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Territory Days beats rain, welcomes national drill team


The Air Force Honor Guard and Drill Team from Washington, D.C., perform as part of Memorial Day activities in Bancroft Park during Territory Days May 25. In this maneuver, rifles weighing 13 pounds (and with bayonets attached) are being tossed in the air.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Intermittent downpours hampered but did not halt the 40th annual Territory Days in Old Colorado City May 23-25.
       “We didn't cancel anything,” said Jim Wear, the event organizer for the sponsoring Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group. “We had some breaks when we had lightning, but then we started back up again.”
       Primarily occurring during the first two days, the rain did reduce the attendance somewhat. Wear said the numbers May 23-24 were about equal to those on Memorial Day (the 25th), when the sun was out and temperatures rose into the upper 60s. As a result, the overall total was 80,000 to 100,000, Wear estimated.
       Featuring live music, special attractions and about 200 vendors, the free festival closes off Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets for the three-day Memorial Day weekend. Net income from the event, typically exceeding $100,000, is used by the OCCA for promotional activities and advertising throughout the year.
       The attendees were mostly well-behaved. Wear said the only incidents he knew of were a shoplifting arrest and a “couple of drunks.”
       What brought Wear particular satisfaction was being able to schedule the Air Force Honor Guard and Drill Team from Washington, D.C. The 11-member Honor Guard presented the colors for the event's Memorial Day ceremony in Bancroft Park; after that, the 14-member drill team (wearing sunglasses) performed a series of precision drills that frequently involved tossing and catching 13-pound, bayonet-attached M-1 rifles.

Westside Pioneer article