EDITOR’S DESK: Territory Days – it keeps being fun
Sure, it's commercialized. Sure, it's a big crowd. Sure, it's going to put scowls on the faces of some nearby residents who don't like the noise, the traffic and the mess.
But let's face it: Territory Days is also a whole lot of fun.
I think what I look forward to every year is seeing events and activities I can't see anywhere else. Oh, I suppose I could, in most cases, but I'd have to go to festivals all over the place to do it, whereas this one is right here on the jolly old Westside. Even the vendors. You never know from one year to the next what interesting creations some new artisan might have.
There are certain elements that are totally unique. Bancroft Park, with its grassy space, shady trees, friendly little bandshell and concrete area in front of it, is ideally suited for entertainment ranging from gunfight skits to precision dancing to wailing amplified music to a Civil War encampment - all of which will be provided there at various times during this year's event.
It's also only fair to give a tip of the Territory Days souvenir cap (new this year!) to the Old Colorado City Associates and organizer Lynda Dunne, who have definitely picked up the pace with the most recent three festivals (including this one). First, in 2005, responding to the Fire Department's call for an emergency lane, the event was extended an extra block, down to 23rd Street. At the time no one knew how it would go - the 2300 block not being part of the historic district and so forth - but now it seems perfectly natural, not to mention easier to navigate the crowds, than it was before. Then, in 2006, responding to neighborhood appeals, the merchants enhanced trash pickup and parking enforcement while adding a major historical element in the Gaming Parlor. That brings us to this year, in which there are three new historical aspects - the encampment, the fast draw competition and the Buffalo Soldiers - plus (we're told) there will be street interactions with Old West- garbed actors. Hopefully a good time will be had by all. My favorite type of story.