Territory Days to get (more) historic
Civil War camp, fast draw competition, Buffalo Soldiers ceremony added this year
If there has been one steady criticism of Territory Days in recent times, it's that the annual three-day blast in Old Colorado City has gotten too sales-oriented, losing
some of the historical emphasis that led to its creation 31 years ago.
Lynda Dunne, who organizes the event for the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group, wants people to know she's heard these comments. And, while the number of vendors (about 200) isn't going down - the event being a major fund-raiser for the merchants - she and the OCCA are bringing in several new historical acts for the May 26-28 Territory Days while keeping the existing ones.
“The reality is, Territory Days is a huge community endeavor and it's not all about history,” Dunne observed. “It would be neat to have an event like that, but it would not be a money-maker. But we have brought in many more historical events this year, and I'm proud of that, and we're going to build on that each year.”
New will be the following:
In addition, some of Territory Days' traditional Old West-style activities will be enhanced this year, as follows:
Continuing historically themed activities will be the gold-panning area; the Gaming Parlor (learning to play poker and other games of chance with costumed western characters); the Side Kickers dance group with its “Gold Rush Show” Sunday, May 27 at 11 a.m.; and old-fashioned train rides for small children, Dunne said.
The original Territory Days was a parade, inspired by the Colorado Centennial of 1976, followed by a historical skit in Bancroft Park about early Colorado City.
Territory Days this year will take place along Colorado Avenue, Bancroft Park and parts of side streets between 23rd and 27th streets, starting at 10 a.m. daily. It will also include several live bands (headed by Whiskey Falls May 26 at 2 p.m. and Phat Daddy and the Phat Horn Doctors May 28 at 3:30 p.m.), dance acts, activities and rides in Bancroft Park or on the street. A free shuttle bus will run every 15 minutes from Coronado High School. See the May 24 Westside Pioneer for a full schedule and other details.
Westside Pioneer article