Arvada Celebrates 120 Years

Arvada – (May 20, 2024) The City of Arvada, in partnership with Visit Arvada, the Arvada Economic Development Association (AEDA), the Olde Town Business Improvement District (BID), the Arvada Chamber of Commerce and other local partners will be celebrating the 120th anniversary of the incorporation of Arvada, Colorado this summer.

“In 120 years, Arvada has grown from just 500 residents to more than 120,000 spread over two counties, Jefferson and Adams,” City Manager Lorie Gillis said. “As we celebrate our unique past this summer, we also look to the future and continue our journey of making Arvada, Colorado a great place to live, work and play.”

The festivities begin in June with the recognition of the first documented discovery of gold in the Rocky Mountain region. On June 22 in 1850, Lewis Ralston, a Georgia prospector, was headed for the California gold fields. That day, though, he found a quarter ounce of gold in a small stream near its mouth at Clear Creek in Arvada, Colorado. It was worth $5 in 1850, and would be worth more than $1,000 today!

Events will be held throughout the summer with special recognition of the 120th anniversary during the Arvada Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Arvada July 11, the Arvada Festival’s Commission’s Arvada on Tap July 13 and culminating with a celebration that will be held August 24, 2024 during Arvada Days with free, old-fashioned family fun at Clear Creek Valley Park.

The City of Arvada was formally incorporated on August 14, 1904. It’s always been a city of “firsts” – from the first documented gold strike, to the first King Soopers grocery store and the first traffic light in Jefferson County at the intersection of Grandview and Olde Wadsworth. Many miners who didn’t discover gold turned to farming and Arvada was the first “Celery Capital of the World.”

Today, Arvada is home to more than 3,000 businesses from world-class ski glove and golf club cover manufacturers to breweries, food manufacturers and car wash developers. Many of these businesses began as “firsts.” School House Kitchen and Libations in Olde Town is housed in the first Arvada school built in 1882 and it now serves 1882 different kinds of whiskey. The Arvada Tavern, also in Olde Town, dates back to Prohibition when it became the first establishment to legally serve alcohol in 1933, and the first establishment to receive a delivery of Coors beer. Carly’s Boutique/Eli Ashby in Olde Town is the oldest building in Arvada. It was built in 1874 by Dr. Richard Russell who also became Arvada’s first Mayor in 1904.

The city is home to 100 parks with a park within a 10-minute walk of every resident. Arvada is also home to seven breweries, 10 locally-owned coffee shops, three golf courses and two disc golf courses and a world-class performing arts center. With 120 hiking and biking trails covering 797 miles, numerous swimming pools, tennis and pickleball courts, skating rinks and skate parks, there is something for everyone.

Family oriented events, many free, take place year round and this summer is no exception. Visit Arvada for these fun events:  

Arvada Farmers Market Every Sunday, June – September 9am – 1:30pm Olde Town Square  

Yoga in the Park Free every Saturday, June – September 9am – 10am McIlovy Park, 5750 Upham Street

Majestic View Nature Center Events and programming ongoing, fun for all ages
Apex Park and Recreation District Indoor water park, splash pad and fun events
Summer at the Center Theatrical and musical performances at the Arvada Center
Bike Friendly Arvada Community bicycle rides
Movies Around Town Free outdoor movies
Olde Town’s Second Saturdays Summer Concert Series and Street Festival
Apex’s Thursday evening concert series at McIlvoy Park
Independence Day Fireworks
Taste of Arvada 2024 Culinary bites and sips from more  than 50 vendors
Arvada on Tap 
Craft beer and BBQ sampling
Arvada Days Old-fashioned family fun at Clear Creek Valley Park
Olde Town Shindig All things art, murals, and music
Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival Olde Town Arvada becomes the center of the jazz guitar universe for a weekend

 Many Arvada businesses will be offering specials during the summer to commemorate the 120th anniversary. Enjoy $2 off a full pour of GOLD STRIKE KOLSCH June 15–July 15, 2024 at Odyssey Beerwerks. Light, crisp, and refreshing, this golden elixir was named for the site of the first gold discovery in Colorado, just across the street from the brewery. At The Lashing Room, get $120 Arvada anniversary eyelash extensions through September 30, 2024. Outside The Box will be giving away a Swedish dishcloth with the 120th Arvada anniversary logo while supplies last on Saturday, June 22 and have logoed pallet coasters for purchase. School House Kitchen and Libations is featuring 120 whiskeys for $12 or under or a 120ml of Frosé for just $1.20 from June 1–August 24, 2024. Secret Level patrons can enjoy a Chicken Wrap or Buffalo Chicken Wrap with Waffle Fries for just $12…that’s 120 dimes! For socks or toys, visit Sock or Super Zoom Bang Bang and spend $120 or more in a single transaction to save 12.0% off your order June 1–August 24, 2024. Arvada West Family Medicine is offering Vitamin IV therapy for $120 and if you are in need of legal advice, Juniper Family Law will meet with you for a 60 to 90 minute session for just $120, a savings of $180.

Learn more and see all 120th anniversary specials at www.visitarvada.org

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