What was once a gaping hole in the ground has become a handsome building, at least on the outside, and that bodes well for the new History Colorado Center, which opens to the public today. Once inside, the history museum's long-waiting constituents will also find handsome innards, along with updated versions of the old Colorado History Museum's exhibits.
Festivities kick off this morning with a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m., featuring dignitaries, speechifying and a Colorado Symphony Orchestra brass quintet; when the doors open at 10:30 a.m., hoopla of all sorts will commence.
Costumed characters, from cowboys to astronauts, will stroll through the exhibits, and impromptu performances will range from tight-rope walkers and speed-stackers to performing pigs, cowboy poetry and music. But the main attraction will be the exhibits, both new ones and those newly revived by technology and clean, open spaces: Visitors will be able to descend into a mine shaft or send an avatar on a trading mission at Bent's Fort, walk through the town of Keota circa 1920, or stand transfixed by a timeline wall anchored by 132 interlocking LCD screens. Later in the evening, from 6 to 9 p.m., the museum will host a grown-up after-hours party, with music by John Denver tribute artist John Adams, refreshments and a quieter brand of exhibit-viewing.
The History Colorado Center is at 1200 Broadway; timed tickets for today's opening, $6 to $10 (or free for members and children ages five and under), can be purchased in advance or at the door. (Admission to the evening soiree is $20 to $25.) For tickets and information, go to www.historycolorado.org or call 303-447-8679.
Sat., April 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. & 6-9 p.m., 2012