It’s finally here. The ultimate extravaganza that crowns seven months of sesquicentennial tree-planting, lectures, exhibits, beard-growing, bike rides, walking tours, book clubs and a gala honoring our city’s first 150 years. Saturday’s Downtown blowout, which truly has something for everybody, kicks off with a parade whose floats will highlight pivotal events from our past. The celebration continues with a day-long, family-friendly, almost-too-much-to-see-and-hear street festival that includes Day 3 of the Olympic Tokyo Games Fun Fest that runs July 29 through Aug. 1.
Need to know:
- The festival map shows where you can park (light blue shows surface lots, purple are garages), and where themed activities are anchored.
- There will be 28 food trucks and three beer gardens to sustain you in your adventures.
- The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, a big player in this celebration of history, will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- And 100 portable toilets will complete the summertime street festival vibe.
Tokyo Games Fan Fest: July 29-Aug. 1
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum’s four-day festival lets fans root for Team USA as they perform physics-defying feats, televised live on a 50-foot outdoor screen. Stars of the Olympic and Paralympic world will sign autographs, and there will be demonstrations and opportunities for guests to test their skills at a wide variety of sports.
Need to know:
- Fan Fest activities are free and take place outside the museum, 200 S. Sierra Madre St.
- It runs from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
- For more information — usopm.org, 719-497-1234.
Day 1: July 29
Guests — Hilary Wolf Saba (judo: 1996, 2000), Cliff Sunada (judo: 1996), Barb Kunkel (taekwondo: 2000) and Jenny Arthur (weightlifting: 2016).
• Autograph signings, demonstrations, and perhaps a chance to try your skills in judo, karate, taekwondo and goalball.
• Games and prize tent, Golfopotamus learn-to-chip challenge, and the chance to win prizes by scoring on a life-size soccer goal with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks!
Day 2: July 30
Guests — Bonnie Blair (speedskating: 1988, 1992, 1994), Susan Rapp von der Lippe (swimming: 1980, 1984, 1988), Jim Campbell (ice hockey: 1994), Dennis Van Valkenburgh (canoe: 1964), Barb Kunkel (taekwondo: 2000).
Members of the 1984 Olympic women’s gymnastics team will speak and lead activities and interactive sports demonstrations, including handball, skateboarding, goalball and taekwondo.
Day 3: July 31
Guests — Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track & field: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996), Bonnie Blair (speedskating: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994), Steele Johnson (diving: 2016), Bradie Tennell (figure skating: 2018), Karen Chen (figure skating: 2018), Vincent Zhou (figure skating: 2018), and Paralympians Kirk Black (Paralympic curling: 2018), Chris Clemens (Paralympic track and field: 2012) and McKenna Geer (Paralympic shooting: 2016, 2020).
Tokyo-themed food and beverages, the Flying Aces trampoline acrobatics team, plus: Guests will learn about triathlon on Sierra Madre Street, figure skating on a synthetic ice rink and wheelchair basketball on Vermijo Avenue from the athletes themselves.
Day 4: Aug. 1
Guest — 2016 bronze-medalist Olympic wrestler J’Den Cox will sign autographs.
Taekwondo, fencing and judo demonstrations
COS@150 tells our story through objects
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum opened COS@150: Exploring Colorado Springs’ Story Through Objects in January in celebration of the city’s upcoming birthday, and If you plan to go to the July 31 street festival, be sure to stop by and take in this out-of-the-ordinary exhibit.
Each of the 150 objects tells a story. A wooden water pipe from the city’s early — and fairly primitive — water system. A photo of a horse-drawn delivery wagon from Sinton Dairy. The time clock from Hibbard’s Department store, ca. 1888. The jawbone of murder victim Bessie Bouton, used in the 1904 forensic dental investigation to identify her and help find her killer (Milton Andrews did it).
If you have never spent quality time in the Pioneers Museum, there will never be a better — or more appropriate — time to do so than on the city’s 150th birthday. It’s free, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 31. Can’t make it to the street festival? You can still enjoy the exhibit at cspm.org/exhibits/cos150.