June 17-19 festivities include the Outhouse Races, live music and saloon tour
Story and photos by Jenney Coberly
BRECKENRIDGE — Thanks to a little mistake of inadvertently leaving the town off the maps until 1936, Breckenridge became known as “Colorado’s Kingdom”. In the summer of 1936, Colorado Governor Big Ed Johnson and Breckenridge locals gathered on the Summit County Courthouse lawn, where a U.S. flag was raised, officially welcoming the Town of Breckenridge into the nation.
Kingdom Days celebrates Breckenridge’s unique history and includes a multitude of family-friendly events, including the wildly popular Outhouse Races and a Wild West gunfight on Main Street.
New this year, the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance is offering a 21-and-over saloon tour, which is sure to be a big hit. The tour includes visiting some sites of historic saloons in Breckenridge, as well as a tour and tasting of the spirits at the modern-day Breckenridge Distillery.
The Alliance conducted a “dry run” of the Saloon Tour, sans distillery, in October of 2010. Here is a short (minute and a half) video excerpt from that very entertaining tour:
For the full Kingdom Days schedule of events, which is packed with entertaining events including tours, live music, children’s events, a barbecue, and demonstrations, click here.
All Breck Heritage Alliance historic sites and tours are free of charge during Kingdom Days, although space is limited for some of the most popular guided tours, so please visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance Website or call them at 970.453.9767 to reserve a spot.
In celebration of the zany character of Breckenridge and the hardships faced by the early settlers, Breckenridge hosts an event that combines a glimpse of the past in the spirit of today — the Breckenridge Outhouse Races. There will be prizes for first, second and third places as well as the People’s Choice Outhouse Award.
Tour the beautiful home of Barney Ford, an escaped slave who prospered and became a prominent entrepreneur and black civil rights pioneer in Colorado.
Take an interactive journey into the life of Breckenridge’s famous log cabin naturalist, Professor Edwin Carter. Tour Carter’s 1875 museum where he practiced taxidermy and amassed a collection of more than 10,000 Rocky Mountain animal specimens.
The Summit Ski Museum celebrates Breckenridge as the first ski town in Colorado and highlights the first 100 years of skiing in Summit County. Make sure to check out the 10th Mountain Division exhibit downstairs.
Enjoy a guided hike that goes through a historic mining site and up to a beautifully restored miners’ boardinghouse. Along the way, mining relics tell the story of Iowa Hill and how gold was extracted from the surrounding hills. This is an easy hike, approximately one mile in length one way.
Dating back to the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, virtually all of the key innovations in placer mining — pan, rocker box, long tom, sluice box, undercurrent sluice, water ditch, water flume, “giant,” hydraulic derrick, shafting, and bank blasting — occurred on Iowa Hill. Today, this extraordinary site boasts one of the best hydraulic mining exhibits in the West.
In the years before there were snowplows as we know them, there were rotary snowplows. Stop by to see the huge machine that cleared narrow gauge railroad tracks and learn more about Breckenridge’s important railroad history.
Short video tours of the Summit Ski Museum and the Iowa Hill hike in the winter can be viewed at the Summit Voice Youtube channel. Also, a video of the arrival of historic Engine Number Nine at Rotary Snowplow Park can be viewed on the channel.
Filed under: Breckenridge, photography, Summit County Colorado, Travel, video Tagged: | Barney Ford Museum, Breckenridge Distillery, Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, Breckenridge Kingdom Days, Breckenridge news, Breckenridge Outhouse Races, Breckenridge Resort Chamber, Edwin Carter Museum, historic tours, Rotary Snowplow Park, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Summit Ski Museum