Calling all photographers! Manitou Springs holding photo contest to celebrate its 150th birthday

The City of Manitou Springs is celebrating 150 years, and officials say this year's photo contest is part of that celebration.
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 11:42 AM MDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2022 at 12:40 PM MDT
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MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Manitou Springs is celebrating a big birthday this year! To mark this milestone, the city wants to know: What does Manitou mean to you?

Is it the wildlife? The cute local shops?

Is it trekking up the Incline?

The way it looks like a Christmas card after it snows?

Whether you’re a professional or just snap photos with your phone for fun, the city is inviting anyone with a picture that best says “Manitou” to enter this year’s photo contest!

“Every year for the past three years now, we hold a photo contest open to the general public so folks can submit pictures that they’ve taken that they’ve taken within the city limits of Manitou Springs,” explained Alex Trefry, the city spokesperson. “There’s just so many things to capture. It normally has a great turnout and it’s hard judging it. So we’re inviting the public to take part in this one, but there’s a little bit of a twist: Since it’s our 150-year celebration, we’re asking people to celebrate and look at how they can capture city life and who we are.”

“City life and who we are” is the official theme of the 2022 photo contest, and Trefry says the city has kept the theme intentionally vague to help get photographers’ creative juices flowing.

“We’re looking at whatever the photographer or person taking the picture interprets that to be. That could be anything from our beautiful landscape to people having fun downtown to Fountain Creek -- anything like that. If you think who we are is our beautiful landscape, then please take a picture and send it in.”

The rules are simple: the photo must be of something in Manitou, it must be taken by you, and it must be in landscape format. Trefry says the city is accepting photos taken any year, not specifically 2022, and they can be taken with a real camera or with a phone.

The winner of the photo contest will be awarded $200 in “Manitou money,” which Trefry says most local businesses accept in place of cash. (”Just give them a call beforehand to make sure,” he told 11 News.) Second place will be awarded $150 in Manitou money, and third place gets $100.

All of the top 10 winners will see their photos used on the city’s website, social media pages, and promotional materials.

“Our website and social media combined reach almost a million people a year, so it’s great exposure for your photos,” Trefry said.

As Manitou marks its 150 years as a city, it’s also looking at what came before. The area isn’t only about the stunning views, bustling businesses, and attractions like the Cog Railway -- its indigenous heritage is equally “Manitou.”

“We’re celebrating a lot more than just the ‘birth of the city,’ of Manitou Springs, we’re celebrating what that has created us to be, but also the past of that, the indigenous peoples of the past, present and future and how they collaborate into our current Manitou Springs culture and community. So we are celebrating 150 years ago and the start of this, but also, what led up to that and where we are now. So that’s what ‘City life and who we are’ encompasses,” Trefry said.

“Because that [the indigenous people who have made their home at the shadow of Pikes Peak far longer than 150 years] all plays into the culture of where we are now.”

Photo entries will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 4. For more information on the photo contest, click here.

Click below to see the photos used in our story:

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