How to celebrate Colorado Springs’ 150th birthday

The first hotel and restaurant in Colorado Springs circa 1871, the year Colorado Springs was established. Photo credit: Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Collection.

On July 31, 2021, Colorado Springs will turn 150 years old and celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary.

In recognition of Colorado Springs and UCCS’ interwoven histories, the university will join in the festivities. Below, find ways to discover Colorado Springs’ colorful history and celebrate the sesquicentennial each month, beginning in February and culminating in the Downtown Festival on July 31.


“UCCS & Colorado Springs – Growing Up Together”
Feb. 17, 5:30 – 6:15 p.m.

Attend a lecture by Provost Emerita Peg Bacon, which will showcase the university’s humble beginnings on the Cragmor campus and span UCCS’ exploding growth of the 21st century.


Chasing the Cure: The Archaeology of Cragmor Tuberculosis Sanatorium
Mar. 18, 5:30 – 6:15 p.m.

Attend a lecture by Karen Larkin, assistant professor of anthropology, on the archeology of the Cramgor Tuberculosis Sanatorium, where 10,000 year old archaeological artifacts can be found next to early 20th century glass medicine bottles.


Exploring Our Urban Forest
Apr. 10, 2–3 p.m.

Attend a lecture on Colorado Springs’ urban forest presented by Christine Biermann, assistant professor of geography and environmental studies, and Dennis Will, city forester.

150 Trees Challenge
April 2021

Support UCCS’ tree canopy by contributing to the UCCS 150 Trees crowdfunding campaign. Donations will support the purchase and maintenance of 150 new trees on campus.


Colorado Springs Past, Present and Future: Health & Wellness
May 2021

Discover Colorado Springs’ rich tradition of health and wellness and get a glimpse of where the city’s initiatives are moving in the future.


Beards, Bonnets & Brews Festival
June 12, 2021

Hosted at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, this outdoor party will offer a good time for people of all ages. Enjoy local live music, beverage tastings, games popular in the late 1800s, actors playing historic roles and a celebration of the histories of Native Coloradans.

You can also compete for the title of Best Beard or Best Bonnet (or both.)


Sesquicentennial Gala
July 17, 2021

This formal, ticketed event will be held at the Broadmoor International Center and will feature 1871 décor and food. It is hosted by the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation.

Downtown Festival
July 31, 2021

A community parade through time will kick off the festivities on Tejon Street, followed by live music, food and fun in downtown Colorado Springs. Scaled and virtual options of this event are being planned as well.

For even more festivities, visit the Colorado Springs Sesquicentennial website.