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Fire-marred Bancroft needs in view for annual Taste of OCC fundraiser April 30

       Fire damage or not, Bancroft Park will again be the scene of the annual Taste of Old Colorado City Sunday, April 30.
       As in the previous four years, the fundraiser for the park will feature a live band and samples of food
With Taste of OCC moved into the Junior Achievement building in 2016, attendees enjoy food and drink samples in one of the three rooms used for the event. Taste planners say the event will be outdoors in Bancroft Park this year, no matter what the weather does.
Westside Pioneer file photo
and beverages donated by area restaurants, breweries and liquor distributors.
       A new element this year will be a “VIP hour” before the regular three-hour event from 1 to 4 p.m. Up to 100 people wanting to pay an extra $20 (over the normal adult price of $30) will have the space to themselves from noon to 1, getting first dibs on the food and drink and a “less crowded experience,” as organizer Lauren Ripko described it.
       She said she's offered this option on events she's coordinated previously in the Denver area, and is hopeful the offering will bring in more proceeds for Taste.
       The bandshell fire in January added urgency to the park-improvement fundraising goal which had led the Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF) to start the event in 2013. Since then, with $250,000 allocated by Colorado Springs City Council for fire repairs and park upgrades, a city reconstruction project is in the offing, although actual work is not expected to start until May.
       A fire-damage side effect is that the city has declared the bandshell stage off-limits for safety reasons. So Ripko will have the band (Woodshed Red) playing on a roughly two-foot high riser in front of the bandshell. This will put the band at “attendee level,” she said. “It will make it great to interact.”
       Because of rain, the 2016 event, with 600-some attendees, was moved indoors (the Junior Achievement building a half-block away). But that won't happen this year. What OCCF planners heard from attendees was that the space felt too tight. “We are going to be outside, rain or shine,” Ripko said.
       The event area in the park will be temporarily fenced off for the day.
       Tickets are available at tasteofocc.com. If they are not sold out by April 30, prices will be available at the gate, for $5 more.
       Ripko said there is still time to become an event sponsor. For more information, call 303-929-2434.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/17/17; Business: Events)

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