There’s a lot of celebrating going on at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum. Sure, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are happening across the Pacific (tell me again why they don’t just call it 2021?). But in downtown Colorado Springs, the USOPM is making up for last year with a blowout Colorado Grand Opening. Special events will take place all the way through Labor Day, but the Olympic party peaks July 29 – Aug. 1 with the Tokyo Games Fan Fest. That four-day festival also coincides with a little soiree the City of Colorado Springs is throwing: the COS 150 Downtown Celebration.
“The Tokyo Fan Fest perfectly captures the values and essence of both the COS150 celebration and the Tokyo Games,” says Tommy Schield, director of marketing and communications for the USOPM. “It unites the city of Colorado Springs around the excitement, the energy and the pride of the Games, and brings truth to the title Olympic City USA.”
The free USOPM Tokyo Games Fan Fest will feature live entertainment, Olympic and Paralympic athletes, sport demonstrations, food and drinks, a 50-foot screen airing the Tokyo Games and more. The Museum Plaza and S. Sierra Madre and Vermijo streets will be filled with activities. Fans can try their hand at judo, karate, goalball, wheelchair basketball, figure skating on a synthetic rink and more. A long list of Olympians and Paralympians, including Bonnie Blair and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, will be signing autographs. Other highlights include the Flying Aces trampoline acrobatics team, and the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Glider and Flight Simulator, which will let you feel like you’re taking to the skies. Music fans can catch concerts by Denver Taiko, Hickabee, WireWood Station and Martini Shot. And keep an eye out for the Air Force Falcon and Ziggy the Switchbacks FC big, shaggy mountain goat.
“Where else can you meet Olympic and Paralympic athletes, then chip a golf ball into an inflatable hippopotamus’ mouth, and then watch the Olympics on a 50-foot screen?” Schield says. “When you visit the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, you never know what you might see, what you might do and who you might meet.”
After the Tokyo Fan Fest ends, you can still catch at least two or three Colorado Grand Opening special events each week at the Olympic & Paralympic Museum. Those include sport demonstrations and lots of athlete meet and greets and autograph sessions. All are included in your museum admission fee. Since breakdancing is one of the five new sports being added to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, you’ll find weekly breakdancing battles too.
Like we said, there’s a lot going on! Check out the complete schedule and plan your favorite Olympic and Paralympic Colorado Grand Opening festivities at usopm.org.