Community celebrates newly renamed Frisco History Day

Angie and Titus Crews dig for gold as part of Frisco History Day, Saturday July 10, 2021. The day included a picnic in the park, city tours, gold panning, lawn games, a baking contest and live music.
Photo by Ashley Low / Ashley Low Photography

The Frisco Founder’s Day is an annual event hosted by the Frisco Historic Park & ​​Museum which is a tradition cherished by city officials, residents and visitors. This year the event was renamed Frisco History Day to reflect the entire past of the community, and with it some changes were made to the programming of activities.

The first time the name of the event changed was last year. Museum director Rose Gorrell said it had become a ‘founder’s celebration’ due to the pandemic and events spanned a week to keep the crowds at bay. Earlier this year, Gorrell said she and her team believed it was time to update the name of the event in the future.

“Thinking about this year, we realized that the term ‘Founder’s Day’ didn’t quite fit our vision and mission to which we are dedicated, (and) that (it) didn’t really tell the whole story. “said Gorrell. .

When the event began, Gorrell said it was being organized as a fundraiser for the park. It is now a free community event that allows other nonprofits to raise funds and educate the community about Frisco’s past. Gorrell also said the new name change was driven by the city of Frisco’s efforts to be more welcoming to all communities.

“The term ‘founders’ is also not as inclusive as we would like,” she said. “One of the city’s priorities is to become a more inclusive community, so this change only reflects this reorientation and reflection on what this event really means for the community. “

The intention was to celebrate not only the founders and early settlers of Frisco, but also the Ute people. Gorrell said this tribe included some of the first people to visit the Frisco area.

“Their oral history places them here since the beginning of time and there has also been archaeological evidence that says (they were here) over 10,000 years old,” Gorrell said.

Gorrell said the museum brings a member of the Ute tribe from the Aspen Historical Society each summer to talk to visitors about the Ute people, their origin history and their interactions with Euro-Americans who arrived in the region in the region. early 1800s.

The Saturday July 10 event had a stacked lineup, and new this year was a baking contest which was added to tie in with a new food history exhibit that launched on July 1.

“We included this baking contest as a way to tie that together, and also to capture some of those early Frisco days when there was a lot more potlucks in the community,” Gorrell said. “There were a lot more baked goods in hand (for) everything because there wasn’t necessarily a grocery store nearby. … We wanted to find a way to bring out some of those old school skills that not everyone necessarily has anymore.

The winner of the baking contest was Beth Weigand with her pecan pie. Weigand won the gold prize for a La Creuset gift basket. Second place went to a pontoon boat rental from Frisco Bay Marina, and third place went to a private tour of the historic city led by museum staff.

The range of activities also included a craft tent where visitors could make puppets, play with sidewalk chalk, and pick up a on-the-go craft kit provided by The Frosted Flamingo mobile art studio. There was also an artifact tent where visitors could touch and discover historical artifacts, and there were gold panning sites and lawn games. Girl Scouts were also present to sell ice cream.

In addition, guests could also browse the museum, explore the historic buildings on site, and take a free city tour. Later that day, visitors were encouraged to picnic in the park, an activity that coincides with the museum’s new Food History exhibit, and musician Randall McKinnon performed live for a few hours in the afternoon.

Although Gorrell said the event didn’t attract as many attendees because of the virus, it was still popular with visitors like Jean Liska and his granddaughter, Courtney Berning, both of Frisco. Liska is originally from Longmont but has an apartment in Frisco and said the two frequented the museum so often that they got to know the staff well.

“We come every time there is an activity here in the park,” Liska said.

Bronwen Clark, who lives in Denver with her family but has an apartment in Frisco, said the same. She and her family have visited in the past and have said that the museum park is one of their favorite things to do in Frisco.

“I have kids and they still love it,” Clark said. “They love the cabins, the historic part anyway, so we come here at least two or three times every visit because it’s just something fun and different to do.”

Clark said events like these that focus on local history are important because they are a reminder of how far a community has come.

“There is so much growth in the mountains, as evidenced by the traffic, but I think it’s kinda nice to rethink how things started to give you a little perspective on how bad things have gotten. changed, ”Clark said. “Honestly, I don’t know much about Frisco’s story, so it’s good (that) the kids are having fun and I’m learning a few things.”

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