Sloan’s Lake is a pretty little park, in the midst of an upscale, 1930s neighborhood, on the western edge of Denver’s city limit. The homes are mostly custom brick dwellings, with lovely appointments and fairly large yards. (Dont get me started on the Scrape Off mentality that pervades.) Prices run from $800,000 to about $1,200,000.
The origins of the lake are somewhat mysterious. No one seems to know exactly how or when it appeared. Reports say that it didnt exist before the 1860s. Then, sometime between 1860 and 1866, the lake emerged, seemingly from nowhere. There is one report that says a farmer, named Sloan, dug a well on his property, which overfilled and flooded the area. In any case, a lake exists there now, and it’s generally calm, which makes it good for boating.
While I’ve never found any account of how or why Dragon Boats were developed, the origins of Dragon Boat racing go back more than two thousand years, and are as mysterious as the origin of the lake. There are differing stories of death and tragedy, but I wont delve into them, because I’m not an expert. For more information, here’s a link to one site that might interest you.
Whatever you choose to believe about them, it all makes for a pretty exciting way to spend a day by the water. The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is reportedly the largest in the country. Vendors come from all over the state, along with any kind of food truck you might ask for. Performances represent many facets of Asian life and culture, including dance, martial arts, and lots of music.
If you havent gone, and you’re interested in this kind of thing, or just want to look around at all the beautiful goods, you should make it point to go next year. The races run all day, and you can hear the announcer throughout the park. Shop around. Take in a show. Grab some delicious food from one or two of the trucks. Make a day of it. You wont be disappointed.
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