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Taste of OCC event April 26; foundation has plan, price now for Bancroft restrooms

An archirtect's rendering shows a proposed addition to the back of the Bancroft Park bandshell. The view looks southwest from Pikes Peak Avenue.
Sarah Allen drawing; courtesy of Dave Van Ness
       The third annual Taste of OCC is scheduled Sunday, April 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Bancroft Park.
       As in the past, the event will feature a live band, artists at work and samples of prepared food and drink from area restaurants and liquor distributors.
       Sponsored by the Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF), the event is a fundraiser for improvements in the historic district around Colorado Avenue between 24th and 27th streets. The current, initial goal is public, handicapped-accessible restrooms to be built into the back of the Bancroft Park bandshell at an estimated cost of $185,000.
       Tickets are $30 in advance at TasteofOCC.com and $35 at the gate (if available). A total of 650 tickets have been printed, and a sellout is expected, according to Jewels Burdick, who is helping with the promotional effort.
       There will be 40 vendors, about half of them offering food and the other half beverages (craft beer, wine or spirits), Burdick said.
       Scheduled to perform is the J. Miller Band, a bluegrass group.
       Twelve local artists have signed on to create works during the event, which will be auctioned later in the day.
       The event will also include games and a lottery with chances to win small and large prizes and a “kid zone” (in cooperation with the Old Colorado City Library) where parents can play with their youngsters. Also, details about the restroom plan may be ready for people to look at, according to Dave Van Ness, who is executive director of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group and founder of the OCCF.
       Earnings from “Taste” events in April 2013 and 2014, plus the similar “Harvest in the Park' in September 2013 have raised close to $30,000, Van Ness said.
       The renderings have been created by downtown architect Sharon Allen, under a contract with the OCCF. The cost estimate was provided by Westside contractor Charlie Paterson (although he is transitioning to retirement and does not plan to do the work), Van Ness explained.
       No construction funding is currently available from City Parks to augment the OCCF-raised money, but grant applications are in the works, Van Ness said.
       Currently, Bancroft's only restrooms are down the stairs on either side of the bandshell. Not only are they not handicapped-accessible, they aren't always open.
       The city has agreed to take over maintenance of the planned restrooms, once they're built, he said.
       The foundation formed in 2013 as a charitable nonprofit, with support from the OCCA. The OCCF's volunteer board consists of local business and neighborhood leaders.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/15/15; Business: Events)

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