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With a diverse range of outdoor activities, beautiful landscapes and countryside, plenty of educational opportunities and a thriving arts scene, the culture of the picturesque state of Colorado certainly deserves to be honored. And Colorado Day is just the perfect time to do it. 

Join in on the fun and excitement by showing appreciation for this state and giving a nod or a cheer for the 38th state to join the union on this Colorado Day!

History of Colorado Day

The US state of Colorado has likely been inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years, including Puebloans, Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne and others. The first Europeans to settle in the area that is now Colorado came in the early 17th century from Spain, and the area had its share of various explorers, trappers, traders and settlers over the next two centuries.

In 1803, the United States gained claim to the eastern portion of Colorado through the Louisiana Purchase. Several decades later, Colorado was established as a state on August 1, 1876 after President Ulysses S. Grant gave his approval for the territory to join as the 38th state in the Union. This admittance as a state came after quite a difficult journey of more than a decade.

In the 1860s, Colorado requested statehood through a bill which was approved by Congress but then President Andrew Johnson vetoed the request twice. Although Johnson claimed that it was because the population was too small or that the people didn’t really want statehood as it would create a tax burden, historians suspect his motivations were much less honorable.

This decision to veto the state may have had more to do with the fact that Colorado was likely to have Republican leanings which went against Johnson’s Democratic party. In addition, the bill came in with the agreement that the state would offer equal suffrage to both black and white people, which Johnson also didn’t agree with.

Eventually, however, Colorado overcame these obstacles and the territory took its place as one of the United States. Because the state was admitted the same year as the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it is sometimes known as the Centennial State.

Colorado Day celebrates everything that has to do with this mountainous and beautiful state. With large cities like Denver and Colorado Springs, cool college town vibes in places like Boulder and Ft. Collins, and quaint mountain towns like Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte, there’s something for just about anyone in this magnificent state!

Colorado Day Timeline


Colorado gold rush kicks off 

Thousands of gold seekers head west, founding several towns including Denver, Boulder, Breckenridge and others.[1]


Colorado becomes a territory 

The combination of the eastern part of Colorado, acquired during the Louisiana Purchase, and the western section from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, is joined to become an official US territory.[2]

August 1, 1876

Colorado becomes a state

With its original bid for statehood vetoed, Colorado finally enters the Union as the 38th state.[3]


Women get equal voting rights in Colorado

This progressive state is ahead of the nation as a whole by more than 25 years, giving women the right to vote.[4]


Colorado flag becomes a state icon

The blue and white stripes with a Red “C” and yellow circle becomes the representative of the state.[5]

How to Celebrate Colorado Day

Looking for ways to enjoy and celebrate Colorado Day? Get creative with it, and get started making some exciting plans by using some of these ideas:

Visit Colorado

Of course, those who are residents of Colorado are already there but they can still participate in some tourist-like activities in celebration of Colorado Day. But for everyone else, perhaps this would be a great time to plan a visit to this magnificent state, whether for the first time or after dozens of visits. With more than 100,000 total square miles of the state to discover, there will certainly be plenty to do on a visit!

The state of Colorado has a little bit of everything, from tons of mountains and trails for those who love to explore the outdoors to interesting historical sites. There is also plenty of nightlife in some of the larger cities, as well as access to extreme sports in any season, whether sunny or snowy, with outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, snowboarding, skiing, zip lining, mountain biking, climbing, horseback riding and so much more!

Join Colorado Day Activities in Denver

Especially in honor of Colorado’s birthday, the city capital city of Denver offers all sorts of events to join in on. With a festival at the History Colorado Center, entrance to all of Colorado’s state parks on the day, admission to The Center for Colorado Women’s History and celebrations at the Colorado State Capitol building, there’s so much to do and see on this day!

Learn Facts About Colorado 

An excellent way to pay homage to Colorado Day might be to learn some interesting facts about the identity and history of this state. Do a little online search to learn more, or check out and share some of these interesting bits of trivia to get started:

  • Colorado’s mountains take up space that is six times as large as the country of Switzerland!

  • The altitude of Colorado is very high. In fact, the state holds 75% of the country’s land that measures at over 10,000 feet, and the state is also home to 56 of the country’s 91 mountains that measure over 14,000 feet.

  • The words of Katherine Lee Bates’ song America the Beautiful were inspired by views from the top of Pikes Peak, located just west of Colorado Springs.

  • Colorado is one of four states of the “Four Corners”. This is the place where the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet and it is the only place in the US where it’s possible to stand at the crossroads of four states at the same time.

Check Out the Colorado State Fair

Those who are interested in getting to know more about the people and culture of this state in celebration of Colorado Day might want to join in on the state fair, which usually takes place in late August. The state fairgrounds are located in Pueblo, which is located less than two hours south of Denver and less than an hour from Colorado Springs. The state fair offers tons of activities, including things to do for the whole family. From livestock tours to dog shows, from music and cooking to circus acts, the event is filled with access to people and culture that hail from all over the state. And, of course, while there, be sure not to miss out on the rodeo shows, which are a deeply embedded part of Colorado’s amazing culture. 

Colorado Day FAQs

What time is it in Colorado?

Colorado is in the Mountain Standard Time Zone, which is -7 UTC (Universal Time Coordinated).[1]

Does Colorado have state income tax?

Yes, the income tax for the state of Colorado is typically over 4%.[2]

Has Colorado hosted the Olympics?

While the governor and business leaders worked to win a bid for the 1976 Olympics, the state’s voters refused to fund the game so they were held in Austria.[3]

Is Colorado a good place to live?

Many people would consider Colorado a positive state to live in, with a thriving economy, access to nature, and a high quality of life.[4]

Does Colorado have tornadoes?

Yes. Each year the state of Colorado experiences more than 50 tornadoes on average.[5]

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