2018 Host Communities

Kiowa, CO

The Town of Kiowa was settled in 1859 along the banks of Kiowa Creek, it was originally named after “Henry Wendling” an early settler who ran the stage station. From the 1860”s until 1912 it was called “Middle Kiowa” the reason for this being that two different settlements were located along the Kiowa Creek namely “High Kiowa” and “Low Kiowa”. Other stories told that during the 1880’s the town was split right down the middle with ranchers on one side and farmer’s on the other side.

Middle Kiowa was named the county seat of Elbert County in 1874. In 1912 when the Town was incorporated the word “Middle” was removed. That same year the newly constructed brick courthouse was built.

On May 31st, 1935, the worst flood to ever come down Kiowa Creek washed away part of the town. Homes and businesses were destroyed, livestock were swept downstream and four people lost their lives. The water from the flood was described as: a half-mile wide, 12 to 15 feet high and at the speed of a fast horse. After floodwater’s subsided, the towns’ people went to the task of rebuilding what had been lost or destroyed.

Today, Kiowa has a population of about 724 and within the last several years has experienced growth; to date Elbert County is the second fastest growing county in the state and the fifth in the nation. Kiowa has three schools in the C-2 district, Elementary, Middle and High School.

Elbert County, CO

Elbert County, Colorado possesses a quintessential Western landscape with long-distance views of the Front Range and working agricultural lands. This area marks the end of the Front Range and the beginning of high plains grasslands. The western portion of the County is characterized by rolling hills with large stands of ponderosa pine woodlands and outcropping rock formations. Toward the east, the land flattens and transitions to farmlands and grasslands. The County is located in eastern Colorado, approximately 41 miles southeast of Denver and 91 miles west of the Kansas-Colorado border. However, the County is bordered by the fast-growing Front Range Counties of Arapahoe to the north, Douglas to the west and El Paso to the south. The major towns and community growth in the western portion of the County are roughly a 25-minute drive from nearby Castle Rock and less than an hour commute to the Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs areas.

Elbert County will be partnering with Kiowa on Pedal The Plains.

For more information visit Elbertcounty-co.gov

Bennett, CO

The Town of Bennett is a growing community on the western edge of the eastern plains of Colorado. The Town is conveniently located 25 minutes from Denver International Airport and is a juncture for both highway and railway transit opportunities. It is a beautiful high plains community and lies in Eastern Adams and Arapahoe Counties. Bennett residents enjoy the pleasures of small town western living, clean air, quiet times, and friendly neighbors. As a Town, it is committed to responsible planned development, economic vitality, public service improvements, and continued parks and trails expansions. Bennett actively strives to improve the quality of life for all its residents.

The Town was incorporated in 1930 and has steadily grown into a thriving and self-sustaining community with an excellent public school system, abundant open spaces and trails, and a growing hub for goods and services along the I-70 corridor. Furthermore, there is available land that is entitled for development, making Bennett an inviting place to do business.

Today, Bennett is poised for the future with forward thinking planning efforts and thoughtful, straightforward community development processes that encourage economic development consistent with the goals and small town character of the Town and its surrounding area.

For more information, visit: townofbennett.org

Limon, CO

Originally known as Limon Station, Limon, Colorado, was named after a railroad construction supervisor. It was incorporated in 1909. It is known as the Hub City of Eastern Colorado due to its location on transportation systems. Five U.S. and state highways and two railroads converged at Limon making it a great business location. Interstate 70, U.S. Highways 24, 71, 40, and 287 all cross here and it lies on a triangle with Denver and Colorado Springs making it a convenient for travelers to stop before they reach the congestion of Colorado’s Front Range.

Special events that are celebrated every year are Independence Day Celebration, HUB City Car Classic, and Heritage Days.

Points of Interest include:

Smoky Hill Trail – The Smoky Hill Trail, established in 1859, went from Atchison Kansas to Denver to provide a route for individuals during the Colorado Gold Rush. There are two locations near Limon that have remnants of the trail, Cedar Point and Lake Station. It was not unusual for confrontations between the Plains Indians and the U.S. Army to occur along the route during the 1860’s.

The Limon Heritage Museum Complex consists of a Rock Island / Union Pacific Depot, which is on the National Register of Historical Places, has maintained its 1940’s appearance. Inside of the Depot is the Houtz collection, a large collection of Native American artifacts. A one room school, saddle car, and dining car are located near the Depot. As you walk from the Depot to the Exhibit Building, farm equipment from long ago and a Rock Island snow plow lead you to the front door of the Exhibit Building.

The Exhibit Building has many permanent and changing exhibits, “Our Military History” is opening for the 2018 season. Prairie Voices was created to house the sheepherders wagon, chuck wagon, Dew Collection and other large artifacts. There is a Gates Mercantile, Prairie Home and Kitchen, Dust Bowl Display, Cheyenne Tipi, and many other ways to learn about Eastern Colorado History.

The Lincoln Theatre opened in 1938 and has operated continuously to present. It is one of the few theatres where you enter the building from behind the screen. It is owned by a local non-profit and operated exclusively with volunteers. It is on the State Register of Historical Places.

Limon High School has a tradition of excellence in academics and extracurricular activities! The Badgers have had six Boettcher Scholarship winners and over 50 state championships in athletics, including 17 in football, more than any other school in the state.