EDITOR’S NOTES: We have added to this News Release (1.) street addresses, or cross-streets for events, and (2.) small details about exhibits that have been provided to us by entities who are presenting a portion of the weekend programs. — We suggest that you print this up for reference, as there are multiple activities going on Sunday. The permanent Flood Exhibit at the museum is available for viewing daily, in the summer. — The Lyons Recorder will have numerous articles, plus lots of photographs, over the first three weeks of September.
We WILL UPDATE THIS PAGE if any IMPORTANT CHANGES or ADDITIONS are made.
For those of you who were living in Lyons ten years ago, you will remember how Lyons suffered its worst disaster in the town’s history. For those of you who are new to Lyons, you have probably heard stories about the 500-year flood that severely inundated the town. Depending on how long you have lived in Lyons, you have probably witnessed some of the flood recovery projects which have taken place over the last decade. Most recently, 40 homes are being built at Lyons Valley Townhomes in Lyons Valley Park. The primary purpose of this project is to replace housing lost during the flood. Residents who were affected by the flood in 2013 were given priority in the application process.
As we approach the 10th anniversary of this historic event, we would like to remember the grit, the grace, and the gratitude of our residents. The grit reminds us of the days immediately following the flood during which so many town residents felt trapped on one of six “islands”. The grace refers to the time period over the last ten years during which the Town of Lyons has spent many resources and efforts on flood recovery projects totaling over $70 million dollars. The gratitude is what we would like to remember today as we reflect how far we have come, individually and as a community. Ultimately, this natural disaster is what brought our community together as a family, even though we were separated for a short time.
Art Work by Larry Cohan is available at the Lyons Redstone Museum, and also on display at LAHC’s town hall 3rd Quarter Art Show exhibit. (Details best seen on a computer screen)
We invite everyone to join us on September 9th, 10th, and 11th as we commemorate “10 years of Grit, Grace & Gratitude: A Remembrance of the 2013 Flood.”
- TUESDAY: As a prelude to this weekend, the documentary “Fundamentals of the Flood” will be available at the Lyons Community Library, 431 4th Avenue, for viewing on Tuesday, September 5th at 6:30p.m. (Presented by the Lyons Redstone Museum) This film will help us to understand how this historic flood came to be, offering some scientific facts. The documentary’s producer, Cat Russell, will introduce the film and answer questions after the viewing. Copies will be available for purchase.
- SATURDAY: September 9th, 6 – 7:30 p.m., there will be an informal gathering at Moxie Bread Co., with an Open Mic, where community members are invited to share poems, stories, songs, and other personal recollections. (Note, Moxie moved to High Street and 5th Avenue)
- ==Since the anniversary falls on a Monday, most community events will take place on Sunday, September 10th. Everyone, including elected officials and (non)governmental partners has been invited to a Remembrance Ceremony at 11 a.m. at Lyons Sandstone Park. A wide range of officials are invited: including both Colorado legislative representatives who were involved in helping Lyons recover, such as Rep. John Hickenlooper (governor at the time), and local Lyons officials, such as the mayor, and nonprofit groups.
- ==Tragically, Lyons lost one victim to the flood. Gerald Boland was a beloved teacher and coach for many years in Lyons schools. His memory will be honored with a tree planting.
- ==Following the Remembrance Ceremony, residents and visitors will have a wide range of options to learn more about the flood that forever altered our town. From 12:30-4p.m., there will be several flood exhibits, plus golf car tours of flood recovery projects, and an open house at Lyons Valley Townhomes. (see below)
- ==The final event is a Community Gathering in LaVern Johnson Park, with sandwiches, music, and socializing.
- ==Candlelight Vigil, for residents only, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Confluence Circle, Prospect between 4th and 5th Avenue. Ceremony, blessings, music.
SUGGESTED STOPS ON SUNDAY, September 10, 2023
==11 a.m. Remembrance Ceremony, Sandstone Park
==If you would like to buy a T-shirt “We’ve still got grit.” or see large memorabilia from the flood, stop by the Visitor Center, between Railroad Ave. and Broadway, after the Official Remembrance Ceremony.
==From there, you can make your way to the Lyons Community Library, 431 4th Avenue, where there will be hands-on memorabilia on display such as books and photos.
==Starting at 1p.m., a detailed video presentation of Town Administrator, Victoria Simonsen’s official flood presentation will be at Town Hall, at the corner of Railroad Avenue and 5th Ave (Hwy 7). If you haven’t seen it, this presentation will give you a taste of what happened ten years ago, and it is both historical and powerful. If you miss the 1p.m. showing, you can attend the second showing at 2:30p.m. (enter town hall through the town’s park door) There will be some flood-related art work on the walls.
==Next, stop by the Lyons Redstone Museum, 340 High St. and 4th Avenue. The exhibit has detailed storylines of what happened during and after the flood, in photographs, objects, reports, and video. Along with this permanent flood display, the Redstone Museum will have an inventory of “oral history” interviews that were recorded ten years ago to view, and videos of the flood on a monitor screen. They also have available for purchase all the books, pamphlets and newspapers published about the flood, during that first year.
==Make time for the golf cart tours, running from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. If you’d like to see just how far Lyons has come in rebuilding since the flood, you are welcome to join a golf car tour starting at Sandstone Park, on Railroad Ave. (near the Visitor Center). Carts and a tour guide are provided (free).
==If you would like a sneak preview of the newly built Lyons Valley Townhomes, Summit Housing will be holding an open house from 12:30-4p.m. Take the McConnell bridge over the ponds, heading toward the high school. Watch for signs “Lyons Valley Townhomes,” turning left on Carter Drive. These buildings will be first offered to flood survivors who had to leave Lyons due to losing their homes.
==For the big finale, everyone is invited to join us at 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Lavern Johnson Park for a community gathering which will include live music, dance, food and drinks. There will be sandwiches, chips, watermelon and cookies. Everyone is welcome to bring their own picnic, and a camp chair or blanket for a few hours of community love. (No alcohol allowed in the parks)
==The next day, return at 6:30 p.m. for the Candlelight Vigil at the Confluence Circle (near Prospect Ave., between 5th and 4th Avenue). This evening program is on the official day of the flood, September 11th, and it closes the weekend. (Note, the Circle of boulders is to be completed by September 11th, and will be located near the Rocky Mt. Botanic Gardens).
There will be something for everyone; newer residents and older residents will all find some way to honor how this event has affected Lyons and each other.
If you would like to be involved, or if you have any flood memorabilia, especially vintage T-shirts from the flood, which you would like to share for the day, please contact Claudia Paterno at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please keep in touch with upcoming events by visiting www.townoflyons.com/10yearflood.
We stood together as a community and a family ten years ago, and will again today, and look forward to the continued healing and communion at our ten year anniversary.