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Family Friendly Golden, Colorado Buffalo Bill’s Days

Baby blue cotton candy, corn dogs swirled in mustard, fresh popped popcorn, twirling merry-go-rounds, chatter of carnies, cheers of crowds during demolition derby. Smell of 4H livestock – which I call the “smell of money.” Summer is the best time to enjoy these festivals all across the country, including my own Colorado backyard at the family friendly Golden Buffalo Bill’s Days.

Mutton bustin. Family friendly and Old West fun, the annual Buffalo Bills Day in Golden, Colorado
Mutton bustin. Family friendly and Old West fun, the annual Buffalo Bills Day in Golden, Colorado

With summer comes an abundance of county fairs and community gatherings. My first of many happy memories are of the Harrison County Fair in Missouri Valley, Iowa. Yes, folks, hold on to your hats because the Harrison County Fair was THE biggest event in this small county. I saved my 25 cent allowance all summer too spend at this big all-day family and community event. From riding the merry-go-round to the sheer enjoyment of blue cotton candy and ring toss at the game section, it was a carnival but more than that with 4-H kids presenting their livestock and tractor pulls.

The end of July in the nearby community of Golden, Colorado is another such gathering, Buffalo Bills Day. We made it a family event as my granddaughter participated in a time-honored tradition of Mutton Bustin’ – a rodeo event for kids ages 5-7, limited to 30-some participants. Instead of riding a bull for 8 seconds, kids wrap their arms around a sheep and hold on for dear life.  It’s a giggly fun event, and my granddaughter was very disappointed that she didn’t win the big prize. But she was quite proud of her trophy — and we were proud of her too!
After the mutton bustin’, we walked along Clear Creek toward the rest of the festivities: car show, vendors, carnival rides, corn dogs and beer. What a fun afternoon! We finished off the day by kicking back and listening to the band – and dancing!  I look forward to returning with the family next year.
Want more? Here are 14 Can’t Miss Family-Friendly Festivals Around the World from our friends at
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