Territory Days romps into Old Town May 23-25

       Territory Days, Old Colorado City's rollicking nod to the Westside's cowboy past, will get two new-fangled additions this year - remote-control car races and laser tag.
       The 34th annual street festival will happen over Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25.
       Colorado Avenue will be blocked off for the occasion between 23rd and 27th streets. Crowds of more than 100,000 are anticipated over the three days, which feature live music, historically themed activities, dancing, demonstrations, children's rides and more than 200 street vendors/crafters.
       Festival hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 23-24 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, May 25.
       Among the 18 musical acts this year (in Bancroft Park or on the street) will be nationally known country artists Eli Young (whose band has had two songs make the charts) and Trent Tomlinson. Other popular bands include Brule, Flying W Wranglers, Phat Daddy, Jerry Brown & the CW Wranglers, Darren Curtis Skanson, Nocturnal Tomatoes and the Jake Loggins Band.
       “It will be the same fun, raucous weekend as always,” said Lynda Dunne, who is in her 19th year of organizing Territory Days for the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group.
       The OCCA puts on the event with the help of corporate and local sponsorships and vendor booth rentals. There is no admission charge.
       The remote-car track, about 20 by 30 feet in size, will be set up in the 2300 block, near the mechanical bull ride. For a fee, people will be able to race cars against one another, Dunne said.
       Also for a fee, the laser tag will be played inside a tent on 25th Street, a half-block north of the avenue. Individuals can join teams of three-to-a-side that will play against each other. Dunne said she is putting a Western spin on the competition, with one team wearing black hats and the other white. “Laser tag is popular with young people, so let's try 'er,” Dunne said.
       The modern additions this year will contrast with such Old West-type activities as the Rock Ledge Ranch blacksmiths, Colorado Mounted Rangers Territorial Jail, the Side Kickers (a Western dance show), gunfighting reenactors, gold prospecting, gunfighting dramatizations and fast draw competition.
       Two past historic activities, the Indian dancing and the gaming tent, will not be back this year. Dunne said she had hoped to expand the dancing to evoke the feel of an Indian village, “but we just couldn't make it happen this year.”
       The gaming/card-playing tent was dropped after a two-year trial because it just didn't prove popular enough, she said.
       Because of minimal off-street parking, event visitors are encouraged to park at Coronado High School. Free round-trip shuttle-bus rides will be provided approximately every 15 minutes between there and 27th Street (just south of Colorado Avenue).
       As in past years, police will be looking for parking violations in the neighborhoods surrounding Old Colorado City. A typical violation is parking too close to street corners or less than five feet from driveways. The intent is to minimize parking abuses in the neighborhoods.
       Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful crews will be picking up trash at the event, as well as in the nearby neighborhoods.
       Dogs are not allowed at the festival for safety reasons, even those on a leash.
       For more information, call the OCCA at 577-4112 or go to territorydays.com.

Westside Pioneer article