It’s that time of year again. OK, how many times have you heard that? It seems to be the go-to line when talking about any annual event. I try not to overuse it, yet it seems to creep out every now and then. But when I talk about this week’s upcoming annual event, I kind of use it as a warning, because about half of the town is going to think we are under attack at about 9:15 p.m. on Saturday night. The other half are going to be outside looking up at the sky and smiling. If you are reading this, you will probably be in that second group.

That’s because every Spring we have something unique to Golden happening. It’s the Colorado School of Mines E-Days celebration, and it’s going on this coming weekend, April 21 through April 23. If you aren’t familiar with what that is, let me fill you in. It’s a weekend of fun activities for Mines students and alumni that is sort of a mid-Spring semester breather from going to classes at one of the most demanding schools in the country. It’s a weekend to blow off a little steam and give the alumni a time to get together and reminisce a little bit. Basically it’s a combination a carnival, tech expo, field day and zany events with concerts and stand-up comedian performances thrown in. Some of the events, like the concerts, are just for the Mines community, but a lot of them are open to the general public too.

For the last couple of years, the event has been virtual due to COVID, but this year it’s back live once again.

They give a theme name to the event every year and this one is called ODYSSE-Days. That means…Actually, I have no idea what that means, I couldn’t get the video about it to play on my computer. I should probably take it across the street to one of the Mines students living there and let them fix the stupid thing for me. One of them could probably take care of that in about five minutes.

Here are some of the things that everyone can attend this year. The Cardboard Boat Races are happening again and will take place from 9 a.m. to noon April 23 at Clear Creek, and they’re looking forward to having you all back as spectators. The Carnival is also once again open to the community. That takes place from noon to 3 p.m. April 23 in the D Lot on Elm Street, located on the campus. Kids under 12 can attend for free. All others are $5 per person, which includes access to the food trucks. Beer wristbands for 21+ are an additional $5.

There’s also a pretty cool Tesla Coil exhibit at noon and 2 p.m. and a Trebuchet Competition at 2:30 p.m., both on April 22, and a Car Show at 10 a.m. on April 23. For more details on these and all of the things that are scheduled, visit

And then there is the big, can’t miss event (and by “can’t miss,” I mean if you don’t know it’s coming, it’s going to scare the wits out of you), the big Fireworks Display happening at about 9:15 p.m. on April 23. Yes, I say this every year, but trust me, it may not be the biggest fireworks show you will ever see, but it’s probably the loudest one. They seem to load up on those things that go up in the air, explode with just a big white flash and go ka-boom! I think it stems from years ago when the mining majors used to just shoot off sticks of blasting dynamite, but whatever the reason, no one in town is going to sleep through the whole thing. So, warn your neighbors it’s coming. Otherwise there are going to be a lot of TV trays flipping upside down and snacks strewn all over people’s living rooms. The emphasis on any Mines E-Days fireworks show is the ka-boom part, ok? Consider yourself warned. I have now done my civic duty for the week.

It’s great to see that some of our terrific annual events are coming out of hibernation again this year. It’s been too long since we could all get out and enjoy things like this, but it does give you a new sense of appreciation for things a lot of us started taking for granted. Yup, it’s that time of year again.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at