Colorful Colorado sign lives on at History Colorado

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My favorite artifact on display at the new History Colorado Center is an old "Colorful Colorado" sign right by the fabulous floor map of Colorado, riddled with bullet holes and sporting colored-in lettering -- vandalism, according to the highway workers who took down the sign. History, according to History Colorado.

For decades, travelers have posed by these decidedly uncolorful signs that welcome people to Colorado without irony, their rustic lettering looking like some summer-camp wood-burning project. That page of history was almost ripped out seven years ago when, under Governor Bill Owens, there was an ill-fated attempt to remove the increasingly decrepit signs and replace them with weather-proof (and bulletproof) logos that looked like so much corporate branding.

But Coloradans fought back against that, giving a great back-story to the sign at History Colorado -- not that you'll find any mention of that debacle there. Maybe the chapter will be added one day to this work-in-progress museum, along with a spot where this state's visitors and residents can upload the photos they take as they enter the state.

And yesterday offered another snapshot of the people who decide to call Colorado home: my parents, who crossed the border in a minivan brigade, the next stop on a journey that started more than eight decades ago.

One of the great things about this state is how, against a stunning backdrop, people feel empowered to add their own color, bringing endless creativity to Colorado...no matter their origins, no matter their age.

Is everyone moving to Colorado? According to the Brookings Institute, more 25-to-34-year-olds move to the metro area over the past three years than any other city. Read more in "Fifteen reasons why young people are moving to Colorado."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.