When Summertime hits Colorado ... it gets HOT! We have a low humidity index - roughly 20% lower than a lot of the nation. We are also a Colorado Springs is also a high desert - not a lot of water! SO, the water that we DO have, we LOVE!
One place that kids (and adults) love to gather on hot days is Uncle Wilbur Fountain - one of many beautiful art structures in downtown Colorado Springs that also doubles as a play fountain, on the SW corner of Bijou and Tejon in Acacia Park.
This fun fountain was designed by Kat and Bob Tudor - active members of the Colorado Springs Art Community, and who also ran the Smokebrush Center for Arts and Theater. They were in search of the "perfect fountain concept" and traveled all over the nation looking for something that would fit the whimsical and unpredictable needs of our city.
Wilbur Fountain was created in 2001. This is what the official Uncle Wilbur Fountain website says:
" ... [a] delightful sculpture [with] 52 vertical pop jets, over 200 unpredictable streams of water, dozens of colorful fiber-optic lights, danceable scores, and a water-themed riddle that, when the fountain is on, is accessible only to those willing to "take the plunge" and venture beneath the waterfall cascading from Wilber's sky-blue dome." SO MUCH FUN!
Uncle Wilbur Fountain runs throughout the entire Summer - From the end of May to the beginning of September from 10am - 10pm.
And? Once and hour - on the hour - a spectacular musical water display showers the kids with music and random shots of water. The blue dome slowly rises and you begin to see a Dalmatian dancing around in circles. As the dome raises higher and higher, Uncle Wilbur appears playing his tuba and having a grand ol' time!
(Please take a couple minutes to check out the video that I took the other day ... below...)
Where did Uncle Wilbur Fountain get it's name?
Uncle Wilbur is named after the "long-time principal of the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind who played the tuba and happened to be Bob's (the creators) uncle" ...!
We have the the Smokebrush Foundation for the Arts to thank for this wonderful donation as well as much other public and private involvement. Now, Uncle Wilbur Fountain is maintained by the City of Colorado Springs - Parks and Rec Department. When the fountain is running, there are always City Staff members maintaining the grounds and and the proper functioning of the fountain as well as watching out for all the kids ... Remember: No running!
I love Uncle Wilbur Fountain. In fact, I make sure I always keep a couple extra towels in my car for any time that I am out with my kids and happen to be in the downtown area on a hot day. Usually, when I know that I will be checking on one of our downtown area listings, I make sure that I bring my kids! I can always find a great parking spot around Acacia Park, drop a couple quarters into the meter and spend a bit of time "cooling off" in the fountain.
When we are plenty cooled off and a bit water-logged, the kids can play at the playground until they are dry enough to pile back into th car. Even a mere 30 minutes from parking the car to leaving can make any trip downtown a fun experience for hot kids ... and parents, too!
Here is a video I took of the musical water display when we were playing there a couple days ago ...