With Buffalo Bill Days on hiatus, some reflections on Days gone by

Fans and supporters talk memories, what they'll miss

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/20/20

For the first time in decades, there will be no mutton bustin' in Lions Park this year. The parade down Washington Avenue won't happen either, and the giant turkey legs will go uneaten. Even Buffalo …

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With Buffalo Bill Days on hiatus, some reflections on Days gone by

Fans and supporters talk memories, what they'll miss

Posted

For the first time in decades, there will be no mutton bustin' in Lions Park this year. The parade down Washington Avenue won't happen either, and the giant turkey legs will go uneaten. Even Buffalo Bill is taking the year off.

But with no Buffalo Bill Days to look forward to this July (thanks for nothing COVID-19), the Golden Transcript decided to take a look back. So here are Goldenites (and some BBD fanatics from out of town) in their own words on what they remember — and will miss — most about the event that has defined summer in Golden like none other, and which will do the same this year with its absence.

What they remember

“I'll miss not getting to put on a party for 45,000 people: the sights, the sounds and smells (food). I'm going to miss the people I only see once a year. Yeah, it's a lot of work arranging for and setting up all the equipment, but the joy and smiles of the kids, the socializing by everyone, the music, parade, car show, Cody's Wild West, and everyone's favorite mutton bustin'. This would have been my 19th consecutive year, and I will truly will miss everything about BBD. Next year is on my planner! — Bob Bush, volunteer

“My favorite memory is of Bill Pazar giving the opening `Howdy Folks; Welcome to Golden' at 5 on Friday night.  He did this for many years until his death in 2008.  Bill and his wife, Charlene, along with many other volunteers kept Buffalo Bill Days going for over 20 years.  Theirs were big shoes to fill.” — Buffalo Bill Days President Joy Bauman

“One of my favorite memories is the year the Cody family came. They were just amazing people and we had cocktails with them and they rode in the parade with us and they stayed during the whole rain storm. This year I am also going to miss the camaraderie of the people we worked with. The BBD community is just all really nice people.” — Lee Michels and David Wright, Monarch Productions

“I've volunteered with Buffalo Bill Days for over 20 years.  The event is the largest annual event in Golden that has changed over the years in so many different ways.  I remember with fun [with] the water brigade teams that used buckets to fill a large container up a ladder.  Another year there were burros with their handlers (or sometimes just that human who tried to be in control) racing up Table Mountain and then back to Washington Avenue.

One year there were lizards and rabbits and dogs of all kinds for the children to learn about.  We've had western gunfights in downtown Golden.  More recently we have had a colorful copy of a wild west production that looks like what Buffalo Bill presented to the world so many years ago. There was that year when white gloved volunteers presented "buffalo pies" for contestants to toss down Washington Avenue. There always has been wonderful parades, food vendors, children rides and arts and craft vendors. I love that there has always been something for everyone. - Katherine Porter, volunteer

What they'll miss

“I will really miss sitting on the patio of the Ace Hi Tavern and drinking the most awesome Bloody Mary while watching the parade. The most memorable thing is always the El Jebel Shriners riding their cycles through the Ace Hi from the alley to the front and then partaking in cold beverages and seeing the joy in everyone that knows what the Shriners stand for. I have lived in Golden all my life and I will miss seeing all the people I grew up with, their children and now our grandchildren watching the best parade in Colorado. I will still be at the Ace Hi to have my Bloody Mary and hope to see some of the true Goldenites that made every year a success. — Delora Black, attendee

“My favorite part of Buffalo Bill Days is seeing all the kids' (1 to 100) faces light up as we ride down Main Street at the front of the parade. They know what's to come behind us. I will get the crowds yelling `yeehaw' on both sides of the street, competing to see which side can yell the loudest. By the end of the parade, my voice is almost gone. But then I have to bellow it out again for Cody's Wild West performance at the park. Afterwards, we spend time with the kids answering questions, signing autographs and taking pictures. Again, the smiles and looks of awe on the faces is our reward from them. That's what I'll miss. — Lance Michels, portrays Buffalo Bill Cody at the festival

“I'll miss the excitement in the city and the fun in Parfet Park.  As a Lion, I saw the fun and lots of people first-hand and up close while manning the Rotary Cub booth and serving beer at the Lions' pavilion on Washington Street.  I look forward to the same fun and excitement next year.  Oh, and getting a turkey drumstick!” — Golden City Councilman Paul Haseman

As a family, we have attended BBD for years. I was always impressed with the variety and quality of the vendors. So much fun walking around checking it all out. In recent years the bird exhibit was a great addition. Educational and interesting for all. Good food, good music, all you could ask for. — Vicky Peters, attendee

“We will sure miss Chris Daniels and the Kings.” — Brenda Janssen, attendee

“We are disappointed to miss out on our first mutton bustin'. My oldest son saw the kids last year and could not wait to sign up. Next year.” — Samantha Wheeler, attendee

“I'll miss the sense of our community coming together in celebration and the feeling that we step back in time in the process. Buffalo Bill Days gives me the impression of America in a simpler, less political time. I will also miss seeing my friends and neighbors and their children who will carry on the celebration for future generations.” — Golden City Councilman Rob Reed

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