The third Monday in February is Presidents’ Day, a federal holiday which means for most people another three-day weekend and the closing of schools, banks, credit unions, libraries etc. And although this day originated in the 1880s as a day to commemorate the birthdays of both President Washington and President Lincoln is has evolved into a day to honor all the birthdays and lives of U.S. Presidents, past and present.
It has also become synonymous with shopping as retailers have used the long weekend in a slow winter retail month to boost sales. Before the name change when we celebrated George Washington’s birthday (February 22,1732) American school children studied “the father of our country,” most likely made some sort of cherry tree or hatchet drawing to remember Washington’s cherry tree fable (yes, it was most likely a fictional story) and were taught how telling the truth even when it was most difficult is the right thing to do. A good lesson for all of us!
When I was growing up, eating cherry pie or another type of cherry dessert on Washington’s Birthday became a February tradition. Do you make any type of cherry dessert to celebrate Presidents Day?
Most of the celebrating of Presidents’ Day is done in Washington D.C. and surrounding areas. If you are lucky enough to be a tourist in D.C. this weekend there is the George Washington Birthday Parade in Old Town Alexandria and special events at Ford’s Theater Center, Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. If you’re sticking closer to home Presidents Day weekend is a big weekend for amateur hockey in Colorado Springs.
Starting today February 15th and running through the 18th the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association (CSAHA) 36th annual Presidents Day Hockey Tournament brings people from all over the country and Canada to our city. According to the official press release games are free to the public. This event is quite a large economic boost to Colorado Springs bringing in an estimated 1.3 million dollars to our city in the four day weekend.
Many families take this long weekend opportunity to get in another weekend of skiing and snowboarding. Both Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day are considered to be two of the busiest weekends. With new snow and deals to be had expect a lot of people will take advantage of the long weekend. Check out current ski conditions and look for big discounts for families on lodging and lift tickets by most area resorts.
Or consider the Victor Steampunk Festival, which celebrates Art, Science, History and Industry. Steampunk, if you’re not familiar with the term is a genre of fantasy and science fiction, inspired by the industrial revolution and the aesthetic of the Victorian era. People often use H.G. Wells and the 60’s television show “The Wild, Wild West” as examples of Steampunk but this has evolved into a genre that encompasses so much more. Victor, Colorado, “City of Gold Mines” a historic Colorado town founded in 1891 has a very full weekend planned including an art show, Pioneer dance instruction, steam engine demonstration, treasure hunt and gold coin mine tours. Some of the events are free with extra events charging between $6-$15 a person.
If you’re a big fan of history and specifically Colorado history this weekend will not only educate you but remind you how much of Colorado and specifically Colorado Springs was built by the boom of the mining industry. So even though the kids will be out of school you can sneak in a fun history lesson. Victor is a little over an hour from Colorado Springs, an easy day trip if a whole weekend away is too much.
How will you be spending the long weekend?