Kingdom Days debut in Breck next weekend
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE ” Breckenridge streets will brim with gold panning, storytelling and gun fights ” reenacted ones, that is ” next weekend as the town hosts its first Kingdom Days celebration to honor its 148th anniversary. The June 16-17 event will showcase the town’s rough-and-tumble roots.
The name, Kingdom Days, originates from a historic blip traced back to the mid-1800s when Breckenridge was unintentionally excluded from official U.S. maps. The area became referred to as “Colorado’s Kingdom” until the town was incorporated decades later in 1936 and added back onto the maps.
Just two years shy of the former mining town’s 150th anniversary, Kingdom Days organizers are laying the groundwork for a major celebration to come, said Carly Grimes, public relations director for Breckenridge Resort Chamber.
“With the approach of Breckenridge’s 150th anniversary, we think it’s very important to celebrate our history and heritage,” she said. “The gold rush and gold mining is why we’re here today, and we want to celebrate that.”
Breckenridge’s national reputation as a prime ski area often overshadows its origin as a mining town. Organizers plan to make the historically focused event annual and grow it into one of Breckenridge’s largest.
“Visitors come and drive down Main Street and see all these cool buildings, but they might not know the history behind them, what those buildings were originally built and used for,” Grimes said.
Kingdom Days will offer activities for all ages, and for both locals and visitors. Most events are free to the public.
“It’s a reiteration of a celebration that used to happen years ago,” said Pat Christoperson, director of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. The event will highlight contrasting eras throughout the historical spectrum, he said.
Kids can make root beer by hand and build their own log cabins.
History buffs will enjoy tours of Breckenridge, Valley Brook Cemetery and Rotary Snowplow Park.
Mining enthusiasts can explore the Washington Gold Mine, Lomax Placer Mine and Iowa Hill. The Gold Prospectors of Colorado will also offer gold panning instructions and demonstrations for spectators wanting to try their luck.
An artsy crowd may appreciate old-time photo displays, quilting and the poetry reading and creative writing session.
And those feeling athletic can participate in the Repertory Run Saturday morning. Those feeling goofy can tackle Sunday’s Outhouse Races. Entrants team up to construct their own outhouses, then compete by dragging and riding the outhouses down a town block. A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the winning team.
“I think there are surprises in store for visitors,” Grimes said.
Just watch out for those gun fights along Main Street.
For more information about Kingdom Days, including a full events schedule, go online at: http://www.gobreck.com.
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