switch and all of the holiday lights along Clear Creek go on, eliciting gasps of admiration and much applause. Many groups participate in this event: There are crafts and campfires at the Clear Creek History Park, roasted chestnuts and music at the Pioneer Museum, musical performances at the Rotary Amphitheater (on the Creek, behind the fire station), reindeer to be petted at the Visitors Center. All in all, it’s a short (2 or 3 hour long) winter carnival. This event occurs on a Friday night–generally the first weekend in December. www.oldegoldenchristmas.com
See a wonderful video of the Candlelight Walk produced by the City.
December: Olde Golden Christmas
2016 Dates: 12/3, 12/10, 12/17
On each of the Saturdays before Christmas, the Golden Chamber of Commerce hosts special Christmas events all day in the downtown area. Every Saturday morning starts with a parade. The parades last about half an hour and include Santa Claus, local bands, local businesses, local scout troops, etc. The Christmas activities continue both Saturday and Sunday, with strolling musicians along Washington Avenue, free horse-drawn carriage rides, and tasty treats provided by the stores. It’s fun, and it really does make Christmas shopping in downtown Golden even more appealing! www.oldegoldenchristmas.com
See a video showing a Saturday morning Christmas parade, produced by the City.