Breckenridge celebrating history, character |

Breckenridge celebrating history, character

Robert Allen
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. ” Mobile outhouses, mine tours and gun fights aim to lure folks to Breckenridge this weekend for the second annual Kingdom Days celebration.

All historic tours and attractions will offer free admission, said Larissa Enns, events director with Breckenridge Heritage Alliance.

“A number of these tours we charge for throughout the summer,” she said. “[It’s] fun for people who just want to go explore all these places.”

Heritage alliance director Linda Kay Peterson said the celebration’s name is derived from a mistake ” founded in 1859, the town discovered in 1936 it had been left off official U.S. maps.

“Citizens said: ‘If we’re not part of the U.S. then [Breckenridge] is a kingdom,'” she said. “It was probably a locals’ spoof on the error on the map.”

The Kingdom Days events began last year to bring in visitors before Fourth of July, when peak summer tourism season ordinarily begins, Peterson said.

“Last year Kingdom Days was very, very successful,” she said. “We all accomplished the goal.”

Breckenridge Resort Chamber spokesperson Carly Grimes said the events in 2007 attracted about 7,000 people.

The Breckenridge Outhouse Races gained national airtime last year with MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”

Registration for this year’s race is open until June 13. Teams build outhouses of cardboard, plastic, wood and more to race them Sunday down Ridge Street from its intersection with Lincoln Avenue to Washington Avenue. One team member, wearing a helmet, must be seated in the outhouse while the race is in progress.

Cash and beer await the top three finishers and the team with the most popular craft.

And for those looking to compete on foot, the second annual Repertory Run kicks off at 8 a.m. It includes 5-kilometer and 2-kilometer dashes, along with an event for kid. Entry fees are required and registration may be made through or by calling the National Repertory Orchestra office at 970-453-5825.

The Kingdom Days celebration kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday in Breckenridge Town Hall, with a speech on the history of dredge boats in the town. These were used widely during the town’s mining era to dig up submerged rocks in search of gold.

Remnants of their activity may be observed in the rock piles along the shores of the Blue River.

This speech is part of a series and will be continued with a guided driving tour the next morning at 9 a.m. The tour is free but requires reservations, available at (970) 453-9767.

Historic films, old time photos and a Sunday barbecue in Carter Park are among myriad other attractions this weekend. For more information, visit the chamber website at