COS 150

COS 150

Now the 39th largest and most desirable city to live in the United States, Colorado Springs arose from a humble but meaningful beginning in 1871. Now through July 31, 2021 the Colorado Springs community will embark on a communitywide celebration of our city’s rich history.

A snapshot of our city's history

Then & Now 

The City of Colorado Springs invites the public to share photos to celebrate our city’s history during our 150th year. Residents, visitors, businesses, organizations and others are asked to share “Then & Now” photos comparing an “old and new” view of the same local area, neighborhood, park, scenic backdrop or event.

View photos


The sesquicentennial is an opportunity for residents to celebrate the pride and vision of our founder, General William Jackson Palmer, and to learn about our past. It will also be an opportunity for introspection: as we look at the progress of the last century and a half – we are challenged to consider our vision for the future.

- John Suthers, 41st Mayor of Colorado Springs


Sesquicentennial Calendar of Events

Jan. 30: COS@150 Exhibit opens at the Pioneers Museum

The new exhibit is a robust exploration of our community’s history and culture that will feature 150 objects, illuminating 150 stories, commemorating 150 years. It will include the people, places and events that helped shape Colorado Springs. Featured objects will range widely in age, size and format to engage, surprise and inform residents and visitors alike.

Learn More About this Exhibit

April: COS Tree Month

The City is partnering with local nurseries and Colorado Springs Utilities on a digital media campaign to highlight Colorado Springs’ unique relationship with trees, past, present and future. The campaign will encourage residents to take part in the COS 150: Tree Challenge.

June: Bike Month

Come Pedal Our Past and celebrate Colorado Springs’ 150th anniversary cruising along on wheels!  Choose the historic loop (or all of them) that fits you and your family and friends, your fitness level and your curiosity about our community.  

More about Pedal Our Past

June 5: Beards, Bonnets and Bikes!” Family Ride with Mayor Suthers

Riders of all ages are invited to join the Colorado Springs Sesquicentennial celebration by dressing up in their favorite “bonnet” or “beard” in leisurely themed bike ride. Join Mayor Suthers and his wife Janet, Saturday, June 5 for a family ride to support community biking and local trails. This ride is organized by Kids on Bikes.

View more info

June 12: Beards, Bonnets and Brews Fest

This family-friendly event will offer a smorgasbord of activity for people of all ages! 

Visit BBB Fest event page

July 8: Then and Now Photo Exhibit opens at Library 21c

Local photographer, Mike Pach of 3 Peaks Photography, is replicating historic photos as an official part of the sesquicentennial celebration. Fifty pairs of 20”x 30” photographs, comparing the then and now of Colorado Springs will be printed and displayed. The opening reception for the exhibit is scheduled for July 8 at Library 21c. The photos will be on display at this location for 2 months before traveling to various library branches and other venues through the end of the year. Catch a sneak peek at

July 17: Sesqui Soirée

SOLD OUT! All tickets, sponsorships, and waitlist spots are sold out for this event.

Join the City of Colorado Springs and the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC for our city’s 150th birthday celebration: the Sesqui Soirée. 

July 31: COS150 Downtown Celebration

Happy birthday, Colorado Springs – we’re going to party like it’s 1871! A community parade through time will kick off the festivities on Tejon Street, followed by live music, food and fun in downtown Colorado Springs. A pep rally will cap the night as Olympic City USA cheers on the athletes representing Team USA in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2021. Scaled and virtual options of this activation are being planned as well.

COS150 Downtown Celebration

Ongoing activities

Scholar Series

In honor of Colorado Springs’ sesquicentennial anniversary, the CSPM will unveil a new exhibit, COS@150 on Saturday, January 30, 2021. This robust exploration of our community’s history and culture features 150 objects, illuminates 150 stories, commemorates 150 years. Throughout the commemoration year we invite you to explore these stories through a series of regional history lectures.  Explore the 2021 series schedule!

COS150: Tree Challenge

When Colorado Springs was founded in 1871, it was a nearly treeless, arid plain. Our founder, General William Jackson Palmer changed that by planting thousands of trees. To celebrate this legacy, the City has challenged the community to help plant 18,071 new trees by the end of 2021. To reach the goal, add your tree to the tree tracker at

Reading list

Learn more about where you live! This is the perfect time to reflect on how our city’s history has shaped the place we call home today. The Sesquicentennial Reading List is a great resource for learning more about Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak region and the people who have influenced its growth.