Rocky the Leprechaun
(1950 - )
Rocky Brougham is a poet. The longtime Evergreen resident is also a skilled artist, and he’s danced professionally. Rocky is a freelance writer and the author of outdoor guidebooks. He’s a popular radio personality, a consummate marketing consultant, and he’s got a rock-solid foundation in the mineral sciences.
“That’s where I got my nickname,” smiles Rocky, a congenial man with the gift to entertain. “I started collecting rocks when I was six.” He still does. The hand-crafted stone fireplace Rocky built while expanding his 90-year-old creek-side cabin holds many a sample collected during frequent trips abroad. “It contains stones from the Great Pyramid, the Great Wall of China and Stonehenge,” he says. “And what do you make of this?” Rocky hands over a rough-looking twist of concentrated grit about the size of a horseradish root. “It’s fulgurite – you could call it fossilized lightning.”
Rocky is a talented and energetic entrepreneur. Graduating from Southern Illinois University with a communications degree, he immediately tabled his TV and radio ambitions and spent much of the 1970s building a successful chain of backpacking stores across Illinois and Missouri. In 1979 he sold the concern, kit and caboodle, and moved west to Golden where he planned to represent a large outdoor equipment manufacturer in Colorado and Utah. It was a familiar territory, after all.
“My aunt had a cabin in Dolores, and growing up we spent every summer exploring the Southwest from Monument Valley to Moab. I always loved it out here.”
In 1986 Rocky moved into a little cabin in Evergreen located on County Road 73 just north of Brook Forest Road.
“I felt lucky to have found this place.” he explains, “so I called it Luckylure.”
Preferring to guide his own financial fortunes, in about 1990 Rocky launched Colorado Promotional Products, an online emporium of custom promotional items. Not long after, he began selling Christmas trees and related seasonal accoutrements, and for the last month of every year since has transformed Luckylure into a festive “Holiday Activity Center” that draws repeat customers from all parts of the state and region.
“It’s more than Christmas trees,” says Rocky. “It’s a complete holiday experience and a family tradition. We make magic here, and that’s what brings people back year after year.”
Glen Brougham is Rocky the Leprechaun.
Back in 1977, Rocky’s then-wife worked for KICK Radio AM 1340 in Springfield, MO. “They needed a leprechaun for a promotion they were doing and couldn’t find anybody to do it. I got everything for the costume out of one of my backpack stores.” With a quick sense of humor and a knack for the madcap, Rocky’s leprechaun found favor with the good citizens of Springfield.
“If I said I was Napoleon they’d lock me up. Put on a leprechaun costume and you can get away with anything. I designed the leprechaun character to showcase all of my talents.” With a keen eye for a marketing opportunity, Rocky dusted off the sprite in 1985 to become the official pointy-eared face of a brand-new Colorado Lottery’s first-ever game of chance, “Pot o’ Gold.”
“I traveled all over the state with this big pot of gold,” he laughs.
One of the places Lotto sent Rocky was to a Denver Gold football game. The team liked his style and took him on as its official mascot. Although there wasn’t enough pixie dust in the world to save the United States Football League from extinction, by the time it folded later that same year the mischievous leprechaun had already become a Centennial State fan favorite and he seamlessly transitioned to Bronco sidelines. Brougham is quick to note that his long and happy association with the Denver Broncos is purely unofficial and without consideration or remuneration of any kind.
In the 30 years since, Rocky the Leprechaun has been a madcap amenity at seven Bronco Superbowls and was tagged by the NFL Alumni Association to serve as Official Greeter at its 1999 Superbowl Tailgate Party. He’s made appearances with a small forest of personalities like Scott Baio and Dom DeLuise, and he appeared on the television drama “Diagnosis Murder” with Dick van Dyke.
In 1986 he was named one of Denver Magazine’s 100 People to Watch. On March 18, 1989, he made the front page of both the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. He’s been Page 1 above-the-fold on three separate major New York City newspapers and he’s jawed with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.
Rocky did a hitch as national spokes-leprechaun for the Killian’s beer line and officially encouraged the thirsty to try a wee dram of Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey. In 2015 Rocky was appointed Grand Marshall of Springfield, Missouri’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Right Honourable Mayor Richard L. Stephens declared March 14, 2015 to be Rocky Brougham Day in that fair city.
“That’s ‘Pi Day’, you know.”
Rocky the Leprechaun has also strived to use his singular celebrity for altruistic purposes. He’s spent countless hours visiting patients in children’s hospitals across the nation, and he was instrumental in raising $25,000 to aid the survivors of the devastating 1996 Buffalo Creek Flood. For those efforts and many more, Brougham was named a Red Cross Mile High Hero in 2000, and he’s received official thanks from such public personages as Federico Pena and the entire Colorado State Legislature. It’s also worth noting that Brougham has in his possession a document issued by the Colorado House State House that formally recognizes Rocky the Leprechaun.
“That makes me the only official leprechaun in the country.”
These days Brougham divides his professional time between Luckylure and Moab, Utah where he hosts the morning radio show “Canyon Country Adventure Sports Updates” as a Festus-esque character named Moab Mudd.
“The primary reason for Rocky the Leprechaun is to entertain children,” he says, “and to entertain the child in all of us.”