COLORADO SPRINGS — Local businesses are getting ready for large crowds this weekend in downtown Colorado Springs. It's all part of the city's 150th anniversary.
Thousands are expected to head downtown for the festivities, which is the biggest celebration to happen since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, downtown business owners are getting ready and
hoping for a big turnout.
"We are so pumped. After last year with COVID, we are just so excited with things to get somewhat kind of back to normal," said Heather Blair, a co-owner of Bambino's Urban Pizzeria. "We missed our customers over the last year, so we are happy to have them back and coming in."
Blair also told News5, business ahead of the weekend is already booming.
"Last night, we were so busy, and it was fun. It made the night go by fast and but it was crazy for a Thursday," said Blair. "We're always excited, but we're just going to prep up, and make sure we have enough here and keep our employees happy."
To ring in Colorado Springs 150th anniversary, there will be a parade along Tejon St., and a downtown festival lasting all day long on Vermijo Ave.
"I honestly think everyone has cabin fever so they're ready to get out and start doing things again, and we have noticed that over the past few weeks. I think this weekend might be the push to even more to come, so it'll be good," said Blair.
Around the corner on Tejon St. is Bird Tree Cafe, which opened in January 2020.
"We just opened our doors and then two months later pretty much had to shut them which was super disappointing for us," said Allie Johnstone, the cafe's manager.
She said after the pandemic, this weekend's events will bring some of the largest crowds they've seen as a new business.
"We're here, we're back, we're better than ever and ready for all those crowds and all those people ready to come," said Johnstone. "This weekend is a great way to have people come down and get some life back into downtown a little more."
One more event bringing people to the downtown area is the Tokyo Games Fan Fest happening at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. until Sunday, August 1.
"We're super excited for this weekend. We can't wait to celebrate something that is so true to Colorado Springs," said Johnstone.
The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. If you plan on enjoying the parade, it's recommended you get there early. At noon, the downtown festival will kick off at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
For more information about the Colorado Springs 150th anniversary downtown celebration, click here.