Listen close on Saturday and you’ll hear a booming “Happy Birthday” coming from downtown Colorado Springs. Not for a special person, however. Just a special place.
Colorado will turn 143 this year, and everyone’s invited to the party. Colorado Grown Family Fun Day is a colorful day full of fun from face painting to a love bus photo booth and, of course, birthday cake.
“People from Colorado are really proud of this state,” said program coordinator Megan Poole. "When I go to other states, I don’t see people wearing their flag as much as we do. Here, you see the bumper sticker, or a T-shirt, or a flag on someone’s home. We highlight that.”
Wirewood Station will perform in an informal outdoor concert. It’s a mix of popular upbeat tunes with some country tunes thrown into the mix. It’s a time to dance, Poole said.
Four food trucks will be scattered at the event with tacos, kabobs, hamburgers, snow cones and more.
After cheering for colorful Colorado, head to Colorado Springs’ Sustain-a-Fest, a party that celebrates Mother Nature.
With more than 40 nonprofits featuring exhibits, the event will highlight various aspects of sustainability, including transportation, renewable energy, water, arts and culture, recycling and more.
“We need the city and community to sustain our high quality of life together,” said Ryan Trujillo, the city’s innovation and sustainability manager. “We want to educate those people on our efforts as well as things they can do on their own efforts to reduce their waste or their carbon footprint in their own personal lives.”
Walk through downtown and journey through a “CaveSim,” a mobile cave. Visitors are given a helmet and a light to travel through the simulator and learn the dangers, values and methods of caving. A canvas will be at Story Coffee on Bijou Street, and the piece invites all people to be artists. It’s a blank chalkboard.
“It asks the question, ‘We all share water. how do you care for our water shed?’ That’s where people would write messages or draw pictures with chalk and answer what is important to them in regard to valuing water conservation and water quality,” Trujillo said.
Sustainability is about learning balance, Trujillo said. Economy, environment and quality of life can work together to produce a better life, he added.
Things are looking up, Trujillo said, but there’s room for improvement — “not only here in Colorado Springs, but across the nation, and even globally.”