Madam Lou Bunch Day is celebrated each year in Central City, Colorado. The celebration is in honor of Madam Lou Bunch, one of Central City’s most famous–or infamous–citizens.
Central City is now home to about 500 people and is just a short trip from Denver, Colorado. But after gold was discovered in 1859 by John Gregory in a gulch near town, the population swelled to over 10,000 in a short few month. At the height of the gold rush, the town was home to over 40,000 people, mostly miners looking to make their fortune mining gold. According to records, not many people did
Madam Lou was a colorful character who lived in Central City and ran the most popular brothel in town. Some say that Madam Lou was quite a successful business woman. She also had a soft side, and when an epidemic broke out in town, she and her girls cared for the sick and dying miners of the town. According to the 1910 census, Madam Lou was one of the only two women that lived in Central City. Shortly after the census was taken, she disappeared without a trace.
Each June for over three and half decades, the town folk of Central City pay homage to Madam Lou and her contributions to society by hosting Madam Lou Bunch Days. One of the events includes a Brass Bed race. The Brass Bed Race is held down Main Street with participants dressed in period era costumes. Teams compete in the race for prizes and for the notoriety of winning the race. In addition to the race, there are dances, costume contests, prizes, great food, and a Madam and Miner’s Ball gala event in the evening at the town‘s Elk Lodge. Visitors and tourists are heartily welcomed to the town and to participate in events.
While visiting Central City for the festivities, you can also take some time to visit one of the many casinos on Main Street, or perhaps you might want to visit the replica of the historic jail. Visitors also like to take a popular haunted cemetery tour of the local cemetery which has graves dating back to the gold rush days. If you want something a little bit less structured, you might want to take the family on a self-guided walking tour of the town or one of the gold mines.
For more information on Central City, Colorado or Madam Lou Bunch days, you can check out http://www.centralcitycolorado.us/2010/06/madame-lou-bunch-day-this-saturday-2/.