Western Welcome Week originated almost a century ago

This year's event adds a symphony concert at Hudson Gardens

Sonya Ellingboe
sellingboe@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/26/21

In 1928, the late Houstoun Waring, nationally recognized editor of the Littleton Independent, wanted to bring attention to the then-40-year-old paper by celebrating the 100th birthday of Richard …

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Western Welcome Week originated almost a century ago

This year's event adds a symphony concert at Hudson Gardens

Posted

In 1928, the late Houstoun Waring, nationally recognized editor of the Littleton Independent, wanted to bring attention to the then-40-year-old paper by celebrating the 100th birthday of Richard Little, the surveyor who founded Littleton.

That was the root of what we now know as Western Welcome Week, the 93rd edition of which runs Aug. 13-22.

The community, then as now, was ready to celebrate, and the first event was called “Homecoming.” Everyone who had visited or lived in Littleton was invited to come home.

The original May date was changed to August when Waring was reminded that train fares went down in August, according to an online history, with the hope that folks would want to travel then.

Arts were a part of the celebration from the first, when a play called “Adam and Eva” was performed by the Littleton Dramatic Club, to benefit the Littleton Hose Company’s Christmas Tree Fund. (The hose company was then something of a social service agency, as well as a fire department, it would seem.)

Local people were invited to decorate their trucks and participate in a parade, with the grand marshal, Mayor Charles Louthan, riding on the town water wagon dressed in a Prince Albert costume. Louthan’s family home is now Littleton’s popular Cafe Terracotta restaurant.

In 1962, the event was renamed Western Welcome Week. It grew from one parade day to a weeklong celebration. The Grand Parade, canceled last year, will be held Aug. 21 this year.

Other Western Welcome Week-related events:

• The “All Colorado Art Show” opens at the Depot Art Gallery from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 13, continuing through the week and after.

• Also on Aug. 13, Kyle Allgood & the NoGoods perform at Sterne Park from 8 to 9 p.m. You might want to bring a picnic and stake out a spot on the lawn earlier. The concert will be followed by fireworks from 9 to 9:30 p.m.

• Bega Park will be the site for the 31st Outdoor Art Market, presented by Littleton Fine Arts Guild, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 14.

• Architecture and stories about past residents will fill the Historic Littleton Inc. walking tour on Aug. 19 along Main Street. Meet at the courthouse before 5 p.m.

• Littleton First Presbyterian Church will host the 34th Annual Quilt Show and Used Book Sale on Aug. 20 and 21, with family treasures and recently stitched quilts draped over sanctuary benches. A used book sale will also be at the church an Aug. 20 and 21.

• Which brings us to Aug. 21, when the 61st Craft and Home Improvement Fair will fill Downtown Littleton. This used to be called an art show and there will be fine crafts (textiles, pottery, wood crafts) and perhaps some paintings, photos and prints, but the Depot’s ongoing “All Colorado Art Show” will be the place to seek fine arts.

• Town Hall Arts Center will also have an exhibit of works by Littleton Fine Arts Guild members in its Stanton Gallery through Western Welcome Week.

• The week will end with a new event on Aug. 22: A Littleton Symphony concert at Hudson Gardens. (This requires a ticket from Eventbrite, which can be acquired free online at tinyurl.com/LittletonSymphony0822, but the symphony, hit by COVID issues like all arts organizations, hopes you will buy a ticket for $10.)

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