Boom Town

Let’s hear it for the noise! Today is the kickoff of Leadville Boom Days, a living tribute to the history of one of Colorado’s most notorious mining towns. The event attracts thousands to the town (elevation 10,000 feet) for three days of mining competitions, live music, local food and the crowd favorite: pack-burro racing. During Boom Days, Leadville hosts one leg of the Triple Crown of burro racing, which is the only sport indigenous to Colorado. (It was named the state’s official sport in 2012.)

But Boom Days isn’t just about rolling out the burro: It pays homage to the miners who made the town what it is. Spectators cheer on real-life miners as they compete with chisels and hammers for cash prizes — and adults and kids alike can enter their own amateur contests. “The children actually get to experience what it’s like to be a miner and shovel a ton of gravel into an ore cart in a set period of time — they totally wear themselves out,” says Bud Elliott, former mayor of Leadville and a current ambassador for Boom Days.

A parade, pancake breakfast, motorcycle rodeo and period-dress 1880s Costume Mosey are also part of the multi-day mountain shindig, which has been going strong for more than sixty years. Leadville Boom Days runs through Sunday in Leadville; for more information, visit
Aug. 1-3, 2014

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies