"Blacksmith Sam" Dembitsky of the Cottonwood Forge in Brush gives instruction during a demonstration at the Overland Trail Museum's blacksmith shop.
“Blacksmith Sam” Dembitsky (left) of the Cottonwood Forge in Brush gives instruction during a demonstration at the Overland Trail Museum’s blacksmith shop. (Sara Waite/Journal-Advocate)

If you like music, history, fireworks or fun — and who doesn’t — you’ll want to visit Sterling July 1-4, during the inaugural Heritage on the Plains event.

The Overland Trail Museum’s annual Heritage Festival has been disrupted the last two years by COVID-19. This year it returns with some big changes and additions, expanding into a four-day event that traverses from downtown Sterling out to Sterling’s Pioneer Park through partnerships with Logan County, the Logan County Chamber of Commerce and the Logan County Arts League (LOCAL) along with other local sponsors.

Kicking off the celebration will be the first of the annual July Jamz free summer concert series. Rusty 44, a bluegrass and Americana band based in northern Colorado, will perform at the gazebo on the Logan County Courthouse Square from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 1. The concert will be accompanied by a beer garden hosted by the Logan County Chamber and a backyard barbecue competition.

The fun continues in downtown Sterling Saturday, July 2, with a Master Series BBQ sanctioned cook-off, and a Colorado beer and wine tasting. There will also be live musical entertainment, a corn-hole tournament, bounce house and more, with the festivities running from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

On Sunday morning, Foursquare Church will begin the day with church in the park taking place in Pioneer Park. Breakfast will be offered by the Sterling Lions Club. Following the church service the museum will kick off their traditional Heritage Festival with a flag ceremony followed by entertainment throughout the afternoon. The highlight of the day will be the Colorado Vintage Baseball Association, who will arrive dressed to play an authentic 1860s baseball game with a local team The Atomic Drifters will play a wide variety of old time rock and roll and rock-a-billy favorites from 2 to 4 p.m. Other attractions will be the Flatlanders Car Club, Blacksmith Sam, children’s carnival games and face painting and a keg of homemade root beer provided by Parts & Labor.
Wrapping up the holiday weekend Monday, July 4, will be the city of Sterling’s annual fireworks display put on by the Sterling Fire Department at Pioneer Park. The spectacular exhibit is scheduled to start at dusk.

Throughout the day families are encouraged to bring a picnic to the park and stay for a great end to the weekend!

For a full schedule of events, visit the Overland Trail Museum page on Facebook, or call 970-522-3895 with any questions.