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Summer events in Colorado's gold country.

If you're heading for the high mountains of Colorado's gold country this summer (see page 80), you might want to time your trip to be there during some of the area's special events. Many are related to mining or to other aspects of regional history-from the lively mucking and drilling competitions of Idaho Springs' Gold Rush Days to the festival in Central City's period opera house.

Central City. Opera Festival, July 8 through August 12, presents two operas and one light opera. Performances are held at 8 PM. unless listed M (for 2:30 matinee). Mozart's The Magic Flute: July 8, 12 (M), 14 (M), 16 (M), 18, 20, 22, 29 (M), August 4, 6 (M), 9, 11, 13 (M). Romberg's The Desert Song: July 15, 19 (M), 21 (M), 23 (M), 25, 27, 29, August 1, 3, 5 (M), 9 (M), 12. Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor July 26 (M), 28 (M), 30 (M), August 2 (M), 5, 8, 10, 12 (M). Tickets range from $16 to $35. Performances average 92 percent sold out, though sometimes tickets are returned at the last minute; call (303) 292-6700 for tickets or to check on returns. Across the street from the opera house, in Williams Stables, The Face on the Barroom Floor, a popular annual miningdays cabaret opera, runs weekends at 1:15 July 15 through August 13 ($3.50; $1.25 under age 12). Also in the stables, a 45minute Opera a la Carte program runs at 1:15 every Wednesday and Friday between the same dates ($2; $1 ages 12 and under). And Victorian Salon Recitals begin at noon weekends July 15 through August 6 ($15, including brunch) on the second-floor parlor of the Teller House.

Idaho Springs. Gold Rush Days events are 9 to 4 July 15 and 16, with a downtown parade on Sunday at 1 ; mining-skills contests including drilling, single jacking, mucking. Most action is at Argo Gold Mill, 2350 Riverside Drive.

Fairplay. The World Championship Pack Burro Race starts from Fourth and Front streets at 11 A.M. on July 30. The country's best burros and runners tackle a 29mile course-uphill to Mosquito Pass, then back.

Leadville. Oro City runs from 11 to 7 on June 24 and 25, July 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16. Walk through a re-created gold mining tent city, pan for gold, listen to a string band or storyteller, watch blacksmithing and mining demonstrations. Sponsored by Colorado Mountain College, Oro City strives for authenticity even in food and crafts booths. It's off State 24 southeast of downtown; admission is $5, $2.50 for ages 12 and under.

Boom Days includes colorful old-fashioned Fourth of July events (parade, fireworks, street entertainment), and a later annual celebration (August 4, 5, and 6 this year, from 9 to 5) with parades, a burro race, a street fair, mining contests. At the State Gold Panning Championships, from 9 to 4 on August 5 and 6, you can see booths with prospecting equipment, and watch experts at work. Entry is free; events are at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, 120 W. Ninth Street.

Where to stay

For inns throughout the region, call Bed and Breakfast Rocky Mountains at (719) 630-3433 or Bed and Breakfast Colorado at (303) 494-4994. Historic Hotels of the Rocky Mountain West has three lodging options in the area; call (213) 452-5448. The Colorado Hotel/Motel Association also has information; call (303) 297-8335. Central City has one hotel and several inns; call (303) 573-0247. Idaho Springs has 10 motels; call 567-4844. Georgetown offers two motels and several B & Bs; call Resort Services at 569-2665 or the historical society at 569-2840, Breckenridge has the widest selection, with dozens of luxury resorts, condominiums, and small inns; call (800) 221 -1091. In nearby Fairplay, try (719) 836-2771; ask for the tourism coordinator. For details on Leadville's 14 motels, call (719) 486-3900.
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Date:Jun 1, 1989
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