Weston Welcome Week circus, August 1999 Photo: Kelli Narde
Western Welcome Week (Littleton)
For 71 years, Littleton has been the home of
Western Welcome Week to celebrate community spirit, heritage, and
unity. During this 10-day event, nearly every citizen is involved
in some way with the festivities: serving pancakes, marching in the
parade, volunteering at concession stands, cruising the craft
booths, or just lying on the grass, enjoying a beautiful evening of
symphonic music and fireworks under the stars.
Littleton begins with Richard Sullivan Little, an
engineer, who came to this area south of Denver to lay out a system
of ditches to carry water to farms and businesses. He loved the
area and moved his family to the area. In 1872, the Littles
subdivided their property into a village. In 1890, the 245
residents voted to incorporate the town of Littleton.
In those days, agriculture was the staple industry,
and Western Welcome Week celebrates the community's roots as a farm
community during the 19th century. After World War II, new
industries, including electronics, pneumatics, and aerospace moved
to the area. Yet, Littleton has honored its legacy by listing its
old fashion American Main Street with the National Register of
Historic Places. The community maintains a family environment by
providing four times as many parks as the national average, bike
paths, and a botanical garden. Western week celebrates the community
spirit with events.
The publisher of the local newspaper had created the
community celebration in 1929 for the entire family. Its original
purpose was to celebrate the 100th birthday of Littleton's founder,
Richard Little, and hold a "Homecoming" for anyone who had lived in
or visited Littleton. Among the festivities was a parade in which
anyone who decorated a car or truck could participate. In 1962, the
celebration was renamed Western Welcome, and activities expanded to
eight days, with picnics, open-air concerts, a circus, pancake
breakfasts, a golf tournament, a walk/race, an old timers luncheon,
horse shows, a barn dance, and many other activities. The week
culminates on Saturday with a grand parade and craft fair on Main
Street. Welcome Week is a community effort, run by 1,200
The festival has a secondary goal of helping its
non-profit organizations raise funds through event sponsorships and
vending opportunities. Western Welcome Week is a precious legacy
that each generation in Littleton shares with each other-parents
bring their children, who grow up and bring their children with
Documentation for this project includes a seven- page
report, brochure and program books, 23 photos, promotional
material, an oral history cassette, two video cassettes of festival
highlights, and local newspapers with festival coverage.
Originally submitted by: Thomas G. Tancredo, Representative (6th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.