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Annual Territory Days festival in Old Colorado City May 28-30

       Who knows what the weather will be, but rain or shine, it's a safe forecast that Old Colorado City will be crowded with people for Territory Days on Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30.
       The 41st annual street festival will again shut down Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets for vendor booths, bands, beer gardens and activity areas.
Colorful Indian dancers often accompany Brule at Territory Days, as in this shot from 2013. The South Dakota-based group will be back this year after missing 2015 and will set up again on 25th Street.
Westside Pioneer file photo
The event time frame will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 28-29 and 9 to 6 on the 30th.
       Admission to Territory Days is free, but fees are charged for some activities. Barring bad weather, crowds for all three days could be 150,000 people or more. Even when it rains a lot, the turnout is typically only reduced by about a third.
       Bands (more than 20, mostly local) will be playing at Bancroft Park, the “OK Corral” beer garden in the 2600 block, the Old Town Plaza (“Clock Tower,” on the south side of 25th and Colorado) and on the north side of that intersection, according to the schedule by event organizer Pro Promotions.
       Bancroft Park will be busy throughout, with live music and gunfighting enactments all three days. Special shows at the park will be a Cowboy Church Service May 29 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., the 101st Army Winds (a 20-piece group of wind instruments) May 30 from 2 to 3 p.m. and a Memorial Day ceremony just afterwards.
       The headline band will be Matt Gary from Nashville, Tenn., May 30 at 1 p.m.
       The Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) will pitch in all three days with an HO-scale model railroad set-up in its History Center, located next to the park at 1 S. 24th St., as well as historic demonstrations in the park's Garvin Cabin. Admission will be free to both.
       With high demand for on-street parking at Territory Days, free shuttle buses will run between the parking lot at Coronado High School (overflow at Rock Ledge Ranch's lot) and the east and west ends of the festival (Colorado/23rd and Colorado/27th).
       Good news for many fans will be the return of Brule, an American Indian band that couldn't fit Territory Days into its schedule last year, according to Jim Wear, owner of Pro Promotions. Brule is traditionally given its own stage on the north side of 25th Street. The group will play at intervals all three days.
       Not happening this year after a nine-year run is the fast-draw shooting event. Wear said the Cripple Creek group that organized it has disbanded.
       Pro Promotions contracts with the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group, for whom the festival is its most profitable event of the year, with earnings used primarily for marketing.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 5/16/16; Business: Events)

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