Territory Days in Old Town May 26-28

       Territory Days, Old Colorado City's biggest event of the year, will start off with a bang (literally) at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, May 26, when a gunfight skit takes place in Bancroft Park. Colorado Springs artist Kirk Mueller depicts a Garden of the
Gods buffalo hunt in this original painting, which he created
for the Westside Pioneer for the 31st annual Territory Days in Old Colorado City May 26-28.
Painting by Kirk Mueller; photographed by Westside Pioneer
       The three-day festival will buck on from there along West Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets, which will be closed for the occasion.
       Times for the 31st annual Memorial Day weekend array of entertainment, artisans, activities, vendors and historical pride will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 26 as well as Sunday, May 27, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, May 28.
       The organizing group is the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group.
       Admission is free, but fees are charged for some activities.
       Depending on the weather (it traditionally goes on, rain or shine), Territory Days draws 60 to 130 thousand people to Old Colorado City.
       To alleviate impacts on neighborhoods, attendees are encouraged to park at Coronado High School and shuttle in. Lynda Dunne, who contracts with the OCCA to plan Territory Days, said that extra buses have been brought in this year to eliminate the lines people experienced last year. The free service will run every 15 minutes between Coronado and the corner of Colorado Avenue and 23rd Street.
       The top bands this year will be Whiskey Falls, a nationally known group from Nashville, Tenn., (Saturday at 2 p.m.) and the regionally popular Phat Daddy and the Horn Doctors (Monday at 3:30 p.m.) and the Colorado Wranglers (Sunday at 9:30 a.m.). They will play in Bancroft Park, which will feature 10 bands in all and three dance groups.
       But the main emphasis this year will be history, according to Dunne. Scheduled new attractions (all in Bancroft Park) are a Civil War Encampment all three days, a Fast Draw Contest Sunday at “high noon” (finals at 3 p.m.) and an appearance by the Buffalo Soldiers cavalry contingent Monday between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
       Returning historic activities/ entertainment are the Gaming Parlor, Territorial Jail, Gold Canyon Gunfighters and Gunfighters of the Resurrection reenactors, the Howell-Seven Falls Indian Dancers, mechanical bull ride, Rock Ledge Ranch blacksmiths, pony rides for ages 10 and under, gold-panning and street actors in period costume,
       Children's rides, including a climbing wall, will again be scheduled in the 2600 block. Additional rides will be in the 2300 block and 2400 blocks.
       For alcoholic drinks, people can go to Margarita Cantina in the 25th Street Plaza or the Beer Garden on Colbrunn Court.
       Street musicians will be playing at various locations.
       At least 200 vendors will set up on the avenue, and most of the Old Colorado City shops will be open as well.
       Trash will be controlled by a cleanup crew hired by OCCA. The crew members will also do cleanup sweeps in the surrounding neighborhoods, Dunne said.

Westside Pioneer/press release