Originally Featured in North Forty News
By Annie Lindgren
Executive Director of the Wellington CO Main Streets Program

Downtown Wellington, the New Place to Be

Another year, another season of events for downtown Wellington. Some new, some old, all creating a reason for the community to gather, connect and share some of the best of what Wellington has to offer. Parades, music, fairs and festivals have been a part of Wellington’s culture since the time of the first Harvest Festival in the 1920s. Various events have come and gone over the decades, and with a town population greater than it has ever been, we have more events than ever before.

2018 and 2016 4th of July Parade, Photo Credit Brian Graves

The first Wellington 0.5K Fun Run will be from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. April 6 at Old Colorado Brewing Company. This event is a family-friendly, three-block, “unrun” to help raise money for Wellington Main Streets Program’s downtown beautification projects. The event, sponsored by Fitness1 and Old Colorado Brewing Company, will include a pre-race warm-up led by a trainer, a carb loading station, a hydration station mid-route, and a post-race refuel of beer (or non-alcoholic beverage) and food trucks. Everyone registered will get a finisher’s “medal” coaster, a .5K sticker, a beverage, and T-shirt proclaiming, “Went all the way in the Wellington Fun Run .5K.” There are a lot of local businesses sponsoring this event, that will be extra heavy on the “fun” and not so much on the “run.” To learn more and sign up, visit www.WellingtonFunRun.com.

Photo of Well-O-Rama parade, 1971, provided by Colleen Babitz taken by Prue McNaney

The second annual Wellington Brewfest will be from noon to 6 p.m. June 1 in Centennial Park, downtown Wellington. This event is sponsored by Cantina Liquor, M Rock Creative, Old Colorado Brewing Company and Soul Squared Brewing Company. Proceeds will benefit the Wellington Main Streets Program, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, enhancing, and developing downtown Wellington. The event was such a success last year, we are expanding hours and space to include 16 breweries and more live music. Tickets go on sale April 1, with early bird pricing through the end of April. Make sure you get your tickets in advance. Last year’s event sold out weeks before the event. To see the list of attending breweries, and to get your tickets, visit www.wellingtonbrewfest.com.

2018 and 2016 4th of July Parade, Photo Credit Brian Graves

This year the Wellington Main Streets Program is changing things up with the summer concert series, by instead doing a free one-day music festival — our Well-O-Rama — event from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Aug. 17,  in Centennial Park. This throwback event will feature local bluegrass, country and folk bands, and it will kick off with a pancake breakfast, with plenty of family-friendly fun and games between sets. The name “Well-O-Rama” comes from a historic event that started in 1968 as a celebration of the completion of Highway 1, and the paving of Cleveland Avenue. The original event included a parade, bike races, sack races, a pie eating contest and a slipper-kicking contest. Arts, crafts, all kinds of food, and antique vehicles were on display, and variety shows included musical acts, street dancing, singing and other displays of talent and art. The event expanded over the years to become a three-day festival, which included bike and foot races, fashion and motorcycle shows, tractor pulls, carnivals, a Miss Well-O-Rama pageant, and a beard-growing contest. It went on for a decade before coming to an end around 1980. Our new version of this old event will be toned down in comparison, but it will include some great music, games, contests, rocking chairs and opportunities for a taste of Wellington. The beer garden opens at noon, with local breweries and Cantina Liquor in attendance. There will be food trucks at the event, and after parties happening around town. More details to come.

Other events around town, put on by the Wellington Community Activities Commission and other volunteer organizations, include the annual Easter Egg Hunt scheduled for April 20, the Halloween events and Trick-or-Treat down Main Street on Oct.31, the Veterans Day event on Nov. 9, and the Christmas parade and tree lighting on Dec. 7. The annual 4th of July Celebration is an all-day favorite, starting with a pancake breakfast and parade, events in the park and a car show, finishing with Northern Colorado’s best firework display. One can also find events and live music happening almost every night of the week during the summer at Old Colorado Brewing Company, Soul Squared Brewing Company, Wellington Grill and the TBar Inn.

Downtown Wellington is becoming the new place to be. Invite your friends to escape the traffic and packed events in neighboring communities, and enjoy the entertainment, camaraderie, live music, food and beverage found right here on Wellington’s Front Porch.