I spent this last weekend hiding out in Burlington, Colorado on the Great Plains for Labor Day, where the band and I performed three shows at their first annual Harvest Festival. Old Town Burlington is an historical museum of epic proportion, complete with a wall of barbed wire types and horse bits, a railroad depot, a sod house and one of Baby Doe Tabor’s original jackets. We spent the weekend poring over every detail…one woman was even showing her collection of antique hats. One of my favorite displays was the case of arrowheads and spear points of every shape and size, probably discovered when the pioneers busted sod to plant their acres of corn and beets or build their homes. We also watched three young comic can-can dancers do a short sketch in the old Saloon, and learned how to load and fire a black powder rifle.
Another highlight of the weekend was a spin on the Kit Carson County Carousel which was built in 1905 by Philadelphia Toboggan Co. and was originally owned by Elitch Gardens until 1928. This is a beauty! It is a menagerie of all types of animals including a fantasy seahorse and a row of deer with real antlers. After a brief stint as a grain silo and, as a result, a million dollar plus restoration project, the horses and critters sport their original paint (and are some of the only ones in the country to do so). I was escorted back in time by one of the few original band organs left in existence (imagine an organ that plays a bass drum and a multitude of horns to the tune of “Dixieland” while you’re riding). I LOVE carousels! They are simply magical. I’ve always been a horse girl, so of course I hopped astride a beautiful black and white paint and took the brief but dizzying 12 mile an hour ride in a circle.
The people of Burlington are the real gems. They are honest, hardworking and down-to-earth, and are just about the most friendly, hospitable folks on the planet. All in all, I made some wonderful new friends and spent some time slowing my spirit down in small town fashion. I’ll definitely come back to visit, Burlington.