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Boulder’s Central Park: Marking 100 Years by Telling Hundreds of Years of Stories

June 21 - August 19

In Boulder, Colorado, collective memories often revolve around the vibrant events that define our community spirit. The annual Boulder Creek Fest on Memorial Day weekend is a cherished tradition, highlighted by the lively rubber duck race down Boulder Creek. Other nostalgic moments include strolling through the bustling Boulder Farmer’s Market, joining together at the iconic Bandshell for protests or jubilant celebrations, and participating in efforts to support unhoused individuals by distributing food, clothing, and essentials in Central Park.

Central Park has always served as a pivotal space for Boulderites to convene, organize, and connect. The initial planting of the Park was completed in 1924. The park’s layout was designed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers from Boston, esteemed landscape architects of their time. While the city was responsible for clearing the land, much of the park’s planting was accomplished through the dedication of volunteer residents and service organizations. Initially used for community gatherings, picnics, and holiday celebrations, Central Park truly flourished with the completion of the Bandshell in 1938, ushering in more formal activities and concerts.

Through an upcoming exhibit and associated programs, we aim to shed light on the rich 100-year-old history of this timeless gathering place, showcasing its multifaceted role in fostering the arts, activism, celebration, community, and the preservation of green spaces in Boulder.

Join us for a series of lectures exploring the history of Boulder’s Central Park.
Boulder’s Central Park series launch:
June 28: Arapaho Youth Cultural Exchange
June 29: Boulder’s Central Park 100 Year Commemoration Event

Boulder’s Central Park Lecture Series:
July 2: A Brief Arapaho and Indigenous History of the Area featuring Ava Hamilton
July 9: Olmsted Jr. and the Boulder “Improvers” featuring Peter Pollock
July 17: History of the Outdoor Industry featuring Rachel Gross
July 19, 5:30 – 7:00 PM – Unheard Voices of Boulder: A Community Conversation featuring Lindsay Shermeta and Bridge House
July 23: The Displaced Residents of Boulder’s Central Park featuring Clare Brandt
July 30: Central Park’s Architectural Landmarks featuring Leonard Segel