Historic Douglas County, Inc.
It is August in Douglas County! And, it is Douglas County Fair & Rodeo time with all its fixin’s! August is also when Mother Nature bumps our temperature up a brief bit and always seems to provide us a few afternoon thunderstorms for excitement at fair time …probably a few of Her monsoonal storms leftover from Her grab bag of late-July.
July was a real corker weather-wise and so were the events of historical societies, museums and venues in and around Douglas County. From the kick-off of the month of July with the Pioneer Fourth Celebration over at Kiowa to Colorado Agriculture Leadership Foundation’s (CALF’s) annual Legend of Agriculture Award Banquet on July 29 …this year honoring Bonnie and Darrell Bell. For those of you know the Bells, this award was well deserved. CALF’s Legend event always kicks-off the starting run for the Douglas County Fair & Rodeo.
August this year, in terms of historical oriented events, is surpassing July …so, I’d better not dally. The Douglas County Fair & Rodeo is really an eight-day affair with all of the activity and events, running from July 30 to August 7. The crafts showings, all the rodeo activity from mutton-busting to bull-riding and crafts judging take place on the front end of the fair, July 30 to August 5. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (August 5 through 7) are the days the Event Center is open with vendors and non-profit groups and the crowds flood the fairgrounds, midway and barns as well, I might add, the outdoor concert pavilion. If you wish to see exactly what’s happening when, check the Events Center Website and pull down the Events Calendar tab at the top of the home page. Historic Douglas County, Inc. will be coordinating the History Booth in the Events Center from August 5 (3:00-6:30PM), 6 and 7. The Douglas County Historic Preservation Board and the various historical societies and organizations will rotate as the center piece of the booth in two hour shifts during the two and a half days.
The first week of August (PLHS), down south of the D. C. border, and Cherokee Ranch and Castle take center stage with their respective activities. (PLHS) opens August 6 with their amazing Return of Rocky Mountain Chautauqua. This is a full town event …learn, listen, eat and have many extra helpings of family fun!
Cherokee Ranch & Castle finish their summer film series with Running Wild on Friday, August 5. Then, on the following Sunday afternoon, August 7, the Castle hosts an afternoon concert feature Eef, the tall Dutch girl with the red guitar. This is the Castle’s first of their bluesy Sunday afternoon concerts during August. Eef is followed on August 14 by Marty Gordon and his electric guitar and on August 21 by Bluzone. This is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in August. See the Events Calendar for more detail, price and tickets.
In addition to the Castle’s afternoon music concert featuring Marty Gordon, the second week of August finds the Castle Rock Historical Society offering a fascinating program (Evening of August 11), The Story of Howard Fogg, the WW II fighter pilot turned renowned train artist. Speaking of Howard Fogg takes me back to last month (July 21) when Union Pacific’s legendary 844 Steam Engine returned to service after a three years absence, ushering in Cheyenne Frontier Days. 844, fully re-piped, was a magnificent hit as it provided us that superb feeling of the bygone days when the iron horse tamed this country and was the height of luxurious travel.
Also, during the second week of August, Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society is offering another of its well-attended Open Houses at Arapahoe County’s 17 Mile House. This is a popular venue and like Engine 844, as just mentioned, takes us back to another time where the pace of life was slower and ice cream socials and picnics abounded. Speaking of which, Roxborough Area Historical Society is hosting The Flyin’ B History, with a Potluck Picnic …this is at the site of the ole Flyin’ B; check the August Events Calendar for full details. Yes, the hottest month of the year is packed with many reflections back to our culture(s) of the past.
Be careful! Attending the events of the third week of August could snap your neck, metaphorically speaking. We go from Drag Racing at Bandimere Speedway (Thanks to the August 15th program of the Highlands Ranch Historical Society[HRHS]) to horse drawn Wagons, Wagons, Wagons, a August 19 tour of the Tim Watt’s Wagon Museum in Elbert, Colorado …this fascinating tour to a venue outside the County is being conducted by the Larkspur Historical Society (LHS). So, we start the week at 235 miles per hour for the first quarter mile, thanks to HRHS, and end the week perusing vehicles capable of 4 miles per hour, thanks to LHS. Thinking about this juxtaposition in travel speed leads one to believe that the tours appropriately fit the geography. Life tends to be a bit more laid back in the southern, Divide Country of the County than it does in northern, metropolitan area.
The third week of August also “takes us back in time,” structurally speaking. Roxborough Area Historical Society hosts a FREE tour of the Miksch-Helmer Cabin (Off Titan Road, turned Rampart Road going south on August 16) and Larkspur Historical Society hosts a FREE Open House at Greenland School in the old, historic Greenland Town-site on August 20 (A mile west and a half mile south of I-25’s Exit 167). After all this event action during the third week of August, you can relax on the following Sunday afternoon (August 21) with either a Bluzone concert at the Cherokee Castle or the third program of Douglas County Libraries’ Rich History of Ranching in Douglas County series. This educational program on Douglas County ranching will be at the air conditioned Phillip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock. Again, check the August Events Calendar for all the details. I know you are almost exhausted, but I told you at the beginning of this page, “August is loaded!” Well, let’s see how August ends, history event-wise, the fourth week of this “hot” month.
The last week of August has three events …all on the weekend. Parker Area Historical Society is participating with the Town of Parker and Douglas Country Libraries for Parker Quest. This family fun filled day begins at the Heritage Center at 9:00 AM on Saturday morning, August 27. It’s an historical scavenger hunt on steroids! Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum is conducting a Heritage Walking Tour – Castle Rock …also on Saturday August 27. The last event of the month is the Douglas County Libraries fourth and final program in the Rich History of Ranching in Douglas County. This event, Sunday, August 28, is at Douglas County’s bucolic Prairie Canyon Ranch. If you haven’t been to Prairie Canyon Ranch on south Highway 83, you must mark this one on your calendar …just about everything you could imagine on a turn of the century (20th) ranch …yeah, from caves to a working blacksmith shop!
Well folks, running through all these historical events for August was even making Jackson tired. Jackson is my eleven month old golden Labrador pup going on teenage dog. Jackson doesn’t get tired! So, as you can see, August is a very big history month. Grab your boot straps and pull on those boots. It is Douglas County Fair & Rodeo time …but first, a few dismal words about Colorado sports…
DENVER BRONCOS …never a dull moment with the Broncos! Pushing the contract offer with Von Miller to almost the deadline made many people queasy, including some of the Bronco players. Von’s contract is precedent setting for a defensive player in the NFL. Let’s hope that it is does not become a financial albatross for the Broncos. The only reason that the Broncos could go as high as they did was due to NOT paying a quarterback $20 million a year. With the beginning of training camp, the battle for quarterback begins. Who will come out the winner and face the Carolina Panthers on September 8th? Expert $$$ is on Sanchez, but something tells me, that Trevor Simian will not go away without a fight! Training camp is bound to present an interesting 5 weeks? The Broncos first six games will determine the direction of the 2016 season: Carolina, Colts, Bengals, Tampa Bay, Falcons and Chargers. Can the Broncos win five or six of these? The Broncos need a fast start, here are the last 3 games: Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders! A very difficult closing stretch!
DENVER NUGGETS …it appears that the Nuggets first Round pick, Jamal Murray, may become a key player going forward. Murray had a very good NBA Summer league showing. The Nuggets will need all the help they can get for their upcoming season. The NBA sports analysts are forecasting improvement for the Nuggets, going from 34 wins to 38 wins. WOW! …predicted improvement by 4 games, that will not do much in the Western Conference. I believe the goal must be a winning season, 41-42 wins, not easy, but the Nuggets have to stretch out!
COLORADO AVALANCHE …I have a feeling that this season will be “make or break” for the AVS. If the Avalanche cannot improve the performance from the past two seasons, then MAJOR changes will be forthcoming!
COLORADO ROCKIES …is the glass half full or half empty? Just when it looks like the season is over for the Rocks, they come barreling along with a very good streak. At the end of July and the going into the away series with NY Mets, the Rocks are 49 – 52, three games under .500. The starting pitching has shown great improvement, Jon Gray could be the staff ace that has been missing for a long time. Game 1 in NY, a very improbable finish when the Rockies score two runs off the Mets closer in the 9th inning! If the Rockies can win 2 of the next 3 with the Mets, they will be flying high! Will the Rocks look for a major deal prior to the August 1st trade deadline? I’m guessing, “NO. “ The Rockies could be on the verge of a break through; why disrupt the clubhouse for “next year”? They have nothing to lose, keep up the current pace, and they should finish with a winning record! Reflection notes that it has been years since that happened! Do they have a chance for a wild card spot? …not a good one, but remember back to 2007 “ROCKTOBER?” … stranger things have happened?
RIO’S SUMMER OLYMPICS …I can’t believe that the IOC DID NOT have the intestinal fortitude to banish the Russians! Let the individual sports federations take the heat! What a bunch of wimpa! Opening ceremonies are on August 5th, let’s hope and pray that there are NO serious incidents. These athletes are coming to Rio to compete, not dodge bullets!
Well folks, that’s my “sports” words going into August, 2016. I am really glad I don’t write about politics!
My best for a great, not so hot (hopefully, temperature-wise) August,
See you at the Fair & Rodeo,
PS: I’ll be the one at the Fair and Rodeo NOT riding the bull. Speaking it at the History Booth …well, that’s a totally different issue.