Territory Days draws near-record attendance

       The wind gusted here and there, but mostly it blew in good fortune for the 28th annual Territory Days in Old Colorado City May 29-31. A placid view Sunday afternoon from Bancroft Park toward Colorado Avenue, where smoke wafts up from festival eateries.
       “It was fabulous,” said Lynda Dunne, owner of the organizing group, Colorado Main Events. “This was one of of the best years we've ever had.”
       Police estimated the crowds over the three days at “somewhere a little short of 140,000,” Dunne said. The event's best-ever attendance total was 140,000.
       No crimes of consequence were reported, and “there were not a lot of complaints” from the surrounding residential neighborhood, she added.
       Nancy Stovall, president of Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA), a consortium of local merchants that plans the annual event, said the group was happy with how things went. Part of the reason for the bigger crowd may be the Fort Carson soldiers back in town, she said.
       Last year at this time, thousands of local soldiers were in Iraq.
       Territory Days is OCCA's biggest money-maker during the year - chiefly from about 200 street booth rentals. The Side Kickers dance group entertains in Bancroft Park
       Although it was too early this week to provide tax information and other statistics, Dunne said she's received favorable feedback from vendors as well as store merchants. “A lot of the vendors I talked to said, 'How do I get the same spot back next year?'” Dunne reported.
       At least one vendor (a bread-seller) ran out of product to sell. From a standpoint of business traffic, “That's pretty cool,” Dunne said.
       She was also pleased with the free musical entertainment in Bancroft Park, climaxed by the brassy sounds of Phat Daddy and the Horn Doctors Monday afternoon, May 31.
       The event included kids' rides, gold panning, a territorial “jail,” a climbing wall, a beer garden, “gunfighters” in Bancroft Park and street entertainment by dancers, musicians and naturalists (a birds of prey exhibit).

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