Strong turnout for 5th annual Taste of OCC fundraiser in Bancroft Park
People gathered in the temporarily fenced-off central area of the 1.2-acre park, enjoying live music from Woodshed Red and samples of prepared food and beverages donated by close to 40 businesses.
The event was sponsored by the Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF), which has been focusing on the park's needs since 2013 - well before the January bandshell fire that prompted the city to begin site upgrade plans.
The band's location, on a temporary stage about two feet high, in front of the bandshell, served as a reminder of the fire and that repairs have not yet begun. But no complaints were heard, and attendees dancing was a common sight.
The OCCF is a charitable arm of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA), which represents many of the businesses in the historic shopping district.
Weather had been an issue for past Taste events, and this year was no exception. The day before had featured snow and a bone-chilling wind, and April 30, though sunny, didn't warm out of the 40s until about 1 p.m.
That didn't stop people from flocking to the event, with a third of the roughly 600 tickets being sold at the gate. As if in response, temperatures climbed into the 50s as the day went along. People kept showing up, with tickets being sold for half-price at around the time the event was half-over and some vendors were running out of food or drink.
Ripko said she thought the publicity about the fire “played a part” in the public response. Waving at the crowd and the activities, she also expressed the view that “people want more of this.”
With various costs still to be factored in, the net income from Taste was not yet calculated as the event wound down, but based on ticket sales alone the gross would be upwards of $18,000.
Attendees included current City Council members Tom Strand, Bill Murray, Richard Skorman and Yolanda Avila, as well as Keith King, whose term ended in April. King had led the council effort to find $250,000 funding to cover the bandshell repairs and perhaps additional amenities.
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