Two new license plates celebrating Colorado's 150th year of statehood were unveiled by Gov. Jared Polis and the Division of Motor Vehicles on Wednesday.
The Colorado Department of Revenue launched the Historic Colorado contest in September 2022 to determine the new designs. More than 300 entries from 216 contestants were submitted.
More than 34,000 people voted on three finalists in each of the two divisions: one for people younger than 13, and one for everyone older than 13.
“In January, I asked the question, ‘Who do we want to be when Colorado turns 150 years old?’ Polis said. “And I shared my vision for what I believe we can do if we work together.”
“The designs being revealed today share that vision for our state. They are a visual representation of who we are, who we can be, and who we want to be.”
Denver’s Calista Blaschke’s “Pikes Peak or Bust” design won the Under 13 division. She drew her inspiration from the mountain, fortune hunters, the state bird (lark bunting) and the state tree (blue spruce).
“It feels amazing to win, and I think it'll be very cool with all of my work on all the cars of Colorado," Blaschke said. “And this is my first time entering a contest. So, I'm just very surprised I won.”
Evan Griesheimer, also from Denver, won the 13 and older division with his nod to Colorado’s mining history. His simple design features the state colors with the Rocky Mountains and mining equipment enclosed in a badge similar to the state seal.
“It’s just amazing to have some work that'll be out there kind of throughout the state. I graduated back in ‘21 from Colorado State University. So, I've been doing a lot of freelance stuff on the side. But, having something that's a little more major out there is pretty awesome,” said Griesheimer, who holds a degree in art with a concentration in graphic design.
Polis said the new plates will be enjoyed for many years.
“Both of our winning artists have incredible talent. I know they put a lot of thoughtful, hard work into coming up with these license plates,” Polis said. “I think they will be very proud for many years as they're driving around our beautiful state and they see their own work reflected.”
A limited number of the license plates will be manufactured and available before the state’s 150th anniversary in 2026.
Coloradans can purchase the commemorative plates beginning Aug. 1, 2023, through Aug. 1, 2027, without the additional charges that come with specialty plates.
You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up. The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!