COS End of Year Highlights #4 As Colorado Springs enters its 150th year, plans to celebrate its sesquicentennial take shape

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“…as we look at the progress of the last century and a half – we are challenged to consider our vision for the future.” John Suthers, 41st Mayor of Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On July 31, 1871 a group of citizens along with General William Jackson Palmer gathered at the southeast corner of Pikes Peak and Cascade avenues and declared Colorado Springs as an established city within the state of Colorado. They sealed their declaration by driving an iron stake into the ground. On July 31, 2021, Colorado Springs, now the 39th largest city in the United States, will officially turn 150, and its citizens will once again gather to celebrate. The City’s sesquicentennial will be celebrated with an array of planned activities throughout the entire year.

The sesquicentennial kickoff celebration begins tonight, Dec. 31 at 9 p.m. when the Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club will present a fireworks display from the summit of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. Club members, joined by Mayor John Suthers, will launch 150 shells into the night sky from the summit as a symbol of the 150 years since Colorado Springs was established. View Mayor Suthers, AdAmAn Press Conference

Jan. 30: COS@150 Exhibit opens at the Pioneers Museum

The new exhibit is a robust exploration of our community’s history and culture that will feature 150 objects, illuminating 150 stories and commemorating 150 years. It will include the people, places and events that helped shape Colorado Springs. Featured objects will range widely in age, size and format to engage, surprise and inform residents and visitors alike. More

April 2021: COS Tree Month 

The City is partnering with local nurseries and Colorado Springs Utilities on a digital media campaign to highlight Colorado Springs’ unique relationship with trees, past, present and future. The campaign will encourage residents to take part in the COS 150: Tree Challenge, which officially began in 2018. Residents can take part by helping us meet our goal of planting 18,071 new trees by the end of 2021. Add your tree to the tracker today.

June 12: Beards, Bonnets and Brews Fest

This family-friendly “back to the future” event is being planned to offer a wide variety of fun-filled activities for everyone! Guests can experience a mix of history with modern times and learn about the history of our region. You can also join Mayor Suthers and compete for the title of Best Beard or enter your bonnet into the Best Bonnet contest (or both!). Participate in beverage tastings and enjoy special 150th brews from local brewers while sampling culinary creations from local chefs. Live music from several local bands is expected as well as the chance to step back in time and watch a live vintage baseball game with some “good ole fashioned” dramatic flair, and so much more at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.

July 8: Then and Now Photo Exhibit opens at Library 21c

Local photographer, Mike Pach of 3 Peaks Photography, is replicating historic photos as an official part of the sesquicentennial celebration. Fifty pairs of 20”x 30” photographs, comparing “then and now” people and scenes of Colorado Springs will be printed and displayed. The opening reception for the exhibit is scheduled for July 8 at Library 21c where the photos will be on display for two months before traveling to other venues throughout 2021. Catch a sneak peek at ColoradoSprings.gov/150.

July 17: Sesquicentennial Gala

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC is planning a “once-in-a-lifetime” sesquicentennial- themed gala, celebrating 150 years of business in Colorado Springs. This formal, ticketed event is scheduled to be held in The Broadmoor’s International Center and feature 1871 décor and food options. Ticket sales date to be announced.

July 31: Downtown Festival

Happy birthday, Colorado Springs! – We’re going to party like it’s 1871! A community parade through time is expected to kick off the festivities on Tejon Street, followed by live music, food and fun in downtown Colorado Springs. A pep rally is being planned to cap the night as Olympic City USA cheers on the athletes representing Team USA in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Check the City’s sesquicentennial website at ColoradoSprings.gov/cos-150 for event updates, a historical reading list, opportunities to volunteer, and to see how businesses and community groups can participate or become a sponsor.

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