On Aug 1, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation of statehood for Colorado, making our colorful state the 38th member of the Union. Now, 142 years later, many across Colorado are celebrating with free admissions to parks on Aug 6, cooking up a classic Colorado meal or by attending any number of the cultural events in Denver this week.
Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne will celebrate Colorado Day at the History Colorado Center at 10 a.m. Wednesday. (Here’s a list of events at History Colorado for the day.)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams has lived in Colorado for 26 years and enjoys life with his wife Holly and family in Colorado Springs. He said the beautiful weather, friendly people, and “can-do” attitude drew him to Colorado as a recent University of Virginia law school graduate.
Colorado native Chris Cash, the charities program manager for the SOS, grew up in Boulder and enjoys spending time in the great outdoors.
“Like everybody else, I love the mountains,” Cash said. “As a youngster, I especially valued skiing. Now that I have no knees and I-70 is impassable it’s practically irrelevant, so I find other ways to enjoy the outdoors.”
Among other Secretary of State staffers, enthusiasm also runs high for the Centennial State. Just last month, Tim Griesmer and Ben Schler hiked to the summit of San Luis Peak as part of the #UChooseCO campaign.
Colorado, meaning “colored red,” has many claims to fame. The Colorado mountain landscape includes 52 mountains with 14,000 feet or higher elevation, and Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States. The worlds’ largest flat top mountain is in Grand Mesa and in southern Colorado another natural wonder, the tallest dunes in American such as the “Star Dune,” are found in the Great Sand Dunes National Park outside of Alamosa.
And the view from Pikes Peak inspired Katherine Lee Bates’ “America the Beautiful.”
Jackie Cuin, SOS human resources specialist, comes from a long line of Colorado natives on the western slope, where her father ran a potato farm in Olathe. Born in Grand Junction, Cuin is not an outdoorsy person but loves being close to family and her roots.
“It’s my home, it’s secure, it’s all I know,” she said.
In recent years, Colorado natives like Cuin have become more rare as people from surrounding states have moved in. Colorado added 77,000 new residents in 2017 earning it a spot among the top ten states for population growth according to the Denver Post.
The brewing industry in Colorado has been booming with more microbreweries per captia than in any other state. Coors and New Belgium brewing companies are also based in Colorado, with their headquarters in Golden and Fort Collins respectively.
Colorado also happens to be the only state in history to turn down a bid to host the Olympics. In an overwhelming 60-40 majority, citizens voted against having the 1976 Winter Games in Denver to protect the environment and the city’s budget.