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Territory Days May 23-25; Air Force Honor Guard and Drill Team from D.C. to perform on Memorial Day

Hawk Quest, a nonprofit organization that studies and supports raptors, has been a Territory Days participant for many years, always given the same location on the south side of Colorado Avenue's 2600 block. Holding a bald eagle at last year's event was Hawk Quest volunteer Robert Clearwater.
Westside Pioneer file photo
       Territory Days will make its 40th annual arrival in Old Colorado City May 23-25.
       Colorado Avenue will be closed off all three days and filled with vendor tents and activities with an Old West theme between 23rd and 27th streets. Bancroft Park will also be devoted to the free street festival, offering a steady stream of live entertainment, including bands (mostly local) and repeat gunfighter shows.. The annual fast-draw competition will conclude in the park at 1:30 p.m. May 25 after a "qualifier" at at 11:30 a.m. in the Old Town Plaza parking lot (called "Clock Tower Stage" in the official program).
       Sponsored by the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group, Territory Days annually draws an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 people, depending on the weather. Because parking is at a premium, shuttle buses will be running throughout, transporting people from designated parking lots at Coronado High School and Rock Ledge Ranch.
       A special addition this year will be the United Air Force Honor Guard and Drill Team from Washington, D.C., which will perform Monday, May 25 at 2 p.m. in the park as part of the event's Memorial Day observation to recognize those who died in service to their country. The roughly 25-member team will perform choreographed drills that include simultaneously throwing and catching their rifles.
       Territory Days organizer Jim Wear said he was fortunate that they were available; his “inside” help came from someone with the Honor Guard who had attended a previous Territory Days. “I've been trying to get them for 20 years,” he said. “This just fell in our lap.”
       A subtraction from the program is Brule, the popular American Indian band from South Dakota that normally has its own stage at the festival. They had to cancel this year for personal reasons, Wear said.
       Brule's usual space on 25th Street, just north of the avenue, will have an Indian teepee for dancers who are scheduled to perform regularly there.
       The Clock Tower Stage will have continuous entertainment, including live music, Indian drums, square dancers and a magician.
       Elsewhere in the festival can be found two beer gardens (also with live music), children’s rides, a petting zoo, gold panning and pony rides. About 200 vendors will fill the avenue between 23rd and 27th streets.
       Nationally known bands in Bancroft Park (times subject to change) are Waterloo Revival, May 24 at 6 p.m.; Mickey Guyton, May 25 at 5 p.m.; and the Lost Trailers, May 25 at 5:30 p.m.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 5/13/15, updated 5/22/15; Business: Events)

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