On August 1, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as a state of the USA. Since then, The Centennial State has blossomed into a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, craft beer and dog lovers, mountain bikers and skiers, live music aficionados, and anyone looking for a good time under the Colorado sun.
Over the years, locals have developed quite the reputation — and sure, some of those stereotypes are true. While we may be beer snobs and sports fanatics we’re also deeply in love with our state. That means we celebrate Colorado Day 365 days a year, and we go all out for Colorado’s birthday.
This year, find out how you can join in the fun on August 1! Whether you want to attend a Northern Colorado event, drink local at a Colorado brewery, or hit the road for an outdoor adventure you’ll never forget, there’s something on our list for everyone — locals and visitors alike.
Photo courtesy of Downtown Fort Collins
Tuesday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Can you think of a better way to celebrate Colorado than buying produce and meats grown right here? We can’t! The Tuesday Loveland Farmers’ Market is 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 3133 N. Garfield in front of Hobby Lobby. For more farmers’ markets in NoCo throughout the week, check out our blog post on the best markets in NoCo.
Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The Noontime Notes Concert Series is an intimate lunchtime concert series in Old Town’s Oak Street Plaza. The live, small-scale music performances pair perfectly with a picnic lunch or a meal picked up from an Old Town hotspot. On Colorado Day, Moors & McCumber will be filling the square with original, Irish-inspired rock and bluegrass. Learn more about the band in 20 Northern Colorado Bands You Should Be Listening To!
Tuesday, 6 – 9 p.m.
The FoCo Food Truck Alliance and Mishawaka Amphitheater host the City Park Food Truck Rally every Tuesday evening in City Park. Each week throughout the summer, you can grab dinner from NoCo’s best food trucks and dance to live music! On August 1, come to the park for music from Rosann Winn and dinner, drinks and dessert served with food truck flair.
Outdoor Movie Night is a free summer series in Old Town Square. After the sun goes down on August 1, the original Ghostbusters movie will fill the square with laughter and fun for all ages. It’s the perfect end to Colorado Day!
Tuesday, August 1 – Saturday, August 5
On the Aims Community College campus in Greeley, the High Plains Chautauqua merges theater, history, and the humanities under one tent. Starting on Colorado Day, you can meet characters including Winston Churchill, Herbert Hoover, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and many more. Evening events are not recommended for children under 8 years, but all other performances are family-friendly, so bring everyone along for a fun history lesson!
Photo courtesy of Funkwerks
Colorado is a craft beer capital — and Fort Collins, especially. So it makes sense to drink local on Colorado Day! No matter what city you’re in, check out The Best Local Beers in 10 Colorado Cities. Our guide covers everything from Durango to Denver and all the way back to Fort Collins.
If you’re in town, venture out on the Fort Collins Ale Trail. This charitable program offers a free map of Northern Colorado’s breweries and an optional Trail Pass so you can get discounts and prizes! Learn more about the app, the breweries and the beneficiaries with our complete how-to guide. Or, use our interactive map to find a brewery near you!
If you really want to embrace Colorado culture, there’s nothing better than opting outside! Visitors travel from all across the world to experience classic Colorado destinations like Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and more.
And for a special celebration of Colorado Day, our state parks offer free admission each year! For 2017, they’re extending the celebrations by offering their free day on August 7, not August 1.
For easy and quick adventures, check out 12 of Colorado’s Best Swimming Holes and 11 Dog-Friendly Hikes Near Fort Collins. Or, spend a night under the stars with tips from The Procrastinator’s Guide to Camping in Colorado!
Looking for something a little more strenuous? Read up on 8 Colorado Backpacking Experiences That Should Be on Your Bucket List, but be sure to learn the ins and outs with our guide to backpacking for beginners!
If you’re just not sure what you want to do on August 1, check out 9 Things to Do in Northern Colorado for Outdoor Enthusiasts or hit the water with help from our guide to kayaking in NoCo!
Photos courtesy of RARE Italian
We’re big fans of supporting local, small businesses year-round and Colorado Day is the perfect opportunity to get started! You’ll find plenty of resources for shopping, dinner and more in the Our Communities section of Northern Colorado Speaks. It’s all about supporting Northern Colorado and statewide businesses — from photographers and coffee shops to farms and restaurants.
One of Fort Collins’ biggest proponents of eating, drinking and shopping locally is The Gold Leaf Collective. Get an inside look at the hyper-local eatery and find out what you can do to help with our exclusive interview. And if you haven’t stopped by yet, go hyper-local with dinner at the restaurant on Colorado Day!
In the comments below, let us know how you celebrate Colorado’s birthday this year.