One of the most influential cultures in the Southwestern United States, the Hispanic Culture has made a distinct mark on Pueblo that is unmatched anywhere else in Colorado. Much of the visual art and architecture around Pueblo pays tribute to its Hispanic heritage. Many museums exist in the area which celebrate the cultural contributions of the Hispanic culture. However, despite the major artistic and traditional contributions that can still be experienced today, the one piece of culture Pueblo’s visitors seek most is the food. Every year, Pueblo holds festivals and events in celebration of its unique cuisines, the most notable of which is the green chili. All over the area, the Hispanic culture is experienced and celebrated with food, music, dance, and art.
During the great migration to America, one of the largest groups to “make its way across the pond” to the United States was the people of Italy. Like many other European nations, both World Wars took their toll and forced many out of their homelands in search of greener pastures. As they began to move west across the nation, several thousand found their way to Colorado. Many settled in Pueblo, and the culture and traditions they brought with them have been among the most influential in the area. The legacy that first generation left behind in folklore, music, art, and cuisine runs rich in Pueblo’s heritage and is one of the easiest to find and experience in the area. The culinary influence has led to dishes that are unique, delicious, and distinctly “Puebloan,” such as the famous Italian Sausage sandwich, also known as a “grinder.” Many of the older buildings in Pueblo also have Italian influences in their architecture. While Italian culture has had much influence on the entire country, it is a part of Pueblo’s heritage and is especially unique and a delight to experience.
During the time period between World War I and World War II, there was a mass migration of Europeans to the United States. Europe, being ravaged by the first Great War, was no longer a viable place for the people of many European nations to live and raise a family. Beyond the Atlantic Ocean was an opportunity to start anew. So began one of the greatest infusions of European culture into the American melting pot. Among the many cultural groups that made the voyage to the United States were the people of Slovenia. Throughout the nation, Slovenian emigrants settled into industrial cities and were one of the major contributors to the growth of American Industry. A large group made its way to Colorado, and several found work in the steel industry in Pueblo. With their arrival, Slovenians introduced cultural and culinary traditions that are still with the community to this day. One of the most popular culinary delights enjoyed year-round, but especially popular around the holidays, is a sweet dessert called “Potica” (pronounced po-TEET-za). Another beloved dish that one cannot visit Pueblo without sampling is Kolbase. The Slovenian tradition of folk music, theatre, and the visual arts have also reverberated down the generations and can still be seen and experienced in Pueblo.