Grant County’s ’62 Days Celebration will mark its 100th year when the two-day festival kicks off June 11 at Sels Brewery in Canyon City.
The event, which marks the discovery of gold in Canyon City in 1862, will feature vendors on both nights of the festival.
With a parade, a mock gun fight, a mock hanging in the town square, gold panning lessons for kids, the 5K Gold Rush Run and Walk and a cornhole tournament, the “spirit of 1862” and Canyon City’s unique and colorful history will be on display.
Colby Farrell, of the Whiskey Gulch Gang that organizes the celebration, said historical events like ’62 Days are essential in educating younger generations about the rich history of Canyon City.
Farrell said keeping the “spirit of 1862” alive by dressing up in costumes from the mid-1800s and reenacting shootouts and hangings in the town square is about having fun and remembering how Grant County came to be — the discovery of gold in Canyon City.
Farrell, born and raised in Canyon City and in his early 40s, said teachers, many of whom were locals, had the history passed down to them.
“We learned a lot of Grant County, Canyon City history in school,” he said. “ I don’t think there’s as much of that. Younger people just don’t know how much of a history Canyon City has.”
In passing down the history, organizers brought back the “Teen Costume Dance Party” the second night of the event this year.
Farrell said there will be two high school reunions during that weekend. He said he knows of people coming from the East Coast just for ‘62 Days.
Farrell said the festival looks like it will be the county’s first social gathering with no COVID-19 restrictions in over a year.
“This is really important that it could be the kick-off event in getting back to normal,” he said. “It’s a chance to get together finally after all of this time and get back to being a community.”