From the Boulder Daily Camera (Laura Snider):
…the Boulder History Museum has organized a “Big Dam Party” at the dam Wednesday to celebrate its importance — creating with the power it creates and the water it stores — to the city of Boulder. “It’s going to be very casual and informal. We’re just encouraging people to bring their own beverages, food, chairs and blankets,” said Bob Yates, president of the museum’s Board of Trustees. “Really, it’s just a good excuse for a party.” Like many dams being built at the time, the Barker Dam — which helped electrify Boulder, Denver and the nearby mining boomtowns — was built specifically to run a hydroelectric plant. In the early 1900s, hydropower accounted for more than 40 percent of all the electricity produced in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
In the 1940s, hydropower provided about 75 percent of all power in the West, but only one-third of the power in the country. Today, hydropower provides 6 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States.