The Centennial State celebrates its birthday unlike any other, but 2020 is a little different when it comes to Colorado Day festivities.
History Colorado usually celebrates with a big birthday bash on Aug. 1, including music, dancing and a petting zoo, but this year it’s opting for a more subdued day with free admission to the museum and online programming throughout the week. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will also celebrate the 144th anniversary of Colorado’s statehood with free entry to 41 state parks on Monday, Aug. 3.
CPW has always celebrated Colorado Day on the first Monday of August, though Colorado actually became a state on Aug. 1, 1876. Veterans and active-duty military members can also pick up a free pass for the month at any state park.
Bridget Kochel, public information officer at CPW, said the parks are prepared for plenty of visitors, and rangers will close entrances for one-in, one-out if they reach capacity to ensure proper social distancing.
She emphasized visitors should plan ahead, spread out, bring face masks for passing people on trails and practice leave-no-trace to take care of state parks. On Colorado Day, it’s important to preserve public lands for future generations, she said.
“We love Colorado,” Kochel said in an interview with The Post on Thursday. “This is a great opportunity to get outside, to be safe by wearing a mask and social distancing, and to be kind and courteous to others.”
History Colorado is also offering free admission at its downtown location from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1, as well as the seven other sites across the state — the Byers-Evans House Museum, the El Pueblo History Museum, the Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center, the Healy House Museum and Dexter Cabin, the Trinidad History Museum and the Ute Indian Museum. All locations require reservations in advance to manage capacity, and of course guests must wear masks.
History Colorado has also scheduled a full week of online programming for the state’s birthday party. On August 1, Emily Hope Dobkin will host the festivities from The Meet Cart, an interactive digital platform where people can collaborate on games and activities.