Archive for November, 2008

1909 Brush
Originally uploaded by Jerry W. Lewis

A 19th century stagecoach replica, two vintage automobiles from the Stephen Tebo collection — including a 1909 Brush Runabout and a 1959 Cadillac convertible and “cars of the future” from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL — will be featured in the 21st annual Lights of December parade beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, in downtown Boulder.

The stagecoach and cars represent periods in the city’s 150-year history and serve as a reminder that Boulder has a long and colorful history, says Marilyn Haas, parade marshal and coordinator for the Boulder Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee. The Boulder 150 planning group is developing a year’s worth of events scheduled throughout 2009. Downtown Boulder Inc.’s Dec. 6 parade kicks off the 150th events.

The 1909 automobile to be featured in the parade was produced by the Brush Runabout Co. of Detroit, founded in 1906. The Brush auto had a one-cylinder engine, no transmission and sold for about $500. In 1910 about 10,000 of the cars were produced, but by 1913 the company, founded by Alanson Partridge Brush, had closed (see

The stagecoach, built in 1985 and named the “Alma Lea,” is an exact replica of an 1860s Abbott & Downing Concord Coach and is owned by Cowboy Metal Products Inc. of Denver ( During the parade, members of the sesquicentennial committee will ride in both autos and the stagecoach.

A.A. Brookfield and a group of 56 shareholders established Boulder as the Boulder City Town Co. Feb. 10, 1859. More than 4,000 city lots were laid out and priced for sale at $1,000 each, though the price was later reduced. Boulder was part of the Nebraska Territory until Feb. 28, 1861, when Colorado became a territory.

Throughout 2009 other 150th celebration events will include an official sesquicentennial kickoff in January at the University of Colorado’s Koenig Alumni Center for sponsors and volunteers; a reception hosted by the Hotel Boulderado for senior citizens on the actual anniversary of the city’s founding Feb. 10; and an official observance by the Boulder City Council at its meeting that evening.

A “Sesquicentennial stroll” July 4 at Chautauqua Park with tours of the Columbia Cemetery, the CU Heritage Center and the Boulder History Museum — along with a concert in the Central Park band shell before the fireworks at Folsom Field — also are being planned.

In mid-August the Northern Arapaho Tribe will “come back home” to Boulder with its bluegrass band, drums, dancing and storytelling. Panel discussions in collaboration with CU’s Center of the American West and the Boulder History Museum will take place in May and September. Other events continue to be planned and will be announced throughout the year.

The city of Golden and the towns of Nederland and Gold Hill also are celebrating 150-year birthdays in 2009.

The Lights of December parade will start at 15th and Pearl streets and travel along Walnut, 11th and Spruce streets before ending at 16th and Spruce streets.

For more information about the parade, contact Downtown Boulder Inc. at (303) 449-3774. For more information on the Boulder sesquicentennial, go to the Boulder150 Web site at

Categories : Uncategorized
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Cheering on buyers
Originally uploaded by Jerry W. Lewis

If it takes balloons, free $20 gift cards, cheerleaders and a brass quintet to bring out shoppers to Best Buy, so be it.

I joined about 100 who lined up on a chilly morning to check out the retailer's Boulder opening.

Smiling employees and managers everywhere, some no doubt refugees from the already bankrupt Circuit City.

Not a word mentioned of Best Buy's own retail season forecast, where it predicted the "most difficult climate" in its 42-year history.

Best Buy may do well in Boulder, taking over the site of a defunct CompUSA. It's one of the few big boxes in Boulder offering up a slew of tech gadgets and computers, including a small in-house Apple center.

The real question, I think, is not only can the big chains win over the shell-shocked consumer, which is doubtful, but can they compete against the price breaks of the increasingly savvy online retailers like Amazon and many others?

Too many people are simply window shopping, looking at products in the store, then comparison shopping for the best deal online.

Categories : Business
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