Highlands Ranch Pioneer Days celebrates state history

Annual event takes place at Highlands Ranch Mansion

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Students from about 22 Douglas County schools recently attended the annual Highlands Ranch Pioneer Days to learn about the state’s history and culture.

The three-day event from Sept. 5-7 hosted a variety of vendors and booths to inspire students to ask questions and discover new information.

Teachers and chaperones guided elementary-age children through a variety of programs, including a tour of the Highlands Ranch Mansion, a petting zoo and a pony ride.

The children “light up” during the event, said event organizer Amanda Arnce, who works with the Highlands Ranch Community Association.

Students also had the opportunity to watch a live demonstration of traditional Native American dances. A group called The Northern Southern Plains Indian Dancers and Singers explained each dance, including some intended for healing, victory and friendship.

After the dance demonstration, representatatives from the nonprofit Nature’s Educators exhibited a bull snake, a peregrine falcon and an owl.

For Arnice, one of the event’s most important parts is showing children what life was like before modern technology.

For instance, she said, “they can see how different it has become and how much of an advantage they have with plumbing. It’s interesting for them to see where they came from and where their ancestors got their fur and meat and how they used to live.”

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