Eat, drink and be merry for Bancroft

       Bancroft Park will benefit from a food and drink event called “A Taste of OCC” Sunday, April 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.
       Appropriately enough, the festivities - also including artists painting works to be auctioned and live music from the jazz band, Gentle Rain - will take place in the 1.16-acre Old Colorado City park.
       For $25 in advance ($30 at the gate), attendees can sample food from 20 Old Colorado City-area restaurants and liquids (including beer and wine for ages 21 and over) from 11 beverage distributors. Tickets are $10 for ages 6-12 and free for those 6 and under.

A swordfighting group practices in Bancroft Park in 2007. Photo faces west, toward Colbrunn Court. The Old Colorado City park gets almost constant public use, with scheduled and unscheduled activities.
Westside Pioneer file photo

       The event is sponsored by the Old Colorado City Foundation, a recently formed nonprofit headed by Westside business and civic leaders. The foundation came together through the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group, which also fronted the costs for the event permits and entertainment, according to Dave Van Ness, the OCCA's executive director.
       “The proceeds after costs are totally committed to improving the park,” he said. “It'll be a big deal, I hope. We're thinking 500 people.”
       Attendees can also peruse (and comment on) architectural renderings of potential park improvements, Van Ness said. These include added seating around the park, a children's water-spray experience like “Uncle Wilbur's” downtown and even a higher roof on the pavilion so people can see the stage better from the avenue.
       In keeping with city regulations for an event with alcohol, the park area near the stage will be double-barricaded, Van Ness said, with entrance only from the avenue side.
       Advance tickets are available at these businesses: Jake & Telly's, Motif, Pizzeria Rustica and Squash Blossom. Online, they can be bought at tasteofocc.com. Tickets on event day will be sold in the Bancroft cabin.
       The artists scheduled to be creating works during the event are Reveille Kennedy, Lori Watry, Jan Oyler, Larry Haught and Richard Williams from Old Colorado City's Arati Artists Gallery.
       Foundation board members represent local businesses, as well as the library, the History Center and the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN).
       Grassy with a bandshell, Bancroft is located on Colorado Avenue between 24th Street and Colbrunn Court. In the original 1859 Colorado City plat, the site was set aside for public use. A school operated there from 1888 to 1926. The cabin is the oldest structure in Old Colorado City, having been built in 1859.

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