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The annual Buena Vista Gold Rush Days festival returns Aug. 10 and 11 for another round of food, fun and community celebration.

This year, the Gold Rush Days festival is making a venue change to accommodate growth and to incorporate the entirety of Buena Vista’s growing marketplace.

Previously, Gold Rush Days has been held in McPhelemy Park adjacent to U.S. 24 and Main Street. This year, in conjunction with the Town of Buena Vista, the festival will set up in River Park.

Located on the east end of East Main St. and within walking distance to both South Main and Buena Vista’s historic downtown, the River Park offers a safe, spacious and accessible location.

“[Buena Vista] is excited to facilitate Gold Rush Days being held at the Town River Park,” said Buena Vista’s Recreation Director Earl Richmond. “We hope that this venue will support the space needed for the rapid growth of the event and all of the new vendors that have committed to being here.”

This year’s festival will feature a host of events— both new and old.

The Lariat, a premier live-music venue in Buena Vista’s historic downtown, collaborated with the Chamber of Commerce to put together a brand-new music lineup for the festival weekend.

Three consecutive shows will begin starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, with Mama Magnolia. Gingerbomb takes the stage at 1 p.m., and Whitewater Ramble rounds out the afternoon beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 11 features Boot Gun at 10:30 a.m., Mo’Champipple at 12:30 p.m., and Bruce Hayes and the Ragged Mountain Bluegrass at 3 p.m.

All music shows will take place on the live music stage across from the entrance tent.

Interested in the performing arts? Consider dropping in to the Heritage Museum on Friday or Saturday night.

The Claim Jumpers, a local theater group, will perform a medicine man show on Friday, August 9 at 7 p.m.

Claim Jumpers actors at rehearsal for their medicine man show. (Photo courtesy of Jennie Wright)

The show will blend humor with history, and is appropriate for all ages. Tickets are $10.

Madams of Central Colorado will perform on Saturday, August 10 at 7 p.m.

Watch and learn as the Madams act out a night in the house. This show is appropriate for ages 13 and over. Tickets are $15.

The vendor map for the 2019 Gold Rush Days festival. (Click to enlarge)

Numerous local and regional organizations and businesses are participating in this year’s event. Eddyline Brewery is sponsoring the beer garden. The Buena Vista Circus is hosting two shows, face painting and tumbling activities while the Central Colorado Unmanned Aerial Systems Club is stabling a Drone cage for demonstrations, education and drone-flying.

The Triple Crown Burro Race commences on Sunday at 10 a.m. in front of the Buena Vista Roastery.

The route for the 2019 Triple Crown Burro Race (click to enlarge).

Toilet Seat Races, a town-favorite, will be held immediately after the Burros take off. There will be races for children and adults.

The festival is family-friendly and features an entire category of activities for families and kids. This category includes Euro Bungee, water bubbles, a dunk take, bounce house, and face painting.

Attendees can treat themselves and their families to ice cream, snow cones and popcorn. Vendors will also be offering toys, games and clothing.

Vendors will be offering plenty of sweets during Gold Rush Days.

For the first time, Gold Rush Days has dedicated an entire section of the spacious River Park Venue to arts and crafts vendors. The section will highlight both local artists and those from throughout Colorado.

Vulcan Glass is offering live demonstrations every hour during the festival. Other artisans include woodworkers, knifemakers, potters and musical instrument craftsmen.

The Civil War Encampment, a staple of the Gold Rush Days Festival, will once again relive the history of a Civil War-era campsite. First Colorado Company D will inhabit the encampment. Covering 6,400 square feet,  the camp will demonstrate how people lived in the 1860s. First Colorado Company D actors will camp at the site for the duration of the festival.

Gold Rush Days will feature reenactments of civil-war era living.

First Colorado Company D will put on numerous reenactment events during Gold Rush Days. Many of these events will take place more than once, so don’t panic if you miss one. The schedule of reenactment events is as follows

10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Civil War Recruiting Station – Learn to march and drill as it was done in the 1860s
11 a.m. – 12 noon Civil War Encampment – Hands-on Demonstration of spinning, tatting or quilting.


11 a.m. – 12 noon. Civil War Encampment – Learn how the Mountain Howitzer was operated.
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Reenactment Stage – Shootout in BV – Buena Vista History comes to life on the Reenactment Stage! This skit was inspired and written by Jim Vowell with Fairway Independent Mortgage. Actors include some of the local high and middle school students, BV Heritage staff and other local talents. It is a show not to be missed, shown three times during this event.
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Civil War Encampment – A Victorian Tea by reservation, drop-ins if seating is available. This is a free event.
3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Reenactment Stage – Shootout in BV – Buena Vista History comes to life on the Reenactment Stage!
4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Reenactment Stage – Musket Demonstration. Learn how the Model 1861 Springfield musket used in the Civil War.

SUNDAY, Aug. 11
8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Cowboy Church at Main Music Stage with Carole and Randy Barnes
11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Reenactment Stage – “Yield Not to Temptation or a Promise to Mother” a 1860s tableau presented by 1st. Colorado Company D.
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Reenactment Stage – Shootout in BV – Buena Vista History comes to life on the Reenactment Stage!
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Civil War Encampment – Hands-on Demonstrations of spinning, tatting or quilting.