Georgetown’s 10th Annual Big Horn Sheep Festival

TENTH ANNUAL GEORGETOWN BIGHORN SHEEP FESTIVAL CELEBRATES COLORADO’S STATE ANIMAL

Georgetown, Colorado – Few animals evoke Colorado’s rugged and unforgiving mountains like the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Yet the vertical terrain that keeps sheep safe from predators also limits opportunities for Coloradans to view and appreciate Colorado’s state animal.

A happy exception for wildlife watchers is Georgetown, where the Town of Georgetown, the Georgetown Trust and Gateway Visitor Center, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) are finalizing preparations for the tenth Annual Clash ‘n Bash – also known as the Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Festival. The festival is timed to coincide with the sheep’s head-banging mating season, often referred to as “the clash.” This year’s FREE event will take place on November 14th.

“Georgetown is one of the few places in Colorado you are almost guaranteed to see bighorn sheep, particularly during breeding season in November and December,” says Mary McCormac, Education Coordinator for the northeast region at CPW. While weather forecasts could discourage potential festival participation, McCormac cautions,” “Weather in Georgetown can be beautiful when Denver forecasters predict snow. We strongly encourage folks to call Georgetown directly before heading out if they are concerned about poor weather.” Please call the Georgetown Gateway Visitor Center at (303) 569-2405 for current weather conditions.

Trained CPW volunteers armed with binoculars and spotting scopes will be on hand to help viewers locate sheep, as well as offer a cup of hot cider or cocoa and a brief lesson on these majestic mammals at the Bighorn Sheep Viewing Station and Gateway Visitor Center. As an added special opportunity, the Georgetown Loop Railroad will offer four special runs of their historic train tours, which will include CPW Volunteer Sheep Guides providing programming on tours. Train departs at 10:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:15 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $18.95 to $34.95 per person. To purchase advance tickets, please call 1 (888) 456-6777. Additionally, all festival attendees can enjoy free or discounted admission to all Georgetown museums, free educational presentations and numerous activities provided throughout the day.

Activities:

Kids make sheep horns of your own to take home and get your face painted like a sheep – Then showcase all in a short parade led by CPW’s mascot, Elbert the Ram at noon
Learn about bighorn behavior while dancing the bighorn sheep hokey pokey with Elbert immediately following the parade
Join trained instructors for target archery instruction outside the Gateway Visitor Center (weather permitting)
Sit by the fire with a cup of cocoa, make s’mores, listen to music, and visit partner organizations and other booths in the park
Enjoy a moderate, 2-hour guided hike around Georgetown

Presentations:

10:30 am: Living with Bears
2:00 pm: Bighorn Sheep of Georgetown

Programs and activities will take place in several venues throughout Historic Georgetown, but most will be held on 6th Street in the heart of downtown. Be sure to plan time to visit the numerous art galleries and unique shops where artisans and shop owners will showcase their wildlife-related art, gifts, crafts and other merchandise!!

WHAT: Georgetown Bighorn Sheep Festival: A Saturday of free family-friendly and wildlife fun.
WHERE: Town of Georgetown: Located just less than an hour west of Denver on I-70.
WHEN: Saturday, November 14, 2015, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
CONTACT: Mary McCormac, NE Region Education Coordinator, (303) 291-7328 or mary.mccormac@state.co.us