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In a shot taken from the side of the stage, attendees enjoy the second annual Taste of OCC in Bancroft Park. But the weather was a bit on the breezy and cool side -- note the tablecloths flapping and the jackets most people are wearing.
Westside Pioneer photo

Bancroft supporters shrug off weather at Taste of OCC

ABOVE: The WMD bluegrass band, featuring vocalist Jon Wieland and his sons (Luke, 12, on bass; and Wyatt, 14, on fiddle), performed for Taste of OCC on the Bancroft Park stage. BELOW: Three of the seven participating open-air artists are seen at work during the event -- Squiggz, of Steadfast Tattoo (front right); Sheary Clough Suiter (standing, in orange cloth hat and blue gloves), of 45 Degree; and Stephanie Moon, also of 45 Degree (far left). BOTTOM: Old Colorado City Library staffers Tiffany Paisley (far left, blue coat), Melissa Taylor (red coat) and library teen volunteer Carolina Vida (far right) work on crafts with youngsters in the designated kids' play area.
Westside Pioneer photos
       With 550 people showing up despite forecasts of wind and rain, the second annual Taste of OCC April 29 netted another $7,500 toward improvements in Bancroft Park.
       The total now is a little under $30,000, according to Dave Van Ness, founder of the volunteer Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF), which organized the fundraiser.
       Attendees, who paid $30 to $35 a ticket, got to sample donated food and drink at booths set up in the park by local restaurants and beverage makers or
distributors. Also happening were a live bluegrass band (WMD, including Jon Wieland and his sons, 12 and 14), seven artists painting (sales of their works through open bidding added to the event income), a kids' play area and a silent auction of donated items.
       “We were pleased,” said Van Ness, who is also the executive director of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group. “Everyone really enjoyed the band, and I think the restaurants and wine and beer guys were all pleased.” He also thanked the Old Colorado City Library staff and volunteers for setting up crafts and supervising the play area.
       Attendance was slightly below that
of the first “Taste” last year, and slightly above the similarly themed “Harvest in the Park” last fall, he added. Earnings from both those fundraisers had brought the OCCF earnings total to $21,000 before April 29. The second “Harvest” is planned Sept. 28.
       Emily Fair, an Old Colorado City gallery owner who oversaw the painting effort, said the artists had to adapt to the weather. “One of the artists was having a hard time because of the cold, getting her watercolor to dry. But she was able to use a heater that another artist had brought to stay warm,” Fair said. “They were tough and made it work.”
       The OCCF, led by local business and neighborhood leaders, has set plans to build above- ground, handicapped-accessible restrooms in the back of the bandshell in Bancroft Park. The current construction estimate is $150,000. The hope is to use the growing Taste/ Harvest income to help leverage grants, Van Ness said.
       In the meantime, to show progress this summer, the OCCF is contracting with the Concrete Couch, a local arts organization, on an interactive project to attach decorative ceramic tiles around the bases of the four light posts in the middle of the park.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/29/14; Business: Events)

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