As it turns out, the tiny town of Burlington, Colorado, has an AMAZING Fourth of July fireworks show. Russell and I packed up the camp chair and photography gear and set up on the football field of the local high school a little before 9pm ready for some small-town entertainment. Neighboring houses were shooting fireworks at dusk, and we thought we missed the show, but as soon as the sun set, the fire department got to work. Immediately, there were high-shooting sparklers and bursts; we figured out quickly that we were in for a treat. Russell was clicking away the whole time, adjusting his camera and settings here and there to get good action shots, and I sat back and watched the sky fill with bright colors and smoke. The finale was nonstop action and inspired constant “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. Needless to say, we went home feeling surprised and excited!
Pearl Street Arts Festival
The annual arts festival in downtown Boulder wasn’t on our radar during a weekend visit to Denver, but a friend was going and said we should meet up with her. The street was blocked from traffic, and vendors were set up in several rows. We found everything from wooden toys to photography printed on metal to ceramics and pottery. There were kids playing in the splash pad near the center of the street, and we even saw an aerial dancing demonstration where the dancers spun and flipped on fabric and a large ring suspended in the air. When the demo was opened to volunteers, Victoria desperately wanted to try, but was unfortunately wearing a dress and no shorts were available to borrow. This art festival should definitely be put on the calendar for any locals and for travelers passing through in July.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Shows at Red Rocks are legend in the music scene, and we had heard so much about it but were never able to experience it – until Summer 2017. Having visited the empty venue in February during our stop in Denver before traveling to Utah, we fell in love with the beautiful rock, the craftsmanship of the whole place, and the views of the mountains and downtown Denver. Our first show happened to be the Holy Grail of all shows: Widespread Panic on the Rocks. WSP hosts a 3-night run at the amphitheatre every summer, and it is nearly impossible to get tickets once they go on sale. We weren’t planning on going, but it was decided last-minute that instead of spending our first Colorado Summertime weekend in Burlington before the first day of work, we would load up and pull the RV on to Denver to see our favorite band in our now-favorite venue. Although we missed Friday night, we sang and danced with our friends Saturday and Sunday and witnessed the encore for WSP’s 54th sold out show at Red Rocks.
A few weeks later, we visited Red Rocks again for a night of bluegrass with Keller & the Keels, Leftover Salmon, and Railroad Earth. This time, we had to navigate the huge venue ourselves, but we found that there was much less traffic and people than there had been previously. Although it had been rainy and windy all day, the show still went on! All of the bands were excellent and played traditional bluegrass as well as putting their own spin on original songs and covers. This was our second time seeing Railroad Earth, and we loved being able to see them in this setting. Needless to say, Red Rocks has become one of our favorite places for live music, and I hope that we have the chance to see many more bands rock out here.
Burlington County Farm Fair
Our first experience in a tiny town has been interesting. We have learned how to handle having minimal activities available to us, and that we have to travel a long way for our normal amenities. So when we found out the the 100th annual fair and rodeo was taking place this summer, we thought we would stick around that weekend and check it out. Our friend from Denver, Molly, drove over to spend the weekend with us; we were excited to show her our temporary town and have a little southern rodeo nostalgia with her. The locals talked and talked about this event, and when the week finally came, well…we were a little let down. Not that we expected the Mississippi State Fair, but there just wasn’t much going on here. A few rides, some mediocre food vendors, and an expensive rodeo and concert ticket made up the Saturday night events. However, the Kit Carson County Carousel was a site to see, and it was really neat to see American history and art preserved in this small town.
The Old Town Museum is located in the heart of Burlington and features many past times to show how prairie life used to be. The check in and Emporium serves as a mini-history tour and gift shop; then there are 6.5 acres to explore “life in the past lane.” Almost every building has an information box with a recording explaining what each building is, where and when it was built, and any other interesting fact about the events that took place. Our favorite buildings were the school house and the pharmacy. Overall, this museum was a fun way to spend a few hours exploring and learning about the history of the plains of Colorado.