Summer Ends With A Bang In the High Country

Slew of Festivals Set For this Weekend

Trevor Phipps

Labor Day weekend is often  regarded  as the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of fall.

 As a result,  locals are starting to make plans for the three-day holiday weekend. The weekend is most famous for people choosing to recreate outdoors

 The sight of campers and trucks with ATVs on trailers, heading into the mountains, is quite common.  Labor Day weekend is popular for all outdoor activities because residents and visitors want to have fun in the sun before the temperatures start to drop.

However, on the other side of the spectrum, some folks like to ‘lay low’ during the holiday to avoid excessive amounts of traffic. Instead of joining the crowded popular recreation areas, some choose to remain at home as opposed to staying in a packed campground, and take in a festival, afternoon barbecue, party or more.

For those who wish to stay local, the region will bustle with a few late-summer happenings. Here are a few highlights:

 This Friday, the International Western Music Association (IWMA) Colorado Chapter will be hosting a special event at the Ute Pass Cultural Center in Woodland Park. The doors for the Cowboy Music and Poetry, In the Shadow of Pikes Peak event will open at 6 p.m. There will be a cash bar from 6 to 7, then the cowboy style music and poetry performances start at 7 p.m.

 According to the event’s organizer Donna Hatton, the night will feature local performers as well as nationally famous ones. “Some of what the performers will be playing is the old time trail music that the cowboys sang,” Hatton said. “Some of it is the old style trail music that Roy Rogers and some of the silver screen cowboys sang and some of it is our own original music.”

Hatton, who is an award winning poet, will be performing with her band A Cowboy’s Legacy. In the past, one of Hatton’s albums won the Will Rogers Award for Cowboy Poetry and Music CD Album of the year.

Joining Hatton will be other IWMA members Dan Park, Evie Hatton Gutierrez, Rex Rideout, and Levi Richardson. There will also be a performance from the Mountain Eire Traditional Irish Dance Troupe under the direction of owner and director Mickie Poole Richardson.

The event’s feature performer will be Lon Hannah who is a former member of the world renowned trio The Sons of The San Joaquin. The trio was comprised of Lon, his Father Joe and his Uncle Jack who have since retired.

Hannah is a multi-talented performer, an actor nominated for an award as the male lead, a writer and vocalist who will share the familiar music of the Sons. He will also play new music of his own along with anecdotal stories of family and the Legends of the American Cowboy. Hannah will be accompanied by IWMA Instrumentalist of the year Ernie Martinez.

Other Event Highlights

And then on Saturday, those who stayed in town on the holiday weekend can take a cruise to Cripple Creek and enjoy an art show. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hotel St. Nicholas in Cripple Creek is hosting an artist market.

While at the hotel visitors will have the chance to check out the creations of some gallery artists. There will also be crafts made by local artisans and refreshments will be provided.

Art lovers can also take a trip to Victor to enjoy their annual Victor Celebrates the Arts show. The show and sales take place Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Victor Elks Lodge.

The event will feature the works of more than 60 artists. People will have the chance to purchase and check out a wide variety of original artwork, t-shirts and posters.

And now for the really good news:  The summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22 so the weather should still be nice this weekend.

These evens are a prelude to some of the autumn festival highlights, including  Cruise Above the Clouds, Two Mile High Club Aspen Tours, Mt. Pisgah Speaks Cemetery Tours, Autumn and Art celebration and more.