Sunday, April 2, 2017

Day 48: Summer Enchanted Evenings

Our Summer Enchanted Evenings series was started as a collaborative effort with our local history researcher, John Meissner, of Estes Park Archives.  Our idea was to sort of follow the long past tradition of park rangers giving talks at various lodges around the area. 
We chose Wednesday nights at 7 PM for one hour because it seemed mostly available on town calendars, and began our free programs. We wanted to keep our options open, so went with the tag line, “Part history, part nature, part lecture, part show and tell.” We advertised in the area, even took our cinnamon rolls to the local radio station to bribe them for a mention. That worked so well, that to this day, we offer free snacks to our Summer Enchanted attendees.

John was our hero in providing imaginative talks, with topics as varied as kings who have visited Estes Park to quiz show games on local history. We began in our cozy Library, and attendance those first couple of years varied by topic and temperature, sometimes two and sometimes forty two!   We took the show outside for Hummingbirds and Visiting Yaks which proved to be crowd pleasers.

Over the years John recruited a fascinating variety of speakers, and spent hours helping them share their stories with wonderful presentations.  Within a few years it was necessary to move our Summer Enchanted Evenings events from the Library to the Key Room because of the size of the crowds.  Loyal guests returned each week from June to September to learn a vast spectrum of subjects and hear about places & adventures they themselves might never have known. Mountaineering, bears, book writers, postcards, and coins.

We even got in the act and our Key Museum curators now are included in the annual schedule, sharing stories about Baldpate and especially our Key & Photo Collections.

Which has been your favorite Summer Enchanted Evening program? We are in the process of setting our Summer Enchanted Evenings 2017 schedule  so let us know your ideas and stay tuned. 

Written by Lois Smith

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