Highlands Ranch Days a return to the past

Historical celebration showcases the days that were

Attendees to Highlands Ranch Days can be expected to be treated to some beautiful Native American dancing on the mansion lawn courtesy of the Mile Hi Pow Wow Association.
Trapper Johnny treated kids to a variety of animal pelts on the porch of the Highlands Ranch Mansion at the 2012 Highlands Ranch Days. The trapper will be back again and expected to have everything from coyote to fox, raccoon, badger, possum, buffalo, bis
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An old-time tradition with something for all ages, Highlands Ranch Days returns Sept. 5-7 to the grounds of the Highlands Ranch Mansion.

An educational way to embrace history, while having some fun at the same time, kids will have the opportunity to get hands-on with blacksmiths, animals at a petting zoo and talk with Trapper Johnny, who will no doubt have a nice variety of pelts on display for all to see and feel.

From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. all three days children, and adults alike, will have the chance to glimpse the past up close as docents offer tours of the mansion and tell of times in the region long before the mansion and ranch existed.

There will also be hayrides to areas of the ranch not typically seen by the public, a real chuckwagon, livestock displays and a chance to enjoy Native American traditional dancing as presented by the Mile Hi Pow Wow Association.

“What I think people really enjoy about it, is that it is so educational,” said Highlands Ranch Community Association spokeswoman Jamie Noebel. “Parents get to enter the mansion, and the kids get to really enjoy the hands-on history, which I think is a huge benefit and a lot of fun. It’s really a beautiful way to spend part of your day. I just can’t emphasize enough what a fun event it is.”

Other features of the three-day event include beekeepers, gold-panners, wool spinners, and HRCA Backcountry Wilderness Area and Douglas County Open Space educators talking about available programs. Hawk Quest will also bring in predatory birds native to Colorado, allowing visitors a chance to see the birds up close. 

Thursday and Friday the grounds will be heavily occupied with fourth- and fifth-grade classes from schools all over Highlands Ranch as the kids soak in local history as part of their lesson plans. Saturday, Family Day will kick off at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast put on by the Lions Club in the parking lot.

There will be limited parking at the mansion the first two days, but come Saturday all attendees are asked to walk to the mansion, 9900 Ranch Rd., or park at Mountain Vista High School, 10585 Mountain Vista Ridge, and catch the free shuttle.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate only and are $4 for adults and $2 for kids ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free. Tickets for the pancake breakfast are separate and in addition to the admission price. The pancake breakfast, from 8-11 a.m., is $7 for adults and $4 for children. All proceeds of the breakfast go directly to the Lions Club.

The event is co-sponsored by the Highlands Ranch Cultural Affairs Association, the Highlands Ranch Metro District and the Highlands Ranch Historical Society. There will be food and beverage vendors on site.

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