Celebrate Lakewood's 50th Anniversary

Get ready to celebrate 50 amazing years as a city! And while Lakewood's incorporation day is technically June 24, we’re celebrating with the community all year in 2019.

Lakewood's 50th Anniversary is a time to honor our community’s unique history, diverse residents, and those who laid the foundation for incorporation and paved the way for the city's sense of community, culture and inclusiveness. We’ll highlight the early families and visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, staff, volunteers, and of course, the residents who together create and strengthen the community fabric that is Lakewood.

Here’s to celebrating our city’s rich past and looking ahead to the next 50 years. We hope you take a look around and join the celebration by participating in all of the activities on this site:

Get ready to celebrate 50 amazing years as a city! And while Lakewood's incorporation day is technically June 24, we’re celebrating with the community all year in 2019.

Lakewood's 50th Anniversary is a time to honor our community’s unique history, diverse residents, and those who laid the foundation for incorporation and paved the way for the city's sense of community, culture and inclusiveness. We’ll highlight the early families and visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, staff, volunteers, and of course, the residents who together create and strengthen the community fabric that is Lakewood.

Here’s to celebrating our city’s rich past and looking ahead to the next 50 years. We hope you take a look around and join the celebration by participating in all of the activities on this site:

  • Keep an eye out for Pop-up Parties

    18 days ago
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    For Lakewood’s 50th Anniversary celebration, we’re bringing the party to you! Beginning in January 2019, we will be throwing Pop-up Parties in the community to surprise and dazzle residents when they least expect it.

    You never know where we will pop up. It could be at the Bear Creek Lake Park swim beach, on stage at the Lakewood Cultural Center, or maybe even in your office. Just be ready for a quick 20-minute celebration – anywhere!

    Sounds like a good time, right? We hope so! Keep an eye out for these unexpected, whimsical, and offbeat parties, and don’t forget...

    For Lakewood’s 50th Anniversary celebration, we’re bringing the party to you! Beginning in January 2019, we will be throwing Pop-up Parties in the community to surprise and dazzle residents when they least expect it.

    You never know where we will pop up. It could be at the Bear Creek Lake Park swim beach, on stage at the Lakewood Cultural Center, or maybe even in your office. Just be ready for a quick 20-minute celebration – anywhere!

    Sounds like a good time, right? We hope so! Keep an eye out for these unexpected, whimsical, and offbeat parties, and don’t forget to share photos and videos on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #Lakewood50.

  • Why are we celebrating Lakewood's 50th Anniversary?

    18 days ago
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    Planning for Lakewood's 50th Anniversary began during the spring of 2015, when the Lakewood Advisory Commission made recommendations to City Council about this upcoming milestone. The Lakewood Advisory Commission consists of residents with a mission to support a vibrant and inclusive community by conducting research and providing recommendations on local issues to City Council.

    The commission recommended encouraging community groups to get involved including schools and businesses; publishing a book or calendar with historic photos; creating banners; installing historical signs/markers in parks that communicate the history and origin of the site; and more. Based on these recommendations, City Council allocated...

    Planning for Lakewood's 50th Anniversary began during the spring of 2015, when the Lakewood Advisory Commission made recommendations to City Council about this upcoming milestone. The Lakewood Advisory Commission consists of residents with a mission to support a vibrant and inclusive community by conducting research and providing recommendations on local issues to City Council.

    The commission recommended encouraging community groups to get involved including schools and businesses; publishing a book or calendar with historic photos; creating banners; installing historical signs/markers in parks that communicate the history and origin of the site; and more. Based on these recommendations, City Council allocated funding for a yearlong community celebration. The following activities are what residents can look forward to in 2019:

    • Online engagement opportunities including weekly Lakewood Trivia, scavenger hunts, and more!
    • Pop-up Parties
    • 50th Anniversary giveaways
    • Social media celebration using #Lakewood50
    • 50th themed performances at the Lakewood Cultural Center
    • The opening of a new permanent Lakewood history exhibit at Lakewood Heritage Center
    • New signs in selected city parks to include historical information
    • 50th related themes and giveaways at your favorite annual city events, like Cider Days, Rockin’ Block Party, Lakewood Lights and Big Boom Bash.
    • A new public art installation in Addenbrooke Park (Vote on the artist here!)
    • The release of a book commemorating Lakewood’s 50th anniversary available for purchase
    • History video

    Now that you know a little more about why we are celebrating Lakewood's 50th Anniversary and what activities you can look forward to, we hope you'll join the fun.

  • A glimpse into Lakewood's past

    18 days ago
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    When the City of Lakewood was incorporated almost 50 years ago in 1969, it was a remarkable task of weaving a community together from neighborhoods with a strong sense of identity founded on decades of residents working together to build schools, lay pipelines or install other improvements for themselves.

    The name Lakewood originated long before the city existed, and it came from a subdivision that William Loveland, owner of the Colorado Central Railroad, established in 1889 near West Colfax Avenue and Harlan Street. In the early years, residents in the area ranched, raised turkeys and operated dairies....

    When the City of Lakewood was incorporated almost 50 years ago in 1969, it was a remarkable task of weaving a community together from neighborhoods with a strong sense of identity founded on decades of residents working together to build schools, lay pipelines or install other improvements for themselves.

    The name Lakewood originated long before the city existed, and it came from a subdivision that William Loveland, owner of the Colorado Central Railroad, established in 1889 near West Colfax Avenue and Harlan Street. In the early years, residents in the area ranched, raised turkeys and operated dairies. In the 1940s, the federal government acquired the land now known as the Federal Center, and in the decades that followed, agriculture gave way to neighborhoods, each establishing a sense of pride.

    Several efforts to incorporate into a city occurred in the 1940s and 1950s, but they failed. In 1969, fears of annexation to Denver and a lack of law enforcement resources began to concern residents, now numbering over 90,000. Boundaries for a new city were drawn on a basement pingpong table in the home of James Jeff "Jim" Richey, chairman of the Citizens for Incorporation. In June 1969, those living in neighborhoods such as Alameda, Green Mountain, Bear Creek, Applewood and Lakewood voted by more than a two-to-one margin to create a city, one of the largest incorporations of its time. Richey became mayor, but the City Council had to find offices and supplies on a shoestring budget. The city's name was soon changed from Jefferson City to Lakewood after residents favored that name in an advisory vote to the City Council, which changed the name by resolution.

    From the beginning, Lakewood's growth was positive, progressive and visionary. The Police Department became one of the first ever to require its agents to have a college degree. In 1983, Lakewood residents approved a City Charter, which is essentially the City's constitution.

    What started as ranchland, turkey farms and early subdivisions of homes has become one of the largest cities in Colorado with more than 44-square miles and a population of just over 150,000. Lakewood is the third largest city in the Denver metro area and the fifth largest city in the state of Colorado. One-quarter of Lakewood’s land is dedicated to parks and open space, and the city has several major employment centers such as the Federal Center, Academy Park, Union Boulevard and the St. Anthony Medical Campus. Residents are also served by several special districts for water, sewer, fire and schools, all remnants from the early days when residents banded together to create services for themselves before the city existed.


    To help preserve Lakewood's history, the Lakewood Heritage Center is home to more than 30,000 historical objects and more than 8,000 historical photographs. These artifacts and photographs tell the story of the Lakewood, Jefferson County, the state and national and world events as they relate to Lakewood residents. These artifacts cover, but are not limited to, the history of 20th century business and technology, textiles and personal artifacts, toys, military life, domestic life and material culture. You can learn more about this important community amenity by visiting Lakewood.org/HeritageCenter.

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  • Weekly trivia answers

    18 days ago
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    If you enjoy a brain-busting question like we do, make sure you visit this site every Monday to answer a Lakewood-related trivia question in the section labeled "Weekly trivia." These weekly quizzes will include questions on Lakewood's incorporation, history, city services, community hot spots and more.

    Oct. 29

    Q: Who was the first mayor of Lakewood?

    A: James Jeff "Jim" Richey.

    Nov. 5:

    Q: How many patrol agents did the Lakewood Police Department have when it was first established in 1970?

    A: 30.

    Nov. 12

    Q: How many square miles was Lakewood after incorporation in 1969?

    A: Coming soon!




    If you enjoy a brain-busting question like we do, make sure you visit this site every Monday to answer a Lakewood-related trivia question in the section labeled "Weekly trivia." These weekly quizzes will include questions on Lakewood's incorporation, history, city services, community hot spots and more.

    Oct. 29

    Q: Who was the first mayor of Lakewood?

    A: James Jeff "Jim" Richey.

    Nov. 5:

    Q: How many patrol agents did the Lakewood Police Department have when it was first established in 1970?

    A: 30.

    Nov. 12

    Q: How many square miles was Lakewood after incorporation in 1969?

    A: Coming soon!