New businesses, vaccines, trail races, rainy afternoons, the return of parades, a new school, burros, construction projects, heat waves — oh my! What a summer it’s been.

The first week of September is traditionally a time for Leadvillians to take a collective breath after the rigmarole of summer. So let’s all slow down and remember what we watched, celebrated and experienced this summer:

— It was difficult to drive a few blocks in Leadville this summer without running into a construction project. The Railyard went vertical, Colorado Department of Transportation continued to repave U.S. 24, the Tabor Opera House saw progress on the front facade, Xcel Energy resumed the replacement of natural gas lines, Westwoods Subdivison started to lay foundations for homes, Cloud City Wheelers finished more trails at Turquoise Lake and the restoration of historic residences continued.

— We are lucky to have experienced a relatively wet summer. During certain weeks, rain seemed to fall almost every afternoon, with consistent showers sometimes falling in the morning and at night. Though Lake County is currently classified as “abnormally dry” by the U.S. Drought Monitor, it is not experiencing the levels of drought seen last summer.

— Leadville’s favorite miniature burro, Buttercup, outran her larger opponents once again in the 71st annual Leadville Boom Days Burro Race.

— Lake County saw multiple turnovers in the staffing of local law enforcement agencies throughout the summer. Though times were tough, the Herald believes these changes were for the best and we look forward to working with Leadville’s new Chief of Police Hal Edwards.

— Fireworks (both official and unofficial) set Leadville’s sky ablaze on July Fourth after a multi-year hiatus due to fire bans. A vibrant parade also travelled down Harrison Avenue, the first official parade to happen in Lake County since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

— The Leadville Race Series returned to Cloud City for another summer of ultra endurance events. It’s always a privilege to watch locals test their limits on Lake County’s trails.

— Agencies mobilized in an effort to get as many Lake County residents vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible. Though we still have room to improve, about 67 percent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

— Various heatwaves hit Leadville, shocking locals with  temperatures above 80 degrees *gasp*. Complaints were short-lived as reports rolled in of temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in other areas of the American West.

— Several new businesses opened their doors this summer, a brave proposition in the midst of tourist season. The Herald enjoyed writing about Tony Chudyk’s new tattoo shop, counterbalancing pork consumption at Moe’s Original BBQ with plant-based meals at the Golden Burro and seeing a passion for the outdoors come alive at Galena Mountain Projects.

— Lake County Elementary School opened to staff, students and families. The school is a bright, welcoming facility to learn within and we look forward to seeing how teachers and students utilize it.

Rachel Woolworth

Herald Editor

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