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'Taste of OCC' encore in (and for) Bancroft Park April 27

       For the second straight year, an event combining food, drink, live music and on-location artists will fill Old Colorado City's Bancroft Park in late April.
       Titled “A Taste of OCC,” the festivities Sunday, April 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. will also once again serve as a fundraiser for the park, under the leadership of the Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF).
       Tickets are $30 in advance at TasteofOCC.com and $35 at the gate (if available).
A sign has gone up in Bancroft Park to display how the Old Colorado City Foundation is doing at raising money. The current total is $21,000.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Attendees will get to sample food donated by 18 local restaurants and 16 providers of beer, wine and spirits, according to Dave Van Ness, who is executive director of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group and founder of the OCCF.
       “Taste” will also offer water and soda for non-drinkers and a “kids corner,” at which Old Colorado City Library employees will provide activities for children.
       WMD, a Black Forest bluegrass band, will perform.
       Van Ness said he expects nine artists to be painting during the event. Their works will be auctioned afterwards as part of the fundraising effort.
       The foundation formed over a year ago as a charitable nonprofit that could raise money for “all sorts of projects that might come up in the historic district,” Van Ness said. “For starters, we're working on the park.”
       The OCCF's volunteer board consists of local business and neighborhood leaders.
       To date, the entity has raised $21,000, mostly from net earnings at the first “Taste” last April followed by the similarly formatted Harvest in the Park in September. A large “thermometer” on a sign in the park is to be updated as more funds come in.
       For the better part of last year, the board was asking for people to suggest ideas for improvements at Bancroft. What the group settled on is a plan to build public restrooms into the rear of the park's bandshell that will be handicapped-accessible, architecturally compatible and long-lasting, Van Ness said.
       Currently, the only park restrooms, built years ago, are down the stairs on either side of the bandshell. Not only are they not handicapped-accessible, they aren't always open.
       Van Ness estimated that the cost for the new restrooms could be as high as $150,000. The hope is to use event income to help leverage grants.
       In the meantime, he said, the OCCF is contracting with the Concrete Couch, a local, interactive arts organization, to decorate at least four light posts in the middle of the park this summer with ceramic tiles.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/18/14; Business: Events)

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