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Georgetown, Colorado – Few animals evoke Colorado’s rugged and unforgiving mountains like the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Yet the vertical terrain that keeps sheep safe from predators also limits opportunities for Coloradans to view and appreciate Colorado’s state animal.
A happy exception for wildlife watchers is Georgetown, where the Town of Georgetown, the Georgetown Trust and Gateway Visitor Center, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) collaborate each November in putting on the Annual Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Festival. The festival is timed to coincide with the sheep’s head-banging mating season, often referred to as “the clash.” This FREE annual event takes place every second Saturday in November in designated places throughout Georgetown including Strauss Park (6th Street and Rose Street), the Gateway Visitor Center (1491 Argentine Street) and the wildlife viewing station on Alvarado Road near the lake.
“Georgetown is one of the few places in Colorado you are almost guaranteed to see bighorn sheep, particularly during breeding season in November and December,” says Mary McCormac, Education Coordinator for the northeast region at CPW.
Trained CPW volunteers armed with binoculars and spotting scopes will be on hand to help viewers locate sheep, as well as offer a cup of hot cider or cocoa and a brief lesson on these majestic mammals at the Bighorn Sheep Viewing Station and Gateway Visitor Center.
Additionally, all festival attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the sites and activities that Georgetown is famous for including the Georgetown Loop Railroad, hiking trails, Hotel De Paris Museum and the Hamill House Museum just to name a few. Georgetown is located in the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District and boasts over 200 well preserved historic buildings, most of which were built in the 1800’s. Strolling through town is literally like stepping back in time to the days of America’s expansion into the wild wild west.
For people planning on visiting the Georgetown Loop Railroad, they should be sure to take advantage of Parks and Wildlife interpreters on hand and visit Strauss Park to participate in the festivities before and after they ride the train. For food and lodging check out the Georgetown Promotions website https://www.georgetown-colorado.org.
The Bighorn Sheep festival takes place Saturday, November 11 and runs from 10 am until 3 pm.
Be sure to stop by the Bighorn Sheep Viewing Station and the Georgetown Gateway Visitor Center as trained volunteers with binoculars and spotting scopes help viewers locate the head-banging sheep and offer a brief lesson on the animals!
To visit the viewing station, take I-70 west from Denver to the Georgetown exit (#288). Turn left on Alvarado Road and follow the brown and white binocular signs until you reach the viewing station near Georgetown lake. Bighorns may be noticed from the highway, but, for the safety of both people and wildlife, please view sheep from the viewing station.
For more information:
Festival website: http://www.georgetownbighornsheepfestival.org
Georgetown Gateway Visitor Center at (303) 569-2405.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife: cpw.state.co.us
Gateway Visitors Center: www.georgetowntrust.org/gateway-visitor-center Clear Creek County Tourism: http://clearcreekcounty.org
Georgetown Town Website: www.georgetown-colorado.org
Georgetown Loop Train and Mining Park: www.georgetownlooprr.com
Word Document: About Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Festival
PDF 2017 Press Release: press release, big horn sheep fest 2017
Word Document 2017 Press Release: press release, big horn sheep fest 2017