Events to Celebrate Cañon City’s 150th Anniversary in 2022

The 150th anniversary celebration of Cañon City has been running all year long, but it really starts to kick into gear this season! Find festivals, concerts, and more in the Royal Gorge Region now until the end of this year in celebration of our city’s sesquicentennial. The biggest event of the year at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is the Ultimate Bluegrass Experience, Béla Fleck on his My Bluegrass Heart tour. Here is a list of many more events coming up in the next few months in the Royal Gorge Region:

Cañon City’s 150th Anniversary Events

1. Sesquicentennial Concert – September 16th

Get your tickets for Friday, September 16th to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park for our biggest musical event of the year! Multi-Grammy Award-winning Béla Fleck tours for the first time in 24 years and he is coming to Southern Colorado. He is known for his extreme talents in Bluegrass, along with a variety of music genres. The concert will be held at the Elk Park Amphitheater under the stars at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Concert gate opens at 5:30 pm but guests are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy all the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park has to offer. Make sure you snag a good seat early enough to watch the opening band, multi-Grammy nominated Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. Buy your tickets here!

Cañon City’s 150th Anniversary Events

2. Growing Up in Cañon – September 2nd

Looking for an evening filled with good ol’ fashioned summer fun? Come with the Lions Club to Veterans Park in Cañon City from 4:30 to 7:30 pm for September’s First Friday Event! This month’s theme is all about what is was like to spend a childhood in Cañon City. You will find a fun stuffy parade, and grab your bike, scooter, or skateboard to join the races. A vintage bike show will take place, followed by a sunset ride to Tunnel Drive. What would a summer night be without live music? Dance to the live performance by Applewood, then fill up from local food trucks for yummy eats and treats for sale.

3. Ute, Ancestral Nation – October 7th

Our entire region of Southern Colorado, and even beyond, is heavily steeped in Native American history. The Ute tribe are one of the biggest influencers of our area and there is much to learn about Cañon City through their perspective. For updated information on this First Friday event in October, click here.

Cañon City’s 150th year consists of yearlong celebrations of the city’s incorporation in 1872! Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to learn themes of history and education surrounding our city’s development, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship, social equity and our democracy, as well as arts and leisure. The biggest event held at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park in partnership with the City of Cañon City is the Ultimate Bluegrass Experience by multi Grammy award-winner, Béla Fleck. His tour, My Bluegrass Heart, is his first in 24 years and includes a stop at our very own Royal Gorge Bridge & Park Friday, September 16th! With support from the City of Cañon City, Cañon City Chamber of Commerce, the Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center, and the generous contributions of Cañon City residents, businesses, and organizations, we bring you a year full of events and fun!

Find more events in Cañon City through the rest of 2022, such as the signature event on October 8th – the Temple Cañon and Ute Tribe Celebration, Bridge to the Future First Friday event on November 4th, and Miracle on Main Street Holiday Festival First Friday event on December 2nd. Our team at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is excited to be part of this yearlong celebration of Cañon City’s 150th anniversary! Read more about the events, the city’s history, and more on the sesquicentennial organizers’ website here.

History of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, Cañon City

Long before any settlers arrived, today the land we call the Royal Gorge Region was home to the Uncompahgre Ute people. Then, Fremont County was organized in 1862 and the City of Cañon City was incorporated by 1872 by George Rockafellow. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad ran its first trains through the Royal Gorge in 1880, then the population boom began! The Royal Gorge Bridge, which remains today as America’s Highest Suspension Bridge, was constructed in 1929. A team of about 80 brave men built the suspension bridge, wooden planks and all, in about 7 months from June to December. The bridge was an engineering feat of its time and was successfully constructed without any injuries or deaths. The Royal Gorge Bridge has never been part of any highway system. It was built specifically for the enjoyment of the natural scenery by those who come across it. Our region is special in the sense of history, innovation, and a strong community. Don’t miss our anniversary events in 2022 and purchase your tickets today!