Food, drink, chef’s cook-off to highlight Bancroft Park fundraiser Sept. 29

       Following the success of Taste of OCC last April, another new event is planned in Old Colorado City - Harvest in the Park, Sunday, Sept. 29 from noon to 4 p.m.

A rendering for the Old Colorado City Foundation shows a seating-area possibility in front of the bandshell in Bancroft Park. Other ideas at include a skating area and fountains in that area.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Like the previous gathering, Harvest will be set in Bancroft Park, offering live music, several plein air (outside) artists and samples from about 20 food as well as 20 beverage makers/distributors (mostly alcohol), with the goal of raising money to upgrade the park.
       New for Harvest will be a chef's competition, with each entrant creating an entrée on a butane burner in a half-hour using farm- and ranch-supplied ingredients. A group of local VIPs will judge the winner.
       Like Taste, Harvest is being planned and organized by local entrepreneurs and civic leaders with the Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF), a charitable nonprofit which formed this year.
       Ticket prices are $30 in advance or $35 at the gate. The price for children from ages 4 to 12 is $10. The event area will be closed off.
       Funds are additionally being raised from sponsors and will also come from auctions of the artwork created during Harvest.
       According to event promoter Jewels Burdick, the food-and-drink/ fundraising concept “mirrors” that used by park supporters in New York.
       A Harvest offering that wasn't available at Taste will be a “kid's corner,” overseen by Old Colorado City Library personnel, where parents attending the event can let their children play, explained Library Manager Jocelyne Sansing.
       The live music will be provided by a band led by long-time area blues/folk rock musician and singer Sandy Wells.
       The Taste of OCC event raised $11,000, earmarked for future park improvements, according to Dave Van Ness, executive director of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group and a member of the OCCF board. Colla-boration is being discussed with City Parks.
       Improvement proposals include better restrooms, a brick entry way, an upgraded pavilion, flower gardens, added seating areas and a multiuse plaza in front of the stage.
       Also being considered are surveillance cameras for the park, similar to those used now at Acacia Park downtown to record illicit activities, Van Ness said.
       For more information on Harvest, including locations in Old Colorado City where tickets can be purchased, go to the website: or e-mail

Westside Pioneer/press release