Golden and St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2019

In the early 20th Century, St. Patrick’s Day balls or dances were annual occurrences in Golden. The first reference I could find in the Transcript appeared in the March 12, 1902 edition.

St. Patrick’s Day will be observed in Golden by a concert and ball to be given by the band at the opera house. The concert will consist of several fine selections, interspersed with Irish songs, instrumental solos, etc…. Seats are on sale at Schall’s at thirty-five cents each. There will be a full dance of twenty numbers immediately after the concert.

Dances were announced for several years afterwards, with the notable of exception of 1918 (World War I). They were generally held in the Golden Opera House. This is the building that now holds the Ace Hi Tavern. The dances would have been held on the second floor. At least one was held in the Armory Building. The early dances were hosted by the Foresters of America–a fraternal organization. Later, the Catholic ladies or the Golden Fire Department hosted the dances.

All respectable people are invited to participate.
March 16 1905 Colorado Transcript

The last reference I found to a dance in that early era was in 1927. Perhaps they ended because of the Depression, followed by World War II. The society column continued to mention private parties and church parties throughout that time.

The parties began again in 1960, when Golden High School held a St. Patrick’s Day dance, followed by one at Rolling Hills Country Club at in 1964. The Golden Fire Department gave a dance in 1965 at the then-new Golden Recreation Center.

Modern celebrations in the United States, according to Wikipedia, “include prominent displays of the colour green, religious observances, numerous parades, and copious consumption of alcohol.”

It is not surprising, then, that most of our modern-day celebrations occur in Golden’s bars and breweries. New Terrain Brewing held a party yesterday with music, Irish dancers, and Irish food. Today, Miners Saloon is holding a St. Patrick’s Day party and the Buffalo Rose is presenting a variety show. The Ace Hi Tavern (in the historic Golden Opera House building!) will be serving free corned beef and cabbage. Restaurants all over town are offering special Irish food items. For more information about this weekend’s celebrations, see yesterday’s and today’s Golden Business News.

The Golden Transcript (originally called the Colorado Transcript) has been publishing since 1866. The Golden History Museum has been working on digitizing the old issues, and they’re currently up to October of 1965. You’ll find old Transcripts online at

The Library will host Teen After Hours: St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt from 5-7PM. Register here….